What does the word "marsh" conjure up in your mind? -- A breeding ground for mosquitoes, a nursery habitat for fish and crabs, a home for unique plants and animals, a reservoir for storm water?
"A marsh is all of these things and much more," says Dr. Evelyn Maurmeyer, an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies and president of Coastal & Estuarine Research, Inc., in Lewes. "Marshes represent one of the most productive environments on Earth. Without them, the world would lack many of the birds, fish, crabs, and other animals that we know today, and coastal areas would be even more vulnerable to storm damage."
On Thursday, August 26, at 7 p.m., Maurmeyer will present "Marsh Madness: A Closer Look at Delaware's Wondrous Wetlands," a free, public lecture at the University's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. Maurmeyer will provide an overview of Delaware's tidal and freshwater wetlands, their formation and ecological values, as well as review the regulations that every wetlands property owner needs to know.
"In the decades preceding the 1970s, Delaware lost hundreds of acres of wetlands each year, due primarily to construction activities," Maurmeyer says. "Scientific research and increased awareness of the ecological and socio-economic values of wetlands, as well as state and federal regulations protecting wetlands, have reduced wetland loss significantly. Moreover, creation of new wetlands and restoration of degraded wetlands will significantly improve the extent and status of wetlands in Delaware."
Maurmeyer founded Coastal & Estuarine Research, Inc., in 1981. The firm specializes in shore erosion studies, wetlands creation and mitigation, and environmental impact analyses.
Additionally, she has taught courses on coastal processes and marine geology for the University of Maryland, Franklin and Marshall College, and the University of Delaware. Currently, Maurmeyer is an adjunct assistant professor in the Physical Ocean Science and Engineering Program at the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies.
Maurmeyer received her bachelor's degree in geology from Smith College and both her master's and doctorate in geology from the University of Delaware.
Her lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104, Cannon Laboratory, at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes. The hour-long talk will be followed by light refreshments.
While the lecture is free and open to the public, seating is limited and reservations are required. To reserve your seat, please contact the college at (302) 645-4279. For more information, visit the college's Web site at www.ocean.udel.edu.