Delmarva bays are freshwater wetlands on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that usually have standing water in the winter and spring, and then gradually dry out through the summer. These special habitats are home to dozens of rare plants and animals.
A State Endangered plant floats in a Caroline County Delmarva bay that will look more like a hayfield in two months. These Featherfoil (Hottonia inflate) flowers produce seeds that will germinate on the mud of this Delmarva bay after it dries up each summer.
Wetlands like this bay help replenish groundwater supplies, limit flooding, and provide havens for amphibians, birds and other animals. They are sensitive to disturbances which alter underground water supplies. Ditching and draining have destroyed many bays and few good examples of these wetlands remain.
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