Aerial view of tidal marshlands at Milford Neck in Eastern Kent County Delaware.
Milford Neck Preserve Aerial view of tidal marshlands at Milford Neck in Eastern Kent County Delaware. © TNC; Aerial support provided by LightHawk


Places We Protect

Public Preserves

  • at TNC’s Edward H. McCabe Preserve.

    Edward H. McCabe Preserve

    The Edward H. McCabe Preserve offers opportunities to observe a wide range of Delaware's ecosystems, including tidal marshes, upland forests and Atlantic white cedar swamp. Explore McCabe Preserve

  • Highbush blueberry at Ponders Tract in Delaware.

    Ponders Tract Trails at Pemberton Forest Preserve

    Delaware's Ponders Tract features more than nine miles of trails and is the site of ambitious work to restore coastal hardwood forests. Explore Ponders Tract

Other Preserves

  • Common milkweed provides food for many pollinators but it is also the only plant that monarch butterfly caterpillars eat.

    Middleford North Preserve

    Middleford North is located just upstream from Seaford, where the main stem of the Nanticoke River meanders through riparian forest and lush freshwater wetlands. Learn More About Middleford North Preserve

  • Milford Neck, Delaware, on an early morning in July.

    Milford Neck Preserve

    With miles of undeveloped beaches and dunes, vast tidal marshlands, swamp and upland forests, and a patchwork of agricultural lands, the Milford Neck offers natural beauty and biological diversity. Learn More About Milford Neck Preserve

  • Emergent wetlands at the Pemberton Forest Preserve, Delaware

    Pemberton Forest Preserve

    Pemberton Forest provides unbroken forest needed by migrating birds and wide-ranging species. The 908-acre Ponders Tract is open to the public, while the Pemberton Tract is not. Learn More About Pemberton Forest Preserve

  • TNC's first preserve in Delaware.

    Sowbridge Branch Preserve

    This 1.12 acre parcel was donated by the Greenly family in 1990 to become TNC's first preserve in Delaware. The site is dominated by Atlantic white cedar swamplands and bog like habitats.

Landscape Projects

Other Places We've Helped Protect

Auburn Valley State Park Expansion

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Division of Parks & Recreation announced in April 2019 that it acquired 86 acres of land in Yorklyn to expand Auburn Valley State Park. The preservation of the two parcels, each about 43 acres in size, will enable future expansion of recreational activities at the 452-acre park. The new land acquisition by DNREC will also benefit the Red Clay Creek watershed by protecting important headwaters and lands along a tributary to the creek. Funding for the purchase was provided by from the State of Delaware’s Open Space Program, The Nature Conservancy, the Reynolds Cooch family, and Mt. Cuba Center.

Oversee Farm

Now part of Auburn Valley State Park, Oversee Farm is a 121-acre property near Yorklyn, DE. In 2003, the State purchased a conservation easement on the Oversee Farm using Department of Transportation (DOT) scenic easement funds and Open Space funds. At the same time, TNC purchased the underlying fee interest in the property. In December 2006, the Division of Parks and Recreation assumed ownership of the property after acquiring the fee interest from TNC. The property now contains paved trails among open fields and a historic farmhouse and barn.

Port Mahon

In eastern Kent County along the Delaware Bay, tidal saltmarshes and mudflats contained within the 341-acre Port Mahon Preserve provide a sanctuary for numerous species of geese, duck, fish and amphibians. This Preserve was transferred to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services to become part of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge.  

Marian R. Okie Memorial Wildlife Preserve

This 118 acre property containing tidal salt marsh, wetlands, coastal forest and fields, is located on Indian River Bay in Sussex County. The property was originally donated by Austin F. “Pete” Okie to The Nature Conservancy before it was transferred to the State of Delaware’s Division of Fish & Wildlife. It is now considered part of the Assawoman Wildlife Area and is publicly accessible though a Conservation Access Pass is required to visit.

Protecting the property as wildlife habitat was intended to benefit the region by limiting the encroachment of development and minimizing contributions of pollutants to Indian River Bay, as well as providing sanctuary to a wide range of species.  This tract of land is home to a variety of plants and animals including great blue herons, ospreys, and mourning doves, as well as fiddler crabs, monarch butterflies and diamondback terrapins.