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NRCS Participants Receive 2011 Wetland Warrior Award

NRCS Participants Receive 2011 Wetland Warrior Award

Brothers Mark and Charles Workman have farming running through their blood - literally.  They are fourth generation Sussex County farmers who own and operate almost 3,000 acres of cropland, with corn, soybeans and wheat as their primary crops.  Recently, the Workman brothers were honored by Governor Jack Markell and Collin O’Mara, Secretary of the Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, with the Wetland Warrior Award for their efforts to conserve and restore Delaware’s wetlands.

The Wetland Warrior Award, now in its fourth year, is presented annually to a citizen, organization, business, or group that has demonstrated exemplary efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands in the areas of outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection.  This year, the brothers were two of three recipients being honored as the 2011 Wetland Warriors.

In 2010, the brothers worked with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore 26 acres of forested wetlands on their farm near Georgetown through the Wetland Reserve Program.  Delaware’s forested wetlands are most susceptible to loss due to conversion to other land uses.  Their restoration project will enhance habitat for wildlife species, improve water quality by removing nutrients from runoff, and reduce flooding by providing storage for floodwaters. 

Prior to the wetland restoration, the brothers had installed a shallow water area for wildlife with help from Partners for Fish and Wildlife.  In addition, they enrolled 11 acres of native warm season grasses into USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program and are planning to implement additional conservation areas for wildlife in the near future.

To the Workmans, protecting and conserving natural resources simply goes hand-in-hand with their lives and livelihood. “We’re outdoors people and we care about wildlife and we care about the Bay–” said Mark Workman.

Photo caption: (LtoR) NRCS District Conservationist Thelton Savage, Mark Workman, Charles Workman and his son Charlie proudly display the 2011 Wetland Warrior certificate for the brothers’ excellence in restoring Delaware’s wetlands.  

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