Dignitaries, residents, state officials, students and partners gathered for an April 12 ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of the Boardwalk and Observation Deck at the Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve on Delaware Bayshore Byway.
“Delaware Nature Society has held educational programs here at the Marvel Salt Marsh Preserve for many years,” said Ann Harper, executive director of the Delaware Nature Society. “Students walked on pallets out into the marsh. But, today, you can join us in enjoying this beautiful boardwalk that allows for education and observations, for learning and enjoyment of this great habitat.”
The boardwalk and observation deck provide access to the Marvel Saltwater Preserve. In 1988, the Marvel family of Milford donated the 109-acre Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve to the Delaware Nature Society. The preserve is home to several wildlife species. The boardwalk and observation deck will enhance the environmental education programs hosted by the Delaware Nature Society.
This project was made possible by a partnership among Delaware Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Nature Society, and the Town of Slaughter Beach, with funding for design, engineering, and construction from several sources.
"DelDOT is pleased to play a role in the creation of this beautiful overlook. It will encourage even more people to take advantage of the Delaware Bayshore Byway," said DelDOT Deputy Secretary Nicole Majeski. "The six byways that DelDOT administers throughout Delaware attract visitors from throughout the region and enable our fellow Delawareans to explore and enjoy the history and landscapes all around us."
"With this new boardwalk in place, visitors will be able to experience the saltmarsh surrounding Slaughter Beach from a vantage point never before offered at the Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve," said Shawn Garvin, DNREC secretary. "Students visiting this unique outdoor classroom will have the opportunity for hands-on learning about our dynamic coastal marsh systems, the plants and animals they support, and the coastal bayshore communities like this one that depend on them."
Sen. Dave Wilson, R-Bridgeville, thanked all those involved, “Especially the Marvel family, who have done so much for our area for many years."