The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program announced on Nov. 19 the release of Delaware’s first wetland-specific plant identification book, “The Delaware Wetland Plant Field Guide.”

This guide will help landowners, practitioners and scientists identify wetland plants in the landscape with full-color photos, hand drawings and easy-to-read descriptions.

Plants are one of three key factors for identifying and delineating wetlands. For an area to be considered a wetland, it must have water at or near the surface for some part of the year; hydrophytic plants, which are plants specially adapted to living in wet conditions; and hydric soils, which are soils that are permanently or seasonally soaked in water.

The guide organizes 134 common wetland plants found in Delaware into two main categories of freshwater and saltwater plants. It also includes a general introduction to plant identification and key characteristics, bloom/fruit timing, flower and fruit descriptions, and where each plant is likely found.

The guide is viewable online, with a high-resolution file or print copy available upon request, at de.gov/dewetlandplantguide.

The guide was compiled by the Wetland Monitoring & Assessment Program within DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship, with contributions from several local wetland and plant experts. The program works in Delaware to conserve wetlands for their water quality, wildlife habitat and flood control benefits. Visit de.gov/wmap.

For more, visit de.gov/wetlandtoolbox or call 739-9939.