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Introduction to the Piney Point Tract

Picture of Assawoman Wildlife Area Tracts

                                           Figure 1.  Tracts in Assawoman Wildlife Area

 

Location of Piney Point Tract

Piney Point, a tract of Assawoman Wildlife Area, has a location on the south side of Indian River Bay in the Inland Bays Region of Delaware (Figure 1).  This tract is colored green in figure 1.  The tract is 473 acres (1,914,388 square meters) in size and has an elevation ranging from sea level to about 10 feet.

Geology of Piney Point

The Omar Formation underlies Piney Point.  Sand, silt and clay in a mixture compose this formation.  Main soils are Broadkill Mucky Peat and Klej Loamy Sand.  The elevations of the tract range from sea level at the bay to about 10 feet at the western end.  Most of the land slopes to the north and south with high point along a ridge in the center.

Picture of Piney Point

                                                     Beach at Indian River Bay

Piney Point Vegetation Communities/Land Covers

In the 1937-2012 period, forests decreased overall with a recent stable period between 2002 and 2007 (Figure 2, Table 1).  Woodlands developed and have been stable in the recent period, whereas, Shrubland almost doubled its area to 2002, but has decreased to a net loss by 2012.  Herbaceous communities decreased markedly.  Marsh communities have increased.  Anthropogenic communities/land covers have decreased by almost half.  Non-vegetated land covers have increased immensely.  Water has increased nearly ten-fold.  The posts of the individual categories contain more information regarding changes to individual communities.

Figure of Piney Point Vegetation Community/Land Cover Categories

                    Figure 2.  Piney Point Tract Vegetation Community/Land Cover Categories

Table 1.  Vegetation Community/Land Cover Categories    

Piney Point Tract  1937-2012 (m²)

  1937 2002 2007 2012
Forests 712,819.45 610,781.67 611,213.31 595,642.11
Woodlands 0.00 14,175.36 14,175.36 12,293.89
Shrublands 57,176.29 96,369.80 69,635.58 51,977.84
Herbaceous 85,810.00 40,851.32 34,404.11 25,683.78
Marsh 843,705.96 984,341.60 1,010,971.20 1,002,534.17
Anthropogenic Communities/Land Covers 206,154.38 116,794.21 98,039.83 115,747.18
Non-Vegetated Land Covers 1,019.59 3,311.85 5,340.36 46,081.56
Water 7,658.63 47,762.27 70,608.79 64,428.02

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