A short drive east of Milford lays one of Delaware’s ecological treasures, known not only for its abundance of wildlife, but also for its sweeping views of the Delaware Bay. The DuPont Nature Center at the Mispillion Harbor Reserve is the perfect place to treat your family to a day of fun and learning. The center, which is owned and operated by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, features an observation deck and an interpretive center. Each May hundreds of people flock to the Peace, Love and Horseshoe Crab Festival, where families can take part in environmental challenges, get a close-up look at horseshoe crabs and shorebirds and enjoy plenty of good food and music.
The annual festival is held at the DuPont Nature Center because the spot is one of the most important horseshoe crab spawning and shorebird breeding areas in the world. Thousands of horseshoe crabs invade Mispillion Harbor each year to mate, laying millions of eggs. The eggs serve as an important food source for migratory birds and the Harbor itself is home to 130 species of wildlife.
Horseshoe crabs were once harvested in the Delaware Bay and their ancestry dates back 500 million years.
There are only four species of the crab, but they have survived during times when many other animals became extinct.
Binoculars and wildlife guides are available for public use and a remote camera allows visitors to monitor wildlife up to 100 yards away. The interpretive center is filled with exhibits dedicated to the Delaware Bay’s history.