Gordon's Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park
Cape Henlopen State Park (Gordon’s Pond)
Ecology and ManagementGordon’s Pond is a saltwater impoundment located in Cape Henlopen State Park along the Atlantic coast of Delaware. It is thought to have originated centuries ago as a result of salt harvesting activities (Forney 2014). Currently, the impoundment is managed both for mosquito control and to provide habitat for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. According to eBird, 232 species have been observed at this site. The water levels are managed by the Delaware State Parks system and generally allowed to fill during winter and is drawn down in the summer. Inputs come from both rain water as well as from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.
“These days, it’s only a rare and powerful nor’easter that breaks through the dunes every 10 years or so to push ocean water into Gordons Pond.”
– (Forney 2014)
Gordon’s Pond is impounded to the east by a natural dune system, which experiences breaches on average once every 10 years during coastal storms. Despite these breaches the dunes which impound Gordon’s pond are healthy and not predicted to be especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Being situated directly adjacent to the Delaware beaches and between the popular towns of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, Gordon’s Pond receives large numbers of visitors in the summer months.