In 2006, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) identified coastal wetlands status and trends as a top priority for understanding the overall environmental health of the watershed. Until then, information about coastal wetland condition and acreage was limited and not consistent among the three states.
In 2007, PDE worked with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to design and begin to implement a multi-level program to assess the health and extent of coastal wetlands in a consistent manner across the Delaware Estuary. Then, in 2008, PDE along with the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP) expanded this program to areas outside the Delaware Estuary, referring to it as the Mid Atlantic Coastal Wetland Assessment (MACWA). MACWA supports a comprehensive assessment of coastal wetland condition across the Mid Atlantic region. PDE, BBP, and partners such as the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University have since worked to implement MACWA as a regional strategy, which is continuously updated and strengthened.