To provide employment and vocational training for youthful citizens of the United States?through the performance of useful public work in connection with the conservation and development of the natural resources of the United States and its possessions. (CCC Federal Enacting Legislation, 1933) During the dark days of the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps conserved some of America's most precious natural resources—its land and young men. Between 1933 and 1942, this center-piece of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal legislation put to work hundreds of thousands of unemployed and underprivileged youth. As many as 7,000 Delawareans between the ages of 18 and 25 were employed by the CCC nationwide. Whether fighting forest fires in Oregon, building the Appalachian Trail, planting trees in Virginia, or draining swamps in southern Delaware, the CCC harnessed youthful energies for purposeful work. In addition to native Delawareans, many men from New Jersey and New York were assigned to the First State's six (on the average) CCC camps. In Delaware, the Corps undertook mosquito control work along the marshes and inland bays to improve the quality of life for all Delawareans. The CCC also cleared and maintained more than 12 million yards of drainage and flood control ditches statewide. The Corps helped create a national wildlife refuge out of the wetlands of Bombay Hook. Other CCC projects restored freshwater lakes and ponds, planted new forests, blazed trails and created fire breaks'. Indeed, the young men of the Civilian Conservation Corps earned more than a day's wage for a day's work. They earned self-respect and a sense of purpose. They also earned a very special place in the history of Delaware and the nation.