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 Pages Tagged With: "water quality"

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program

DNREC is part of a state and federal partnership with the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation, that aims to add up to 10,000 acres of Delaware agricultural land to the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). Landowners in the CREP receive funding to support land conservation practices.



Chesapeake Bay Projects

This page includes information on some of the projects undertaken by DNREC and its partners to help meet the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan.
Related Information Best Management Practices StoryMap Redden State


Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan – Phase III

There have been three phases of Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay WIP. Delaware developed its Phase I WIP in 2010 and its Phase II WIP in 2012. Both the Phase I and Phase II WIPs describe actions and controls to be implemented by 2017 and 2025 to achieve applicable water quality standards. The Phase III WIP provides


Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan – Phase I

Draft Phase I Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) were due to EPA on Sept. 1, 2010. Final plans were submitted on Nov. 29, 2010. Following the release of Delaware’s Draft Phase I WIP, numerous comments and questions from both EPA and various stakeholder groups within the watershed were submitted. As a result of comments and


Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan – Phase II

Delaware’s Draft Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan for the Chesapeake Watershed was submitted to the EPA on Dec. 15, 2011. EPA reviewed the document and provided comments in Feb. 2012. Public comments were accepted through March 21, 2012. All suggestions were considered and the document was modified accordingly.


Events and Workshops

DNREC and its partners in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan have held a series of events, workshops and meetings to promote and support improvements to the water quality of the Chesapeake basin in Delaware. 2020 Reclaim our River Events The Reclaim our River (ROR) Nanticoke Series, a program designed to


Chesapeake Bay Milestones

To continue accelerating progress toward meeting water quality goals, the EPA and Chesapeake Bay Program jurisdictions, including Delaware, agreed to set interim two-year milestones – or short-term goals – as a critical part of an accountability framework.
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Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan

Delaware is among six Chesapeake Bay Watershed states – along with Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York – and the District of Columbia committed to a federal-state initiative to develop a pollution “diet” that will help restore the water quality of the Bay and its tidal waters by 2025.


Verification of Best Management Practices

The implementation, tracking and reporting of Best Management Practices (BMPs) has been at the center of the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership’s restoration efforts for almost three decades. Properly installed and functioning practices and technologies reduce local flooding, protect sources of drinking water, ensure against the collapse of stream banks, and


Watershed Plans and Strategies

Numerous documents describing plans or strategies for water quality and watershed improvements have been developed over the years. Some of these efforts originated through the Tributary Action Team process while others came through other initiatives. All of the documents below can be considered watershed management plans for the Water Quality Improvement Projects grant program offered by


Pollution Control Strategies and Tributary Action Teams

A 1997 federal court case required Delaware to set pollution limits for its waterways. These limits are called Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDLs, a term you will hear a lot in water pollution discussions. In order to meet these new pollution limits, we are identifying ways to reduce water pollution. Usually, citizens don’t


Total Maximum Daily Loads

When monitoring reveals that waterways do not meet Delaware’s water quality standards, they are reported on a list of impaired waterways (303(d) List). For each impaired waterway, the Federal Clean Water Act (CWA) requires states to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the pollutants of concern. A TMDL sets a limit on the amount


Integrated Report: 305(b) Report and 303(d) List

Section 305(b) of the Federal Clean Water Act requires that states and other entities prepare and submit a Watershed Assessment Report to EPA on April 1 of every even numbered year. EPA is required to summarize these reports and prepare a report of their own to Congress. The 305(b) reports and monitoring data are used


You Can Help Protect Delaware’s Waterways

There are always things that you can do in your everyday life, no matter where you live, to help protect the waterways that serve as our drinking water sources, habitat for wildlife, and places of recreation. Maintain a Healthy Lawn and Garden A healthy lawn and garden makes a home more


Whole Basin Management

In the 1990s, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control began a different approach to assessing, managing, and protecting Delaware’s natural resources. This approach, known as Whole Basin Management, encourages the various programs from throughout DNREC to work in an integrated manner to assess different geographic areas of the state defined on the


Protecting Our Waterways

There are many things each of us can do to help reduce nutrient and sediment pollution entering Delaware’s waterways. Our efforts will not only help protect the environment, but in many cases, when you lend a hand to protect our waterways, you will also find that you’re adding beauty to your yard, saving energy,


Water Quality Monitoring

Delaware’s bays, ponds, streams, and rivers are monitored on a regular basis to assess the quality of Delaware’s surface waters. Much of the monitoring is done by DNREC, though other groups, including federal agencies, academic institutions, and citizen volunteer monitoring programs, also contribute to these efforts.



Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy

The Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy (PCS) and accompanying regulations were finalized in Nov. 2008. This strategy is designed to improve the water quality of the bays (Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, and Little Assawoman Bay), as well as the rivers, streams, and ponds that drain to the bays.
ADVISORY: A legal challenge


Surface Water Quality Standards

The National Clean Water Act of 1972 set in place a program that is intended to restore the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. To reach these goals, a series of steps were mandated by Congress for the Environmental Protection Agency and the individual States to take. [column md=”5″ xclass=”col-xs-12 col-lg-4


Promoting Shellfish Safety

To ensure the safety of Delaware’s shellfish growing areas, it is important that residents and visitors help maintain good water quality and limit pollution while recreating in or near shellfish growing areas.

Contact Us

Michael Bott Environmental Scientist


Shellfish Plant Inspections

Plant inspections of all shellfish shippers and processors are conducted routinely by certified Shellfish Program staff to ensure compliance with national food safety regulations and those specific to the shellfish industry.

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Andrew Bell Environmental Scientist 302-739-9939


Delaware Shellfish Program

The Delaware Shellfish Program is responsible for protecting public health by minimizing the risk of food borne illness due to the consumption of shellfish.

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Growing Waters Michael Bott Environmental Scientist 302-739-9939 Plant


Eco-Explorers Virtual Field Trip Registration

This form is for teachers and homeschool groups to register for an Eco-Explorers virtual field trip with the Aquatic Resources Education Center. There is no charge for the field trip but please register if you plan to use the virtual field trip material. This will help us provide additional programs in the future.


Virtual Eco-Explorers Field Trip Program

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Aquatic Resources Education Center now offers a virtual version of the Eco-Explorers field trip program that school groups can use until it becomes possible to resume traditional, in-person field trips.

Contact Us

Mary Rivera


Success Stories: Pike Creek

Pike Creek is in northern New Castle County and is a tributary of White Clay Creek within the White Clay Creek subbasin. The lower portions of the White Clay Creek are tidally influenced. In 2000, the President signed a law adding 190 miles of the White Clay Creek and its tributaries to the National Wild


Biennial NPS Training and Meeting

The DNREC Nonpoint Source Program (NPS), in partnership with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3, hosted the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Nonpoint Source Program Training and Meeting in October of 2019. The states in the EPA Region 3 (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) take turns hosting this biennial event. The next meeting, in 2021,


Success Stories: Trap Pond

Southern Delaware’s Trap Pond is a tributary of Broad Creek, which drains to the Nanticoke River and flows to the Chesapeake Bay. This area has a unique ecology, as it is home to the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress in the United States. The area also contains a 2,000-acre wetland, one of the largest


Success Stories: Gravelly Branch

Southern Delaware’s Gravelly Branch watershed drains into the Nanticoke River, which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. Gravelly Branch begins in the town of Ellendale and flows toward the city of Seaford. The major land use in the 24,423-acre Gravelly Branch watershed is agriculture.
Success


Success Stories: Upper Marshyhope Creek

The Delaware portion of the Marshyhope Creek watershed (Upper Marshyhope Creek) lies within Kent and Sussex counties on the western edge of Delaware. The creek flows into Maryland before eventually discharging into the Nanticoke River, which in turn empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The drainage area of the Marshyhope Creek watershed within Delaware is approximately


Success Stories: Cow Bridge Branch

Stockley Branch flows into Cow Bridge Branch watershed, which spans 28,676 acres and is located in the Indian River watershed in southeastern Sussex County. The Indian River Bay watershed makes up one of three of Delaware’s interconnected Inland Bays (Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, and Little Assawoman Bay).
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Success Stories: Little Assawoman Bay

Little Assawoman Bay — the smallest of Delaware’s Inland Bays — is connected to Indian River Bay on the north by the Assawoman Canal and to Assawoman Bay on the south via a narrow channel. The Little Assawoman Bay watershed is an agriculture-dominated watershed covering three square miles with no influencing point sources. The area


Success Stories: Noxontown Pond

Noxontown Pond covers approximately 158 acres near the headwaters of the Appoquinimink River watershed. This watershed contains three of the fastest developing municipalities in the state – Odessa, Townsend, and Middletown. While much of this watershed was historically agricultural, increased development has led to the conversion of farms into suburban residential communities. Less than 9%


Success Stories: Records Pond

Records Pond, also known as Laurel Lake, was created in 1900 with the completion of the Records Pond Dam on Broad Creek. Although Records Pond is just over 90 acres, it is one of the larger lakes in Delaware. Almost at sea level, and with a maximum depth of 10 feet, the pond is relatively


Success Stories: Coursey Pond

Coursey Pond, in southeast Kent County, is a 58-acre pond draining to the Murderkill River, a tributary to the Delaware Bay. The headwaters of the Murderkill River begin just west of Felton and flow towards Bowers Beach, with the lower 10.5-mile portion of the river influenced by tides. The Coursey Pond area is home to


Success Stories: Abbott’s Mill Pond

Abbott’s Mill Pond was created over 200 years ago by damming Johnson Branch in order to power a grist mill. The pond covers approximately 25 acres on Johnson Branch, a tributary near the headwaters of the Mispillion River watershed. The pond is now maintained as part of the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center used for public


Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant Program

Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grants (CBIG) enable states the lie in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to meet the goals outlined in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, such as improving water quality.

Contact Us

Brittany Sturgis Nonpoint Source Program


Section 319 Grants

The Delaware Nonpoint Source Program administers a competitive grant program made possible through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The grant provides funding for projects designed to reduce nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in Delaware.

Contact Us

Sharon Webb


Local Implementation Funding Grant

The Local Implementation Funding Grant is an annually-determined portion of funding set aside in Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant. Local implementation funding is intended for use by local entities within Delaware’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed for best management practices (BMPs) implementation projects that will improve water quality by reduction of nutrient and sediment


Nonpoint Source Program

The Nonpoint Source Program provides funding for projects designed to reduce nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in Delaware. Nonpoint source pollution is pollution that originates from a diffuse source (such as an open field or a road) and is transported to surface or ground waters through leaching or runoff.



Nonpoint Source Success Stories

The DNREC Nonpoint Source Program is committed to addressing pollution affecting Delaware waterbodies by encouraging and supporting the use of specific best management practices that can reduce the effects of nonpoint source pollution.
Success Stories Success Stories


Delaware’s Section 303(d) Waters and Data Solicitation

DNREC announces the availability and opportunity to comment on the Department’s Tentative Determination for Delaware’s 2020 Section 303(d) List (water quality limited segments) and the supporting Documents for the determinations.


Information About Vibrio Bacteria

Vibrio are bacteria that occur naturally in brackish waters such as the Delaware Bay, the Inland Bays and tributaries, especially during warm weather months. Vibrio infections are relatively rare in Delaware and nationwide. However, when Vibrio or other bacteria come into contact with an open wound, they can cause serious infections. Vibrio infections can be


What is a Red Tide?

“Red Tide” is the common term for a particular type of harmful algal bloom made up of large concentrations of toxic red dinoflagellates called Karenia brevis (K. Brevis). These are tiny red-colored, naturally-occurring aquatic microorganisms which, in sufficient concentrations, can cause a reddish tint to the water. At very high concentrations, they can cause toxic


Recreational Water Monitoring

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control monitors recreational waters to ensure their quality for swimming and other recreational uses. The Department tests for Enterococcus bacteria, which indicate the presence of other potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. The results of these tests are available online and though an email alert system.


Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Applications

A listing of recent applications for subaqueous lands permits, leases, and water quality certifications.


Wastewater Facilities Construction Permit Application: Sussex Montessori School

Sussex Montessori School proposes to construct a submersible sanitary sewer pump station and approximately 1,615 linear feet of 1.5 inch diameter force main to serve a proposed school campus located at 24960 Dairy Lane, in Seaford.


Public Meeting: City of Wilmington Request for a Distribution and Marketing Permit

The DNREC Surface Water Discharges Section will conduct a public meeting on Veolia North America’s permit application for a distribution and marketing permit for Class A/Exceptional Quality biosolids generated at the City of Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Applications

A listing of applications for wetlands and subaqueous lands permits, leases, and water quality certifications.


Public Meeting and Public Hearing: NaturaLawn of America Distribution and Marketing Permit (Docket #2019-P-W-0025)

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Surface Water Discharges Section will conduct a public meeting and a public hearing on NaturaLawn of America’s application for a distribution and marketing permit.


Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Applications

A list of applications to the DNREC Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section.





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