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 Pages Tagged With: "watershed"

St. Jones Watershed Wetland Assessment

Located in Kent County, the St. Jones River watershed covers 57,643 acres of the Delaware Bay Basin. The St. Jones River is dammed at Silver Lake in Dover and then winds 10 miles through residential and commercially developed areas, the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area, before emptying into Delaware


Wetlands Purify

Wetlands purify our water by removing sediments and other pollutants including chemicals. Wetlands also filter and process excess nutrients that may runoff from agricultural and development sites. Wetlands have been called “the kidneys of our watersheds.”
Wetlands Purify


Wetland Health Assessments

The Wetland Monitoring and Assessment program is tasked with the job of assessing the health of Delaware’s wetlands.

Contact Us

Alison Rogerson Watershed Assessment 302-739-9939
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Library: Management Plans and Monitoring Protocols

A collection of management plans and monitoring protocols from the DNREC Watershed Assessment Section.
Wetland Publications Library
  • Wetland Health Reports
  • Management Plans and Monitoring Protocols
  • Long-Term Wetlands Monitoring


    Christina Watershed Wetland Assessment

    The Christina Watershed is located in New Castle County, extending north and west into Maryland and Pennsylvania. In Delaware this watershed includes the cities and towns of Wilmington, Elsmere, Newark, and Christiana.
    Wetland Assessment Reports
  • Wetland


    Smyrna Watershed Wetland Assessment

    The Smyrna River watershed encompasses 71 square miles and is composed of three sub-watersheds: Smyrna River, Duck Creek, and Cedar Swamp-Delaware Bay. It is located partially in Kent County and partially in New Castle County. The watershed is within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin, so all of its waters drain into the Delaware Bay.


    Dam Safety

    The Delaware Dam Safety Program works to reduce the risk of failure of dams and to prevent injuries, property damage, and loss of reservoir storage due to dam failure. It oversees the design and construction, operation and maintenance, and inspection of regulated dams in Delaware.
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    Questions and Answers

    A collection of common questions, and answers, about the coastal construction regulatory program.
    The Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section has a series of maps that show the location of the Building


    Adopt-a-Beach

    DNREC’s Adopt-A-Beach program is a partnership between the Department and Delaware volunteers, working in tandem to protect and enhance Delaware’s beaches.

    Contact Us

    Eddie Meade Environmental Scientist 302-739-9921



    Beach Grass Planting

    Volunteers are the backbone of Delaware’s shoreline stabilization. Every spring since 1990, except when pandemic conditions prevented it, dedicated volunteers have stabilized Delaware’s sand dunes by planting more than 5 million stems of Cape American beach grass along ocean and bay beaches.
    Due to overwhelming volunteer response, all


    You Can Help Protect Beaches and Dunes

    There are several ways property owners and visitors can preserve and protect beaches and dunes.

    Contact Us

    Michael Powell Administrator Shoreline and Waterway Management Section 302-739-9921
    Plant Beach


    Beaches and Shorelines

    The Shoreline and Waterway Management Section works to maintain and improve Delaware’s shoreline and waterways.

    Contact Us

    Shoreline and Waterway Management 302-739-9921
    The section manages the shoreline through


    Coastal Construction

    Coastal development adds stress to beach systems, especially to dunes. Dunes and beaches are the first lines of protection from wave action for coastal communities during coastal storms. Dunes also act as storage areas that supply sand to the beach during storms.

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    Delaware Beach Building Line Maps

    The Regulations Governing Beach Protection and the Use of Beaches (7 DE Admin. Code 5102) establishes a “building line” along the coast and stipulate that no construction may take place seaward of that without a Coastal Construction Permit or Coastal Construction Letter of Approval from the Department. The building line is mapped by the


    Beaches are a Natural Resource

    The sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay shorelines are valuable natural resources to the State of Delaware. The beaches were created by nature and continue to be shaped by wind and waves. The 1972 Beach Preservation Act (7 Del.C. Chapter 68) provides the authority to DNREC to enhance, preserve, and protect the


    Macroalgae in Delaware’s Inland Bays

    The water quality of Delaware’s Inland Bays is very important to outdoor recreational activities available for Delawareans and visitors alike. The Assawoman, Indian River and Rehoboth Bays provide a superb venue for fishing, boating, waterskiing and other related outdoor activities. However, like so many natural resources, these areas also suffer from the negative effects of


    Landowner Protection Options

    Approximately 45 percent of all wetlands in the state are located on privately owned lands, with the remaining wetlands found on both state and federal lands. With nearly half of Delaware’s wetlands found on private lands it is important for landowners to recognize the benefits wetlands provide and work towards conserving and preserving them.


    The Delaware Wetlands Conference

    The 2022 Delaware Wetlands Conference is canceled due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. The planning committee is looking into options to reschedule the conference later in 2022. In previous years, this conference has brought together over 400 attendees, 50 different presentations and poster displays, and 30 exhibitors and sponsor


    Leipsic Watershed Wetland Assessment

    The Leipsic River watershed is composed of two sub-watersheds, Leipsic River and Little Creek, and encompasses 128 square miles. It is located in Kent County within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin, and all of its waters drain into the Delaware Bay. Land cover in this watershed is dominated by wetlands and agriculture. [button-group


    Red Lion Watershed Wetland Assessment

    The Red Lion watershed is located within New Castle County, where it encompasses 46,283 acres (72 square miles) of land within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin. It is composed of the C&D Canal East, Dragon Creek, Red Lion Creek, Army Creek, and Broad Dike Canal. Approximately 16% of the land area of the watershed


    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.
    ChesapeakeStat


    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. [column md=”5″ xclass=”col-xs-12


    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 Watershed Assessment Reports to the US EPA on April 1 of every even-numbered year.

    Contact Us

    Watershed Assessment 302-739-9939


    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


    Watershed Assessment and Management

    The Watershed Assessment and Management Section oversees the health of the state’s surface water resources and takes actions to protect and improve water quality for aquatic life and human use.

    Contact Us

    Steve Williams Environmental Program Administrator 302-739-9939


    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. The first step was for


    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.

    Contact Us

    Andrew Bell Environmental Scientist 302-739-9939


    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


    Delaware Shellfish Program

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

    Contact Us

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


    Tax Ditch Program

    DNREC provides administrative and technical assistance and support to tax ditch organizations and landowners across the State.

    Contact Us

    Drainage Program 302-855-1930
    Tax Ditch Law


    Tax Ditch Questions and Answers

    The DNREC Tax Ditch Program has collected questions often asked by landowners about tax ditches. If you have additional questions, please contact the Tax Ditch Program at 302-855-1930 or by email.
    Tax ditch channels range in size from six to 80


    Drainage and Stormwater Assistance

    Each year thousands of Delawareans express concerns about drainage and stormwater. In many cases, residents don’t know who to contact if they have a problem. Several state and local agencies, including DNREC, DelDOT, conservation districts and municipal public works programs can help resolve drainage and flooding related problems.



    Drainage Programs

    The Drainage Programs work with landowners, tax ditch organizations and federal, state and local agencies to improve drainage, stormwater management and water quality in Delaware.

    Contact Us

    Drainage Program 302-855-1930 Report Drainage Concerns 302-855-1955


    Wetland And Channel Restoration

    The Drainage Program is responsible for over 45 wetland and stream restoration projects, resulting in approximately 180 acres of total restoration and habitat creation. Restoration activities are put into practice in a variety of locations, including local schools (creating an outdoor classroom), backyards of private landowners (Smith and Battista), marginal agricultural fields, and along


    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





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