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 Pages Categorized With: "Watershed Stewardship"

Broadkill Watershed Wetland Assessment

The Broadkill River watershed in Sussex County encompasses 68,500 acres within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin. Twenty percent of the watershed is covered in wetlands.
Wetland Assessment Reports
  • Wetland Assessments Home
  • Appoquinimink Watershed

    Library: Wetlands Videos

    A collection of wetlands videos from the DNREC Watershed Assessment Section. All links below will open in YouTube.
    Wetland Publications Library
  • Wetland Health Reports
  • Management Plans and Monitoring Protocols
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    Inland Bays Watershed Wetland Assessment

    Unique and rare wetland communities surrounding the Inland Bays include Atlantic White Cedar swamps, sea-level fens, and interdunal swales providing habitat for numerous rare plants and animals.
    Wetland Assessment Reports
  • Wetland Assessments Home
  • Appoquinimink

    Delaware Wetland Management Plan

    Delaware is a state rich with wetlands that vary from forested vernal ponds, to highly productive salt marshes, to unique Bald Cypress Swamps. As stewards of these great resources it is our responsibility to slow the loss of wetland acreage, improve the health of remaining wetlands and work together to better understand and share with

    Murderkill Watershed Wetland Assessment

    Located in Kent County, the Murderkill watershed covers 28,000 hectares (69,000 acres) within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin. This watershed contains many key natural heritage and wildlife habitats such as coastal plain streams and ponds, impoundments, wetlands and beach dunes. Rare wetland habitats including coastal plain ponds and bald cypress riverine patches are located

    Nanticoke Watershed Wetland Assessment

    Located in the Coastal Plain physiographic region, the Nanticoke River watershed historically was very rich in wetland resources which covered an estimated 46 percent of the land area.
    Wetland Assessment Reports
  • Wetland Assessments Home

  • Sea Level Rise and Delaware’s Wetlands

    Over the past century, Delaware has experienced a sea level rise of more than one foot. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the rate of sea level rise will increase over the next century. This will lead to the loss of coastal wetlands in Delaware.

    Wetland Warriors

    The Delaware Wetland Warrior Award is presented to those who have demonstrated exemplary efforts to benefit Delaware wetlands in the areas of outreach and education, monitoring and assessment, or restoration and protection.

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    Olivia Allread 302-739-9939

    Living Shorelines

    A living shoreline is a method of shoreline stabilization and protection for wetlands that is built using natural materials and native plants. They are a habitat friendly alternative to rip rap, bulkhead or stone revetments.

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    Alison Rogerson

    Wetlands Conference Archives

    This page contains an archive of materials from past Delaware Delaware Wetlands Conferences. Each year, the conference grows and expand to meet the needs of attendees. Please share your thoughts, or questions, with Alison Rogerson, at 302-739-9939. 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference – Chase Center on the Riverfront, Wilmington, Delaware

    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.

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    Alison Rogerson Watershed Assessment 302-739-9939
    Wetland Assessment Reports

  • 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 Assessments

    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


    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.
    Registration for the 34th Annual Beach

    You Can Help Protect Beaches and Dunes

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

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

    Beaches and Shorelines

    The DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section works to maintain and improve Delaware’s beaches, shorelines and waterways.

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    Shoreline and Waterway Management Section 302-739-9921
    The section manages the shoreline through regulation of coastal

    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 Department

    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 next Delaware Wetlands Conference will take place on Feb. 6 and 7 of 2024 at the Chase Center, on the waterfront in Wilmington. The conference planning committee is working on plans for a revitalized event. In previous years, this conference has brought together over 400 attendees, 50 different presentations

    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.

    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

    The DNREC Nonpoint Source Program has hosted and participated in a series of events, workshops, and presentations designed to promote and support improvements to the quality of Delaware’s waterways. Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta (Aug. 5, 2023) Nonpoint Source Program staff participated in the Recycled Cardboard Boat Regatta

    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 Find data and information

    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

    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 and Managment Section 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

    Michael Bott 302-739-9939

    Whole Basin Management

    Beginning in the 1990s, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) took a different approach to assessing, managing, and protecting Delaware’s natural resources. This approach, known as Whole Basin Management, encouraged the various programs 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 to

    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

    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.

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    Andrew Bell Environmental Scientist 302-739-9939