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 Pages Categorized With: "Watershed Stewardship"

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


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.
Growing Waters and Plant Inspections Andrew Bell Environmental Scientist 302-739-9939 Enforcement Natural Resources Police 302-739-9913


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 Questions and Answers


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


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.
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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: 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: 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 Grant (CBIG) funds enable states within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to meet the goals outlined in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, including the improvement of water quality and achieving Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for pollutants of concern.
The DNREC Nonpoint Source Program is accepting grant


Nonpoint Source Section 319 Grant Program

The DNREC 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.
The DNREC Nonpoint Source Program is accepting grant application proposals for the FY24 Clean


Nonpoint Source Program

The DNREC 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 Home


    Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook Details

    The Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook provides background information on erosion and sedimentation, information on Delaware’s regulatory program and standards and specifications for erosion and sediment control. Download the full Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook and any of the standard details to be used on Sediment and Stormwater Plans (below) that are needed.


    Sediment and Stormwater Newsletter

    The DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program offers an email-based newsletter that shares information on permitting, best practices, training opportunities, and more. Send a blank email to join-dnrec_sedstorm_news@lists.state.de.us to sign up for the newsletter. Past Issues 2024 Feb. 2024 Jan. 2024


    Sediment and Stormwater Applications

    The Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations require an approved Sediment and Stormwater Management Plan from the department or a delegated agency for regulated land-disturbing activities.

    Contact Us

    Sediment and Stormwater Program 302-739-9921
    Applicants will use


    Plan Review, Engineering, Construction and Maintenance Resources

    The following are resources from the DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program for sediment and stormwater plan reviews, engineering design, construction activities and maintenance of best management practices.
    Compliance Flow Charts Resource Protection Event (RPv) Compliance Flow Chart Redevelopment RPv Compliance Flow Chart Conveyance


    Stormwater Watershed Reports

    This page contains links to reports on the characteristics of specific Delaware watersheds for use in preparation of sediment and stormwater plans. Appoquinimink Scope of Work Hydrology Report – January 2009 Appendix A – TSDN Documents


    Training and Certification

    The DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Program provides several different training opportunities to help those involved in land development and construction projects meet the requirements of the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations.

    Contact Us

    Sydney Hall Sediment and Stormwater Program 302-739-9921



    Sediment and Stormwater

    The DNREC Sediment and Stormwater Management Program operates within the Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Conservation Programs Section. The program employs a comprehensive approach to sediment control (both during and after construction) and stormwater management that includes monitoring of stormwater quantity and water quality control.
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    Sediment and Stormwater Delegated Agencies

    The following agencies have delegation of Sediment and Stormwater Program elements, consisting of plan review, construction inspection, and maintenance inspection for their geographic boundaries. State Agencies Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) Division of Watershed Stewardship Sediment and Stormwater Program 285 Beiser Boulevard, Suite 102 Dover DE


    Floodplain Management

    The DNREC floodplain management program works to preserve public health, safety, and well-being and protect property by reducing flood hazard risks statewide.

    Contact Us

    Kathy Potter 302-739-9921
    Flood Insurance Floodplain Mapping


    The First State Watermark

    An archive of past editions of The First State Watermark, Delaware’s floodplain management newsletter.
    December 2021 July 2021 February 2021 June 2020 January 2020 June 2019 May


    Resources for Communities

    The federal government requires communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to adopt updated floodplain regulatory language to comply with NFIP requirements.

    Contact Us

    Kathy Potter 302-739-9921
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    Floodplain Mapping

    The DNREC Floodplain Management Program works with FEMA to improve the accuracy of Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which were originally created in the 1970s, and to provide technical support pertaining to flood risk.

    Contact Us

    DNREC Floodplain Management Program 302-739-9921
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    The National Flood Insurance Program

    Homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Contact Us

    Kathy Potter 302-739-9921
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    Conservation Districts

    Delaware’s three conservation districts are involved in numerous programs and activities that help landowners become better stewards of their land, most notably the state cost-share program.

    The Conservation Districts

    New Castle Conservation District 2430 Old County Road Newark,


    Debris Pit Reporting Form

    You can get advice, guidance and in some cases financial assistance to deal with sinkholes caused by old debris pits on your property. The first step is reporting the issue, using the form below. Your Contact Information Your Name Phone Number


    Debris Pits

    The State of Delaware and New Castle County have dedicated funding to remediate old debris pits. If you believe you have a debris pit, both can assist you in determining the best course of action.

    Contact Us

    Debris Pit Remediation


    Conservation Programs

    The DNREC Conservation Programs Section serves as a liaison between DNREC and the state’s three Conservation Districts and it administers a number of programs related to water quality protection, drainage, and sedimentation and stormwater.
    Nonpoint Source Program Drainage Program


    Protected: Survey Team Work Requests

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    Floodplain Mapping for Clear Brook

    DNREC and the federal government are working on an update of floodplain maps for Clear Brook, near Seaford in Sussex County. The study involves new data and engineering models. DNREC is gathering input from local property owners and businesses as part of the update.
    Update (4/1/2021): FEMA has issued


    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.


    Watershed Stewardship Contacts

    Steve Williams, Director 285 Beiser Blvd., Suite 102 Dover, DE 19904 302-739-9921
    Watershed Assessment and Management 302-739-9939 Shoreline and Waterway Management 302-739-9921 Conservation Programs 302-739-9921
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    Determining Dredging Priorities

    The DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section uses a data-based method to prioritize statewide dredging projects in Delaware’s Inland Bays and along the Delaware Bay coast.

    Contact Us

    Shoreline and Waterway Management Section 302-739-9921
    Navigable Channels


    Waterway Management Workshops

    What does it take to keep Delaware’s waterways open and safe? The DNREC Shoreline and Waterway Management Section held a series of informational open house workshops in 2019 to share information about dredging and other waterway management operations in Delaware.

    Contact Us

    Shoreline and


    2020 Masseys Ditch Dredging Project

    The project to dredge Massey’s Ditch, an important navigation channel in the Inland Bays, was completed on February 27, 2020. The demobilization and removal of equipment such as pipeline concluded in mid-March 2020.

    Contact Us

    Shoreline and Waterway Management Section 302-739-9921


    Waterway Management

    An important part of the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship’s mission is to maintain and improve Delaware’s navigable waterways, including its bays and canals.

    Contact Us

    Shoreline and Waterway Management Section 302-739-9921
    Comments and Questions


    Design a Sign, Protect a Dune

    You’ve helped us design signs that will help beach-goers remember to stay off the dunes.Thank You! Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay Coastal Dunes are vital in our defense against coastal storms. Dunes are also important natural habitats for plants and animals. If dunes are going to be strong





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