Community Conservation Assistance Program

The Delaware Community Conservation Assistance Program (DeCAP) is a cost-share program that provides financial incentives, technical and educational assistance to property owners for installing eligible Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Delaware’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Contact Us

DeCAP Staff
DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship

These practices can help resolve issues like erosion, poor drainage or lack of native vegetation while improving water quality and providing habitat for wildlife in Delaware.

You Can Make a Difference

Why do Delaware’s Watersheds need improving? Nonpoint Source Pollution — a pollution source without a single point of origin — is a major cause of water quality issues. When it rains, the stormwater runoff picks up pollutants from lawns, paved surfaces and buildings and carries them into our waterways.

As we continue to lose more of our natural landscape, we also lose vegetated areas that help filter and clean the runoff. This results in pollutants such as sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus building up in our waterways, leading to poor water quality.

The Delaware Community Conservation Assistance Program helps property owners get involved in building a better, cleaner Delaware while also improving their homes and yard.

Eligible Best Management Practices

A drawing showing different examples of Best Management Practices.

There are eight Best Management Practices that are approved for the Community Conservation Assistance Program.

All are shown to be effective at helping to control nonpoint source pollution and protect water quality.

  • Rain Gardens
  • Stormwater Facility Enhancements (Vegetated Channel, Infiltration Basin, Bioretention Basin)
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Constructed Wetlands
  • Conservation Landscaping
  • Urban Nutrient Management (Livable Lawns)
  • Tree Plantings
  • Urban Forest Buffers

How It Works

The Community Conservation Assistance Program process begins with a landowner in the Chesapeake Bay basin expressing an interest.

A slide that lists the process steps listed on this page with graphics representing each step.

People who want to help protect our waters contact DNREC or their local conservation district office to get things started.

DNREC and/or district staff will visit the property to determine which of the eligible management practices would work best for the site.

Then the landowner and their contractor develop a design plan that includes details on what to build and how to build it. That plan is reviewed by the DeCAP Steering Committee for approval.

Once the best management practice has been installed, it is verified by state staff and the landowner is reimbursed.

Following installation, the practice must be maintained for at least five years. They will be inspected by state staff each year.

Find Out if You Qualify

Use the Delaware watersheds map tool to find your address and which watershed you are in. If your property is in the Chesapeake Bay Basin, you may qualify for assistance. Use the interest form below to let us know you are interested.

Property not within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed? Please contact us anyway!

First, we need your name and how we can contact you.

Next, we need to know where your property is located.

Finally, we need to know which BMP you are most interested in.