Appoquinimink River Watershed Wetland Assessment

The Appoquinimink River watershed is located within New Castle County and contains the Towns of Odessa, Middletown and Townsend. It drains into the Delaware Bay, encompassing 58,591 acres of land.

The landscape is dominated by agriculture, followed by wetlands and then development. With approximately 25% of the land area covered by wetlands, saltmarshes, also known as tidal wetlands, are the most common wetland type.

Wetlands have a rich history across the region and their beauty has become one of the symbols of Delaware. Unfortunately, many of the wetlands that remain are degraded, and not functioning at their fullest potential.

Based on field data, wetlands in the Appoquinimink watershed received an overall condition grade of C+, indicating that these wetlands are among Delaware’s wetlands that are in need of improvements through stewardship, conservation or restoration.

Long-Term Goals

The Appoquinimink watershed’s overall condition grade indicates these wetlands need improvements through stewardship, conservation, and restoration.

Based on this study, several recommendations were made to improve management and encourage informed decision making. These included:

  1. Increase resiliency of tidal shorelines by installing living shorelines at appropriate sites.
  2. Support vegetated buffers for tidal and non-tidal wetlands to minimize impacts and ensure function; develop incentives and legislation for natural buffers.
  3. Control the extent and spread of non-native invasive plant species and continue to inform landowners about how to only plant native species.
  4. Improve protection of non-tidal wetlands through state, county, and local programs.
  5. Update tidal wetland regulatory maps to further improve accuracy and efficiency of regulation.
  6. Utilize best management practices (BMPs) in agricultural operations.
  7. Encourage landowners to preserve or restore wetlands that are on private property.

Wetland Assessment Report

For more information about the Condition Report, contact Alison Rogerson, at 302-739-9939.

Photo of a wetland landscape with marsh grass in teh foreground and wooded uplands in the distance.