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.

Of these wetlands, nearly three-quarters are saltwater, and the other one quarter are freshwater. These wetlands are beneficial resources for both people and wildlife.

Unfortunately, approximately 21 percent of historic wetland area in this watershed has been lost to conversion to development and agriculture, and more recently, to conversion to open water along the coastline.

Based on field data, wetlands in the Leipsic River watershed received an overall condition grade of C+, indicating that these wetlands are not functioning at their full potential. This also indicates an opportunity for improvements through stewardship and restoration.

Long-Term Goals

The Leipsic River watershed needs your help. Despite positive steps forward, wetland loss and degradation have continued in the Delaware Bay and Estuary basin.

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 natural, vegetated buffers for tidal and non-tidal wetlands.
  3.  Increase citizen education and outreach; inform landowners about the benefit wetlands provide and create a reachable understanding of how wetlands are relevant to the public.
  4. Control the extent and spread of non-native invasive plant species and continue to inform landowners about how to only plant native species.
  5. Support the Delaware Bayshore Initiative by securing funding for wetland conservation and restoration.
  6. Improve protection of non-tidal wetlands through state, county, and local programs.
  7. Update tidal estuarine wetland regulatory maps to improve accuracy and efficiency.

Wetland Assessment Report

Opportunities for both increasing wetland quality and quantity in target areas will be identified by integrating the data from the wetland monitoring and assessment program with data from other strategies and efforts.

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

Photo of a person standing among low-lying greenery between larger, mature trees.