Christina River Watershed Wetland Assessment

Christina

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Watershed Stewardship has issued a new report assessing the overall health of the Christina River Watershed.

Link: Christina Watershed Wetland Assessment

Background: The Christina Watershed is located in New Castle County Delaware, extending North and West into Maryland and Pennsylvania. In Delaware this watershed includes the cities and towns of Wilmington, Elsmere, Newark, and Christiana. The wetlands in the watershed were assessed in the summer of 2011 by DNREC and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and found to have an overall health grade of “F.” Compared to other previously assessed wetlands in the state the Christina River Watershed has the highest proportion of degraded wetlands and the least proportion of undisturbed wetlands. Although these wetlands in comparison to other watershed are more degraded they still provide some of the same benefits., including flood storage, water purification, and educational opportunities.

Long-term goals: Based on the information gathered during this study seven management recommendations were created.

  1. Preserve remaining Delmarva Bays.
  2. Incorporate wetland creation and restoration into urban planning.
  3. Utilize clean dredged materials for wetland creation.
  4. Encourage alternative shoreline protection designs.
  5. Develop incentives and encourage maintaining natural buffers along riverine and tidal wetlands.
  6. Control the extent and spread of the non-native, invasive common reed (Phragmites australis).
  7. Update tidal wetland regulatory maps.

Link: Christina River Wetland Condition Report

Link: Christina Wetland Health Report Card

Next Steps- Developing a Christina River Watershed Restoration Plan: The wetland assessment data garnered from this study will be used to design a restoration strategy for the Delaware’s Piedmont Watersheds. The plan will be developed by an interagency team of scientists and managers.

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:
Alison Rogerson - Alison.Rogerson@state.de.us
DNREC Watershed Assessment Section
Telephone: 302-739-9939

Delaware Wetlands Home


2015 Christina River Watershed Cleanup

This year’s event: Saturday, April 18, 2015 — 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Gliding through rolling hills, farms and forests, large and small towns, the Brandywine, White Clay, and Red Clay Creeks, and Christina River constitute the watershed of the Christina River Basin, before continuing into the Delaware River.  This watershed provides more than 75% of the water supply for residents and businesses in New Castle County, Delaware.

Wilmington_Delaware_skyline

The Christina River Watershed Cleanup’s mission has always been the removal of man-made debris from within this beautiful watershed, while raising public awareness for pollution prevention.  Since the Cleanup began in 1992, more than 330 tons of tires, appliances, household items, and other trash have been cleared from within the watershed.

Join hundreds of volunteers and help clean the single most important natural resource in our region!  A solid effort is needed each year to keep each of these waterways as free from debris as possible while also improving wildlife habitat.

Do you have a few hours to volunteer along Naamans Creek in northern Delaware?  How about you and your coworkers working near I-95 within Churchmans Marsh?  What about a little time spent near White Clay Creek, in Delaware or Pennsylvania?

Mark your calendars now! 

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