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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (NEP Profile)

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Summary Information

Year Established: 1988
Location: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Area of Watershed: 35,297 square kilometers


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Overviews and Highlights

Sustainable Development

The Delaware Estuary program recognizes that growth and development are important to Estuary watershed communities and that they are not necessarily incompatible with a "greener vision" that conserves natural lands and special places. Accordingly, the Delaware Comprehensive and Conservation Management Plan recommends actions that promote a regional, watershed approach to land use by offering support for environmentally-sound land use practices. Through technical support and education for local governments, the Program will highlight practical planning alternatives and suggest opportunities for such approaches as promoting infill and redevelopment in previously developed areas; linking green spaces within and between communities; conserving important terrestrial habitat; reducing storm water loadings; and increasing flexibility for wastewater reclamation and reuse.

Preventing Polluted Runoff

The water of Red Clay and White Clay Creeks eventually mix with the Delaware Estuary waters. When it rains, the sediments, animal wastes, pesticides, and fertilizers wash off nearby farms and into the creeks-eventually settling in the Delaware Estuary. To prevent these pollutants from reaching the estuary and causing health hazards to plants, animals, and humans, the Delaware Estuary NEP helped develop and demonstrate methods such as the use of terraces and grassy channels to capture and filter pollutants before they reach the creeks. These techniques, where instituted by local farmers, were so successful at reducing pollution that tours of the area were given to other farmers and homeowners who could use the same approaches on their crops and gardens.

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