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Sustainability Fund Projects

Creating a Floodplain Wetland

to Protect Water Quality in the White Clay Creek National Wild and Scenic River Watershed

 

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Project Manager: Dr. Tom Sims, Plant and Soil Sciences

Grant Awarded: 2010

Amount of Grant: $5,000

Overview: Cool Run is listed by the US EPA as an impaired water body for nutrients, dissolved oxygen, bacteria, and sediments.  After completing analysis of stormwater pollutant loads in the Cool Run Watershed, one of the recommended best management practices by the UD WATER internship team was to increase the number and acreage of wetlands throughout the watershed. The primary objective of this project is to replace low-producing pasture with a healthy, functioning floodplain wetland that will reduce the University‚Äôs pollutant load to the White Clay Creek by filtering stormwater runoff.

Visit the UD Water website at www.udel.edu/water


The UD campus is one of only two land grant institutions in the US that have a wild and scenic river flowing through them.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

UD Floodplain Wetlands:

The Cool Run is in the White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic Watershed, the first wild and scenic river in the US designated on a watershed basis rather than a river segment basis.  The UD campus is one of only two land grant institutions in the US that have a wild and scenic river flowing through them. The Cool Run has long been impacted by nonpoint pollution from urban, industrial, and agricultural sources and, along with other tributaries of the White Clay Creek. The creation of this wetland will help to reduce the flow of non-point source pollution into the Cool Run.

Project Goal:

In addition to creating a fully functioning wetland to reduce the pollutant load to the White Clay, this wetland will help to create stormwater storage important to managing flooding downstream. In doing so, the University is cooperating with the city of Newark to manage watershed quality in Newark and for our downstream neighbors.  Additionally, this project will create and enhance wildlife habitat by increasing the diversity of species present on the farm and campus.

Current status:

The wetland has been designed and the necessary permits have been obtained from the Army Corps of Engineers.  Construction is currently being planned as of March 2011.  Upon completion of construction, native species will be planted to enhance habitat.

 

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