Nanticoke River Report Card Now Available!

Click here to see the 2009 Nanticoke River Report Card!!


Nanticoke River Celebrates Good Health

The first comprehensive Nanticoke River Report Card shows good news, giving overall health of the river a “B-minus.”  More than thirty river enthusiasts including Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O’Mara, Senator Robert Venables and Representative Dave Wilson joined together in Seaford, DE to celebrate the health of the river while also noting that the region must remain careful to protect this resource for future generations.

The report card, based on data collected by volunteer Nanticoke Creekwatchers, is designed to help local residents better understand the health of the Nanticoke River. From April through November, over 30 volunteers monitor water quality at 37 sites spread throughout the 725,000-acre watershed. The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance teamed up with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science to assess how the Nanticoke “measured up” in comparison to other rivers feeding into the Chesapeake Bay.  “The Nanticoke River report card shows that we can achieve healthy waterways in the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries,” said UMCES scientist Dr. Bill Dennison. “It also shows that we must remain vigilant about managing the watershed to avoid degrading this magnificent river.” 

But there remains a need for attention to the river as residents consider the future of the area.  “The story doesn’t end here, this is really the beginning,” said Megan Ward of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance.  “We can be proud of the current state of the Nanticoke River, but future efforts must be targeted to reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into the river.  The Alliance will continue to monitor its health and use this information to identify critical projects, but we need everyone’s help to protect the beautiful, iconic river that exists today.  It’s pretty inspiring that we have this unique opportunity to act preemptively, rather than trying to bring something back from the brink.”

The report card is available to the public and posted on the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance’s website,  The methods of the Nanticoke Creekwatchers have received EPA approval, making the program a powerful tool for the protection of regional water quality.  In addition to the use of Creekwatchers data in the development of an annual report card, it is submitted to the EPA, state agencies and universities for use in Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts and academic research.  The Nanticoke Creekwatchers program is generously funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and DE Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.  It also receives a variety of in-kind donations – Envirocorp Labs in Harrington, Del. donates all testing services and Johns Hopkins University provides assistance in data management and analysis.  Private landowners and local businesses also grant access to their property for monitoring and coordination efforts.

The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is a consortium of roughly fifty organizations that include government agencies, environmental organizations, industry, academia, small businesses, realtors and community groups.  To learn more about the Alliance and its efforts to conserve the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Nanticoke Watershed, visit or contact EB James at 410-430-3273 or at  Please join the Alliance on Facebook!