The Nanticoke Watershed Alliance is always working to bring better conservation tactics to the Nanticoke River Watershed.

You can help by starting your own backyard conservation project!

Install a Rain Barrel: 

Rain barrels collect stormwater from your roof for you to use later to water your lawn or garden. This helps reduce pollution on your property and can lower your water bill!

Plant a Rain Garden:

Rain Gardens are bowl-shaped gardens that collect stormwater and filter it slowly back into the ground. These gardens reduce pollution and erosion while making your yard look amazing! For help getting started, click here.

Construct a “Designer Ditch”: 

A “Designer Ditch” is a ditch that has been strategically lined with native plants that help hold soil in place. Native plants have large root systems go much deeper than turf grass. These plants keep your ditch from caving in as well as trap pollution and reduce flooding! Your ditch can be a garden too! For help getting started, click here.

Create a Pollinator Garden: 

Pollinators that are vital to local family farms. Many pollinators hibernate during the winter and need a lot of food when they wake up. Early spring flowers can be critical for the survival of pollinators. You can help critters like bumblebees, birds and hummingbirds by planting colorful native plants that flower all year! 


What restoration projects are we working on? 



Tree Plantings

In early Spring 2014, over 100 seventh grade students from Mardela Middle/High School (MMHS) planted nearly 400 native trees and shrubs alongside the Nanticoke River at a local park (Cherry Beach, Sharptown, MD) to create a riparian buffer.  Ultimately, the buffer prevents erosion and reduces stormwater runoff, which can carry toxic chemicals, excessive nutrients, and sediment. Trees have many benefits to the environment and human health.

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Local community members significantly contributed to the project as well. After the students planted the trees, local volunteers applied a layer of compost and mulch to increase survival rate and help properly establish the trees before the hot summer months. Compost enriches the tree roots with proper nutrients, and mulch allows the tree to hold moisture.

Native Trees and Shrubs List:

  • Button Bush
  • Elderberry
  • BayBerry
  • American Sycamore
  • Easter Red Cedar
  • Loblolly Pine
  • Bald Cypress
  • Red Maple
  • Green Ash


In early Fall 2014, a senior-level Environmental Science class from MMHS worked at the same park to plant more trees, replace some trees that did not survive the first season, and ensure the trees were properly planted and ready for winter. The class consisted of roughly 10 students, and they planted over 120 trees.

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Governor O’Malley’s Stream Restoration Challenge grant program funded this project. A number of partners contributed to the program’s success, including the Town of Sharptown, Wicomico County, Mardela Middle and High School, and BKW Landscaping, Inc.

Thank you Mardela Middle and High School students and to volunteers for your hard work and efforts to keep our Nanticoke River healthy and beautiful for future generations! Thank you to ASAPR Integrated Marketing, Inc. for sponsoring the community volunteer event and for providing lunch.