Watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay
Bohemia Creek | Broad Creek | C&D Canal West | Chester River | Choptank River | Deep Creek | Elk River | Gravelly Branch | Gum Branch | Marshyhope Creek | Nanticoke River | Perch Creek | Pocomoke River | Sassafras River | Wicomico River
The designated uses for the waters of the Chester River are primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, fish, aquatic life, and wildlife, agricultural water supply, and industrial water supply.
The Delaware watersheds draining to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, including the Chester River, are required under the 2000 Chesapeake Bay Agreement to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads by 46.8% and 43.5% from levels that were present in 2000. Also, State of Delaware Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) require 40% reductions in phosphorus and reductions of bacteria by 37%. Nitrogen is required by the TMDL to remain at 708 lbs per day.
EPA established a Total Maximum Daily Load for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment for the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This TMDL requires reductions of approximately 24% for nitrogen and 20% for phosphorus between 2009 and 2025 from all of the Chesapeake watersheds within Delaware. Sediment loads from Delaware's portion of the Chesapeake must remain at 2009 levels under this TMDL.
Soil types in the watershed, from north to south, include grades from Mattapeake-Sassafras association (considered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to be "well-drained, medium textured and moderately coarse textured soils on uplands"), to Keyport-Elkton and Fallsington- Mattapeake soils, to Fallsington-Pocomoke association at the border between Kent and Sussex Counties (predominantly heavier, more poorly drained), to Pocomoke Fallsington-Sassafras association (considered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to be "very poorly drained, poorly drained, and well drained soils that have a moderately permeable subsoil").
On average, the stability of stream banks in the Chester River basin is fair to poor. As lands within the basin were developed for agriculture and later urbanized, many miles of stream banks became highly eroded. Since the streams in this basin flow into the Chesapeake, this bank instability causes an increase in downstream transport of nutrients and suspended sediments to the Bay.
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Analysis for Chesapeake Drainage Watersheds, Delaware: Chester River, Choptank River, and Marshyhope Creek
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Analysis for Chesapeake Bay Drainage Basin, Delaware: Chester River, Choptank River, Marshyhope Creek, Nanticoke River, Gum Branch, Gravelly Branch, Deep Creek, Broad Creek and Pocomoke River Watersheds
Chester River Association
Delaware's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
U.S. EPAs Chesapeake Bay TMDL documents