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 headwaters and tributaries of the Pocomoke River encompass a portion of the area known as the Great Cypress Swamp. Much of the Pocomoke River and its tributaries have been greatly altered by wide and deeply cut dredge channels. As a result, the riparian floodplain community has been severely affected, with the wetland habitat of the floodplain swamp forests reduced to a remnant of its former self. Bald cypress remains only in sporadic stands in this watershed following the extensive 18th and 19th century logging, drainage, and subsequent wildfires that have greatly altered the hydrology and consequently, available habitat.
The following designated uses are applied to the Pocomoke watershed: primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, fish, aquatic life and wildlife, agricultural water supply and industrial water supply.
The TMDLs for the Pocomoke Watershed require a 55% reduction in nitrogen load, a 55% reduction in phosphorus load, and a 30% reduction in bacteria load.
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.
Each of the sites is sampled through the program listed above for a consistent suite of environmental contaminants. These contaminants are broadly classified as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs), Pesticides, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and Metals as listed using USEPA and DNREC defined standards. When sites are adjacent to water bodies sediment samples are collected to assess potential impact from a site on the health of the waters.
If you would like to view reports for any of the sites in the SIRS program please follow the link the DNREC Environmental Navigator to search by map for the Pocomoke River Watershed.
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) 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
Assessment Report of Delaware's Chesapeake Basin
Delaware's Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP)
U.S. EPAs Chesapeake Bay TMDL documents