Leipsic River

Watersheds of the Delaware Bay & Estuary Basin
Appoquinimink River | Army Creek | Blackbird Creek | Broadkill River | C&D Canal East | Cedar Creek | Delaware Bay | Delaware River | Dragon Run Creek | Leipsic River | Little Creek | Mispillion River | Murderkill River | Red Lion Creek | Smyrna River | St. Jones River

The Leipsic River watershed is located northeast of Dover and is bounded on the southwest by the St. Jones River watershed, on the east by the Delaware Bay and on the north and west by the Smyrna River and Chester River watersheds, respectively. It comprises 105 square miles of land.
Land Uses
The land use of the Leipsic River watershed is dominated by agriculture, forest and wetlands.
The Leipsic River watershed wetland assessment is composed of two sub-watersheds, Leipsic River and Little Creek, and encompasses 128 square miles. It is located in Kent County within the Delaware Bay and Estuary Basin, and all of its waters drain into the Delaware Bay. Land cover in this watershed is dominated by wetlands and agriculture. Of these wetlands, nearly three-quarters are saltwater, and the other one quarter are freshwater. These wetlands are beneficial resources for both people and wildlife.

Unfortunately, approximately 21% of historic wetland area in this watershed has been lost to conversion to development and agriculture, and more recently, to conversion to open water along the coastline. Based on field data, wetlands in the Leipsic River watershed received an overall condition grade of C+, indicating that these wetlands are not functioning at their full potential. This also indicates an opportunity for improvements through stewardship and restoration.

Tidal (B),depression (D), , flat (C), and riverine (C+) wetland types were assessed and graded (grade in parenthesis) in this watershed. The most common stressors to these wetlands were forest harvesting, invasive plant species, excavation, filling, and ditching in the wetland, and development, agriculture, ditches, and stream channelization in the lands surrounding the wetland (buffer). The complete reports and data for this assessment are available online.
Nutrients and Bacteria
The nutrient and bacteria TMDLs for the Leipsic River Watershed require 40% reductions in phosphorus and nitrogen loads and 75% reduction in bacteria loads. The designated uses for the Leipsic River include primary recreation, secondary recreation, fish, aquatic life and wildlife, industrial water supply, and agricultural water supply in freshwater segments.
The Leipsic River Watershed has sixteen sites listed in the Site Investigation and Restoration Section database. Nine sites are state-fund lead (HSCA) sites, two are Brownfield program sites, two sites are National Priorities List (NPL) sites, two sites are listed as a Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) one site in the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) and one site has undergone a preliminary assessment / site inspection (PA/SI).

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 Leipsic River Watershed.
Geology and Soils
The land of the watershed is generally level to gently sloping.
Further Resources