existing management responsibilities

River and watershed management responsibilities form a complex web of overlapping, sometimes conflicting, jurisdictions and authorities involving municipal, county, state and federal entities. This web of rules and powers is often more complex than the river ecosystem it is designed to protect. Most direct land, water, and resource management responsibilities belong to government, with municipal, county, state and federal entities participating under various kinds of legislation and programs. In addition, an array of private organizations and joint government agencies, such as the Delaware River Basin Commission, also manage resources within the watershed.

responsibility (P) as designated on the table means that the agency or entity takes the initiative on the issue cited, often having a legal mandate to do so. An entity with "secondary responsibility (S) assists the lead agency, reporting or commenting to the primary partner, or assuming an advisory role. Several patterns emerged from the development of these Management Responsibility Tables, indicating current management strengths and weaknesses, and suggesting directions for the future.

In every resource category, the Pennsylvania municipalities, New Castle County and the City of Newark have some management role, often a primary one. No other managing entity, with the exception of the White Clay Creek Preserve Council, has so many management responsibilities.

The management roles of the two states focus on the aquatic environment and the management of individual plant and animal species. The states take the lead on recreation management, with New Castle County and the City of Newark close behind. The states annually stock the creek with fish, and they co-manage the White Clay Creek Preserve, which is the center of recreation activity in the valley.

The federal government's role in White Clay Creek focuses on water resources and species management. It does not own or manage any land in the watershed. Many of the region's private organizations provide direct stewardship of resources through land ownership and conservation easements. The private sector contributes to management by inventorying, monitoring, restoring or enhancing natural, cultural and recreational resources, and by providing education and interpretation. Individual landowners exercise stewardship of the lands and waters under their control, thereby providing a level of protection to the many values within the watershed.

DRBC takes the lead in water-resource management, sharing that responsibility with the counties, the states and the federal government.