federal designation boundary

A key issue addressed by the Management Planning Committee during the management planning process was the size and shape of the land area it would recommend for federal designation into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Federally sponsored or permitted projects within those land and water areas included within the designated boundaries would be subject to National Park Service review via Section 7 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Generally, designation boundaries envelop outstandingly remarkable resources and provide enough land area to buffer the waterway from incompatible land uses. The designated area may not exceed more than 320 acres per river mile, on average. Some members of the Study Task Force favored federal designation of the entire area drained by White Clay Creek and its tributaries; others favored designation only for areas that would protect resources while relying on the municipalities in Pennsylvania, the City of Newark and New Castle County to continue to regulate the remainder of the watershed's lands. A determination of compatible and incompatible land uses for the proposed designated river and associated designated land areas traditionally accompanies the designation process. Local jurisdictions and citizens are asked to define those land uses during the planning process. In essence, local participants working with state, county and federal participants determine, from a resource-protection standpoint, which land uses are appropriate and which are not appropriate within designated areas.

The Management Planning Committee debated the appropriateness of extending the protection conferred by designation over the entire White Clay Creek watershed. The committee had particular concern about the appropriateness of conferring the same type and level of protection on the watershed's urban areas as on its undeveloped portions. A considerable portion of the White Clay Creek watershed within City of Newark municipal boundaries is intensively developed, including a large portion of the city's central business district. These areas will be developed or redeveloped and should not be included in the federally designated area.