cultural resources

Management Challenge

While many watershed areas remain relatively unchanged in modern decades, other portions are experiencing development and infrastructure improvements on a vast scale. There is an urgent need, therefore, to identify, document and protect those sites and structures that survive.

Roles and Responsibilities

Cultural resource inventories are maintained by the Chester County Parks Department and the New Castle County Planning Commission. The Pennsylvania and Delaware State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO) and the New Castle County Planning Commission direct nominations to the National Register of Historic Places and review the impact of publicly funded projects on registered cultural resources. The Delaware State Parks Cultural Resources section continues to be a strong steward of cultural resources in White Clay Creek State Park and the White Clay Creek Preserve.

Goals and Key Actions

Resource Management - Goals

  • Foster a general awareness of the value of cultural resources.
  • Protect and preserve the existing form and integrity of watershed cultural resources.
  • Ensure the review of publicly funded projects for negative impact on watershed cultural resources.

Key Actions

  • Coordinate cultural resource inventory activities among private, municipal, county and state governments to develop and maintain a comprehensive resource list that includes all levels of significance.
  • Encourage watershed-wide thematic nominations to the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
  • Encourage municipalities to enact historic district legislation to promote awareness of and protection for locally significant cultural resources, particularly those in private ownership.
  • Coordinate local zoning regulations with state and federal guidelines to ensure consistency of treatment.
  • Provide buffer zones for significant cultural resources.
  • Extend municipal/county permitting process to require demolition permits, thereby "flagging threats to the survival of resources.
  • Require that all publicly funded projects within the watershed include a cultural-resources impact review before construction begins.
  • Record the recollections of living people that reflect tangible cultural resources and present-day regional culture.
  • Promote public awareness of resources and unique watershed characteristics through such activities as self-guided tours, presentations, school programs and displays