The wonderful resources that attract us to the White Clay Watershed have also led to its status as a National Wild & Scenic River (WSR), the first WSR to be protected on a watershed basis. A watershed is all the area of land that drains into a body of water, and we all live in a watershed. The White Clay watershed is 107 square miles and includes parts of Chester County, PA and New Castle County, DE. Nearly 130,000 people call the White Clay Creek watershed home.
The White Clay watershed is unique because:
It is the first entire watershed (rather than just a section of a river) designated into the Wild and Scenic federal system. This “beyond-the-riverbank” approach takes into consideration the variety of influences that affect river habitat and water quality;
Is managed through long-term partnerships between the National Park Service and local, regional, and state stakeholders;
It has a collaborative conservation approach which is locally driven with yearly planning for river conservation and education;
It has a thorough conservation management plan that aims to protect Outstanding Resource Values (scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, and cultural);
The watershed’s recreational and resource potential attracts a large number of in and out-of-state users, which in turn supports the local economy;
It is a significant source of drinking water for local citizens;
It includes the first dam removal in the State of Delaware to restore native American Shad migration patterns!