Broad Creek

Watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay
Bohemia Creek | Broad Creek | C&D Canal West | Chester River | Choptank River | Deep Creek | Elk River | Gravelly Branch | Gum Branch | Marshyhope Creek | Nanticoke River | Perch Creek | Pocomoke River | Sassafras River | Wicomico River

The Broad Creek watershed is comprised of about 75,000 acres in southwestern Sussex County. The 20-mile long creek rises east of Delmar and flows toward the northwest through through Trussum and Records Ponds to the Town of Laurel. The creek, which becomes tidal freshwater at this point, continues northwest to its confluence with the Nanticoke River southwest of Seaford.
Land Uses
The major land use in the watershed is agriculture, although residential uses are important at Laurel. The Broad Creek Watershed has a high concentration of both poultry and swine operations. In addition, it has the greatest density of poultry per acre than any other watershed in the state as well as the largest area of cropland. It also is home to the Laurel Sewage Treatment Plant.
Nutrients and Bacteria
The waters of the Broad Creek are designated as having Exceptional Recreational or Ecological Significance (ERES), and therefore, receive a higher level of protection. However, surface water quality data indicate stresses to the watershed, including high nutrient loads, high bacteria counts, and occasional low dissolved oxygen levels.

According to the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for the Broad Creek, nitrogen needs to be reduced by 30%, phosphorus needs to be reduced by 50%, and bacteria needs to be reduced by 3%.

EPA established a Total Maximum Daily Load for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment for the entire Chesapeake Bay Watershed. This TMDL requires reductions of approximately 24% for nitrogen and 20% for phosphorus between 2009 and 2025 from all of the Chesapeake watersheds within Delaware. Sediment loads from Delaware's portion of the Chesapeake must remain at 2009 levels under this TMDL.
The Broad Creek Watershed has a total of seven sites listed in the Site Investigation and Restoration Section database. Five are state-fund lead (HSCA) sites, one is a Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) site and one is Brownfield program site.

Each of the sites is sampled through the programs 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 Broad Creek Watershed.
Recreational Opportunities
State-owned areas that provide access to water-based recreation include Horseys Pond, Records Pond, and Raccoon Pond.
Further Resources