Marshyhope 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

Marshyhope Creek Watershed is located on the western edge of Delaware and resides in both Kent and Sussex Counties. The headwaters of the Choptank River lie to the north and the Nanticoke River is to the south of Marshyhope Creek Watershed. The stream flows southwestward and crosses the state line into Maryland where it eventually discharges into the Chesapeake Bay. The drainage area of Marshyhope Creek Watershed within Delaware is approximately 96.5 mile2.
Land Uses
Agricultural practices have lead to the headwaters and tributaries having drainage ditch characteristics. In addition, the middle stretch of the main stem of Marshyhope Creek was channelized in the past; however, in several sections, sediment and vegetation now cover the cement bottom. The land use within the watershed is dominated by agriculture, wetlands, and forests. Farmington is the only incorporated town.
Nutrients and Bacteria
Concerns in the watershed include low dissolved oxygen, nutrient over-enrichment, and high levels of bacteria. There are no active point sources discharging nutrients or bacteria into Marshyhope Creek, therefore, all pollutants are coming from nonpoint sources.

The waters of the Marshyhope Creek Watershed are designated for primary contact recreation, secondary contact recreation, fish, aquatic life and wildlife, agricultural supply, and industrial supply. Marshyhope is also designated as a water of Exceptional Recreation or Ecological Significance (ERES).

The TMDLs for the Marshyhope Creek require a 21% reduction in bacteria, a 20% reduction in nitrogen, and a 25% reduction in phosphorus.

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 Marshyhope Creek Watershed has one site listed in the Site Investigation and Restoration Section database. The one site is a state-fund lead (HSCA) site.

The site is sampled through the program 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 Marshyhope Creek Watershed.
Geology and Soils
Soil types in the watershed include Fallsington-Sassafras-Woodstown association described by the Natural Resources Conservation Service as "poorly drained to well drained soils that have a moderately permeable subsoil of sandy clay loam or sandy loam."
Further Resources