Red Lion Creek

Watersheds of the Delaware Bay & Estuary Basin
Appoquinimink River | Army Creek | Blackbird Creek | Broadkill River | C&D Canal East | Cedar Creek | Delaware Bay | Delaware River | Dragon Run Creek | Leipsic River | Little Creek | Mispillion River | Murderkill River | Red Lion Creek | Smyrna River | St. Jones River

The Red Lion Watershed is located south of the City of New Castle and north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It drains almost 11 square miles and flows eastward to the Delaware River. The stream is free flowing but has a tidegate at the mouth which only allows discharges to the Delaware River at low tides. Thus, there is no tidal influence on the Red Lion Creek.
Land Uses
The watershed is dominated by urban land uses.
The Red Lion River Watershed received an overall wetland grade of D+. Tidal (D-), Depression (D), flat (B-), and riverine (B-) wetland types were assessed and graded (grade in parenthesis) in this watershed. The most common stressors to these wetlands were invasive plant species, selective forestry, microtopography alterations, ditching, mowing, and roads in the wetland, and development, channelized streams, agriculture, and roads in the lands surrounding the wetland (buffer). The complete report for this assessment is available online.
Nutrients and Bacteria
There are nutrient and bacteria TMDLs in the Red Lion Creek watershed that require 40% reductions in phosphorus, nitrogen and bacteria. There are several point source facilities in the watershed but because of the outfall locations that do not discharge to Red Lion Creek, there are only nonpoint sources of pollution in this watershed. The designated uses set for the Red Lion Creek watershed include primary recreation, secondary recreation, fish, aquatic life, and wildlife, industrial water supply, and agricultural water supply and public water supply sources in the freshwater segments.
The Red Lion Creek Watershed has a total of thirteen sites listed in the Site Investigation and Restoration Section database. There are five state-fund lead (HSCA) sites, three National Priorities List (NPL) sites, and two Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) sites, two sites that have undergone a preliminary assessment / site inspection (PA/SI) and oneBrownfield 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.

In water bodies of the Red Lion Creek Watershed, samples have indicated that PCBs, chlorinated benzenes and dioxin are present in the environment at levels requiring further attention under the Clean Water Act (1972). The Red Lion Creek Watershed is on the 303d list of impaired waters as well as having State of Delaware Fish Consumption Advisories for PCBs and dioxin.

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 Red Lion Creek Watershed.
Geology and Soils
The topography is one of level to gently sloping terrain with well drained soils. The soils grade from tidal marsh to the Matapeake-Sassafras association, which has been described by the Natural Resource Conservation Service as, "well drained, medium textured and moderately course textured soils with subsoils that are moderately fine or medium textured." The slopes are moderate with some steep slopes along banks in the uppermost headwaters.
Further Resources