Darby Creek Restoration Project, PA


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Darby Creek drains a largely urbanized watershed adjacent to the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a direct tributary to the Delaware River, and joins with the Delaware near Essington, PA, after passing through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Early settlement along the Darby relied upon mill dams for economic growth. Prior to their removal in late 2012 the dams no longer functioned as originally intended. Instead they contributed to local flooding and blocked migratory fish passage.

Project overview:

American Rivers partnered with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to alleviate localized flooding, improve in-stream habitat, reestablish connectivity for resident and migratory fish (including American shad, hickory shad, alewife, river herring, American eel, bass, shiners, and suckers), and restore free-flowing conditions along Darby Creek, a direct tributary to the Delaware River. This project resulted in unobstructed flows in the lower 9.7 miles of Darby Creek through the removal of three dams and a set of abandoned railroad piers.

Darby Creek Restoration Project Slideshow

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This project was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Design/Permitting, $50,000), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Growing Greener Program (Design/Permitting, $39,080), and the ATHOS I Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Settlement(Construction/Oversight/Monitoring, $1,573,287).

Thank you to Delaware County, The Henderson Group, Borough of Colwyn, Lansdowne Borough, Upper Darby Township, Darby Borough, and the Darby Borough Police for their assistance with this project.

For more information, contact Laura Craig with American Rivers at 856-786-9000.