"The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. This we know. All things are connected. Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves."
Dkhw'Duw'Absh (Duwamish) Chief
The NRWC Mission
The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy is a citizen-based land conservation organization dedicated to preservation of the natural qualities of the watershed. Our objective is to promote protection and balanced use of the watershed's natural resources in both Delaware and Maryland. Most of our land protection is achieved through conservation easements, or written agreements between the landowner and our agency ensuring that a property will not be developed.
"Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
Helping to conserve our land and natural resources
The Nanticoke River is endowed with outstanding abundance and diversity, both natural and cultural. The river and its major tributaries, Broad Creek, Deep Creek, Gravelly Branch and Marshyhope Creek support excellent fisheries. The watershed possesses large expanses of underdeveloped lands which provide scenic openness and habitat for wildlife. These are characteristics that NRWC strongly believes should be preserved.
The beautiful Nanticoke River, one of the last unspoiled rivers of the Chesapeake estuary, takes its waters from the swamps and cultivated flatlands of Sussex and Kent Counties in southwest Delaware and flows into Maryland's Tangier Sound and the Chesapeake Bay. This river, draining one fourth of Delaware's land, is endowed with outstanding abundance and diversity - both natural and cultural. Its ecosystem is of inestimable value to Delaware and is one of prime importance within the entire Chesapeake basin.
The Nanticoke and its major tributaries - Broad Creek, Deep Creek, Gravelly Branch and Marshyhope Creek - support excellent fisheries. A myriad of wildlife also flourishes in this setting, from scores of bird species (including the largest Bald Eagle nesting area in the Northeast), a profusion of fish and shellfish, great flocks of migrating waterfowl and songbirds - to otters, beaver, deer, muskrat and the rare Delmarva Fox Squirrel - all calling the Nanticoke home.
The river's basin has a rich natural history with some of the nation’s most biologically important ecosystems (including a few globally rare species), occurring along the river and its tributaries. It also boasts a rich regional history spanning time from a proud pre-settlement Nanticoke Indian heritage, and a visit from Capt. John Smith during his early exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, through America’s founding and early settlement, to the vibrant small-town communities and agricultural heritage we enjoy today. Our river is known for its superb beauty, recreational opportunities and solitude. The watershed also possesses large expanses of underdeveloped lands which provide scenic openness and habitat for wildlife - characteristics that should be preserved.
The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy (NRWC), a local land trust with a passion for permanently protecting the legacy of lands and natural resources in Delaware's largest watershed, is very proud of its work. We seek to preserve this legacy for the benefit of everyone! Increasing its holdings from 29 acres in 1992 to over 500 acres today, with over 300 acres and 4+ miles of trails open to the public at three Chapel Branch Nature Area sites in Seaford, and at our Newton Woods Tract in Bridgeville, the NRWC works with many, many partners to not only promote protection of sensitive forest, wildlife and wetland habitats, but to also promote education, recreation, health and economic benefits.
NRWC's Board of Directors are all volunteers with a passion for local community service, but with the success of protecting over 500 acres, we really need your help! We have wonderful plans to make our trails/lands/waters a great recreational resource, not only for now, but for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. Yes, we really need YOU, your volunteering as well as your donations! Please be as generous as you can - we won't disappoint you! Donations are all tax deductible and can be made right here on our website or by sending donations via mail. Questions are welcomed and we would be privileged to welcome you at our bi-monthly meetings or at NRWC events. Please feel free to contact us below for more information.
The English explorer John Smith mapped the Nanticoke River in 1608. On his three or four-day exploration of the river, Smith noted 10 sites he visited, including spots near modern day Vienna and Blades.
The Daily Times, Salisbury, MD
Get Connected With NRWC
If you are interested in our land conservation objectives, would like to become a member of the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy, or would like to volunteer with us to help with any of the many activities we promote while protecting our natural lands, then please contact us!
Landowners, use this form to request more information about conservation easements, land donation, sale options, endowments and Nature Preserve dedications.
- P.O. Box 418, Seaford, Delaware 19973