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Broad Dyke Marsh

Site Description

  • State: Delaware
  • County: New Castle
  • Ownership: Private

Impoundments

  • Broad Dyke Marsh: 136 acres

Ecology and Management

Broad Dyke Marsh is located just north of New Castle, DE. It is a fairly small impoundment at only 55 acres, but is unique in the fact that the original dikes date back to the 1655 and were constructed by Dutch settlers, making it likely one of the oldest impoundments in the country. There is no data available on the bird species which use the dyke, but there have been extensive vegetation surveys and the site that has shown that treatment and improved management of the water level has improved native vegetation diversity and drastically reduced invasive phragmites. The site is owned by the Trustees of New Castle Commons, a local non-profit group.

Vulnerability

The impoundment is vulnerable to coastal storms and sea-level rise and experience damage during Sandy. The impoundment is a critical buffer for the town of Historic New Castle by absorbing the influx of water during these severe coastal storms and failure of the dike would be catastrophic to low-lying areas of the town.

Human Value

There is no human use data for this site, but it is located near Historic New Castle, a popular tourist destination in Delaware as well as along the East Coast Greenway bicycle trail. There are no known educational or outreach activities at Broad Dyke Marsh.

Literature Resources

Below is a list of articles describing research occurring at or near the impoundments:
  • Catts, W. P., and T. Mancl. “To keep the banks, dams and sluices in repair”: an historical context for Delaware River dikes, New Castle County, Delaware. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; 2013.
  • DDNREC [Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control]. Northern Delaware Wetland Rehabilitation Program. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; 2001.
  • Greenstone Engineering, I. Broad Marsh Dike Operation and Maintenance Manual. Wilmington, Delaware: Greenstone Engineering, Inc.; 2011.
  • Kalasz, K., C. Boal, G. Breese, J. Clark, M. DiBona, R. Hossler, B. Jones, J. Lyons, R. E. Meadows, M. Stroeh, and B. Wilson. The importance of impoundments to wildlife: managing now and into the future. A presentation given at the Delaware Wetlands Conference. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; 2012.
  • Meredith, W. H., T. J. Moran, and R. E. Meadows. Managing Delaware’s Coastal Wetlands for Biodiversity. Dover, Delaware: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; 2002.