Represented to the left is the course of the Neshaminy Creek, a cojoining contributor to the Delaware River. Mentioned earlier in my blog is the threat of impervious surfaces during periods of heavy rainfall, mainly in areas that receive acidic precipiation, such as the Delaware River Basin.

This map will be returned to shortly, for a detailed G.IS. analysis, attributing water conditions in relation to the impervious surfaces, during periods of both drought and heavy precipitation. The Neshaminy Creek is home to an array of biotic organisms; however it also flows through heavy development, and the increase of impermeability can lead to a decrease in environmental prosperity.


This is a visual estimation of the Delaware River Basin, and my groundwork of which I am basing my 3D analysis of the watershed. Although the geological features are interpolated from digital images, the landscape difference from upstream to downstream is visually apparent.
The water of the Delaware River is mainly fed by precipitation from the Catskill mountains in the north. The low-lying, flat downstream river border does not have the luxury of the natural filtration. Supplemented by heavy urban and industrial development, the purity and biotic integrity of the river may suffer as a consequence.

500 million gallon discharge a year


Another effect of a low riparian buffering zone, river waters can become inundated with an influx of nutrients, which can be as disastrous as a lack of nutrients. The phosphorus runoff dilemma, from the Ontario example, is also present within Delaware River tributaries. Although phosphorus is a key element in plant-life, high concentrations can be environmentally harmful. Phosphorus runoffs can most usually be linked to agricultural waste.
Shown to the right are river boundaries that have been reported to exceed New Jersey's Surface Water Quality Standards (SWQS), by presence of fecal coliform and phosphorus. In this case, the primary contributors of the pollutants has been assigned to non-point sources, mainly storm-driven loads such as failing sewage systems and and 'improperly located septic systems.' From personal observations, judging by the close-up image, many of the contaminated regions border along steep river banks., perhaps the result of riverbank erosion, the precursor to a poor riparian nutrient-buffering zone.

Although the regions in this map are under remediation, the purpose of this data provided from the NJDEP is observe these and surrounding regions for future susceptibility to these runoff problems.


some visual representations to our true impact on the Earth surface:

[Philadelphia Aerial by massmatt.]



Freshwater invertebrates are a diverse and vital aspect of a river system. Click here is you are interested in the specific species native to the Delaware River, however it will be of little use, unless you know the specific invertebrate you are looking for. -As of 2000, there are 808 invertebrate species documented to be native to the Delaware River Basin.
Although aquatic invertebrates are barely visible above water level, they are not merely an intermediate point on the trophic hierarchy scale. Invertebrates play a key role in nutrient recycling processes, by speeding decomposition, as well as being a nutrient source, themselves, to a variety of river biota. Invertebrates


Before I've mentioned the "special protection" that the northern non-tidal portion of the Delaware River receives, but this blog will discuss the specifics. Since its national recognition as part of the Wild and Scenic River Systems in 1978, the river has been graced with limits upon industrial and municipal discharges upon the water basin boundaries.
According to the DRBC the 'special protected waters' was first adopted in 1992 & 94 originally to a 121 mile stretch of the River from Hancock, NY, to the Delaware Water Gap. As of 2008, the protection was extended to the entire non-tidal portion of the river, ceasing at Trenton, NJ.

A brief overview of protection regulations:
1.) Maximum threshold for discharge is 50,000 gallons a day.
2.) DRBC approval is required for all new and expanding industrial or municipal wastewater treatment plants intending to release a daily discharge of 10,000 gallons a day or more.
3.) In order to obtain approval, new discharges must demonstrate no considerable change to existing water quality, in accordance to a 8 parameter comparison (varies with location)
4.) Any projects located within the Special Protection boundary that are subject ot DRBC review must also maintain a Non-Point Source Pollution Control Plan, approved by the DRBC.

[for a full overview of Special Regulations]