Much of the University of Delaware’s campus, including the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) farm, drains into Cool Run, a tributary of White Clay Creek. Because the creek has been designated as a National Wild and Scenic River, a designation spearhead by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., a UD alumnus, the University now has the distinction of being one of only two universities in the country to have a National Wild and Scenic River run through its campus. Because of this, there is an urgency to quell the impact of stormwater runoff into the creek.
Stormwater runoff, unfiltered water that reaches bodies of water by flowing across impervious surfaces, enters White Clay Creek through multiple sources throughout the city of Newark and the UD campus. Because of this, CANR has teamed with partners from across the University and the city to see what can be done to help reduce the University’s contribution to the problem, activity that has led to the formation of the University of Delaware Watershed Action Team for Ecological Restoration (UD WATER).
UD WATER is led by Tom Sims, deputy dean of the college and the T.A. Baker Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry, and Gerald Kauffman, state water coordinator and director of the Water Resources Agency, a unit of the Institute for Public Administration. It includes faculty members from the University as well as members from the city and the Delaware Geological Survey and UD student interns.
In addition to many other projects undertaken on the CANR farm to stop stormwater pollutants from reaching White Clay Creek, the UD WATER team decided another step to curb stormwater runoff was to create a biological filtration system on the CANR campus.
Article by Adam Thomas
Photos by Danielle Quigley