The Nanticoke River in Delaware
is a major tributary of Chesapeake Bay. The Nanticoke watershed, which encompasses approximately 800 square miles, supports many unique biological communities, including many rare and endangered species, and is vital to migrating
and wintering waterfowl.
In 2008 the states of Delaware and Maryland, along with numerous conservation organizations, drafted an agreement with the explicit goal of "identifying and implementing best management practices for protection, restoration and enhancement of the Nanticoke watershed's natural, historic and cultural resources." Conservation priorities include expanding and enhancing large areas of forested wetlands, restoring channelized streams and expanding riparian and wetland buffers.
In 2010 DU, in collaboration with the Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, reconnected 16 acres of former floodplain wetlands on the Newton Woods project to the Nanticoke River. This will allow the river to once again seasonally flood the project area, providing habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife and improving water quality in Chesapeake Bay.