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Water Inundation in Pea Patch Island Watershed, Delaware (2002-2017)

Picture of Pea Patch Island

                                     Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island in 2011

Discussion of Pea Patch Island Watershed

This watershed covers the lower end of the Delaware River north and east of the C and D Canal.  One of the “water” watersheds in Delaware and sometimes called Lower Delaware River, the main feature is Pea Patch Island on which Fort Delaware is located.  More information on the watershed can be found at this link.

This watershed does not react to precipitation events as previously discussed in other watersheds.  The river here is wide and not affected noticeably by precipitation events.

Pea Patch Island Water Inundation



Table 1. Pea Patch Island Watershed Tidal Water (2002-2017) in acres
Year Estuarine Coastal Oligohaline Water
2002 14,558.34
2007 14,580.52
2012 14,584.52
2017 14,604.63

ECOW = Estuarine Coastal Oligohaline Water (Salinity 0.5-5 ppt)

Table 1 shows the overall amount of water has increased consistently for the watershed.  The water area was highest in 2017 and the lowest in 2002.  The 2007-2012 slowdown as seen in other watersheds is present here as well.

Table 2. Average Rate of Pea Patch Island Watershed Water Inundation in the 

(2002-2017) in acres/year

 Period  Average Rate (acres/year)
2002-2007 +4.44
2007-2012 +0.8
2012-2017 +4.02

Table 2 shows the water inundation rate was similar for the 2002-2007 and 2012-2017 period.  Like a lot of the other watersheds though, the rate markedly decreased in the 2007-2012 period.

Table 3. Area of Pea Patch Island in Acres
Year Island Area
2002 235.11
2007 227.56
2012 223.51
2017 215.10

Since the namesake island is a significant feature in this watershed, I thought I would look at the area of the island and how it is affected.  Table 3 shows the area of the island from 2002 to 2017.  In this time it has lost about 20 acres of area.

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