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Back Creek Watershed in Delaware

Back Creek Watershed

                  Back Creek Watershed

Watershed Description

Picture of Mid-Atlantic Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest in Back Creek Watershed.

Mid-Atlantic Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest                in Back Creek Watershed.

Back Creek straddles the western stateline of Delaware on the north and south sides of the C and D Canal.  Wedged between the growing towns of Glasgow and Middletown, more development is heading its way.  Its location on the C and D Canal causes most of its vegetation communities to suffer infestations of invasive exotic plant species.

Watershed Area:  10,920 acres (4,419 hectares)

Location:  Western New Castle County in northern Delaware between Perch Creek on the north and Bohemia on the south.

Flow Direction:  Towards the south and north into the C and D Canal.

Characteristics:  A rural watershed that is seeing more residential development from Middletown in the south to Newark and Glasgow in the north.

Back Creek History


Most of the history of Back Creek revolves around the building of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in the 1800’s.  Most of what was Back Creek became the course of the canal. The watershed as mapped today includes the tributaries of the main Back Creek.

Major Vegetation Communities/Land Covers


Agricultural Field is the largest land cover.  Cultivated lawn and impervious surface both make the top 5 land covers.  Northeastern Old Field, which is present in the spoils of the C and D Canal is the largest “natural community” type.  Mid-Atlantic Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest is the largest forest community.

Back Creek Watershed Vegetation Communities/Land Covers (Top 5 for 2007)
Vegetation Community/Land Cover Acres Hectares
Agricultural Field 3,064.00 1,240.00
Cultivated Lawn 2,896.00 1,172.00
Northeastern Old Field 1,087.00 440.00
Mid-Atlantic Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest 970.00 392.00
Impervious Surface 858.00 347.00

     *The table above is subject to change with more watershed mapping.

Managed Lands
Links of Interest


Vegetation Community/Land Cover Maps Available


A working copy vegetation community/land cover map based on 2007 aerial imagery is provided “as is” for informational purposes.  Please request shapefiles at