The White Clay Creek watershed comprises approximately 70,000 acres or 100 square miles in Pennsylvania and Delaware. The White Clay has three main branches in Pennsylvania--East, Middle, and West. There are three main tributaries in Delaware--Middle Run, Pike Creek, and Mill Creek. The White Clay joins the Christina River near Newport, Delaware, which in turn, flows into the Delaware River near Wilmington.
The Watershed extends northwest to southeast, from Londonderry Township, Pennsylvania, to Newport, Delaware, generally filling the area between Routes 896 and 41.
In Pennsylvania, the watershed includes the boroughs of West Grove and Avondale; all or parts of the townships of West Marlborough, East Marlborough, Londonderry, London Grove, Penn, New Garden, New London, Franklin, Kennett, London Britain; and the villages of New London, Kemblesville and Landenberg.
In Delaware, the watershed encompasses suburban New Castle County east and north of Newark, along with much of the City of Newark, Comer Ketch, Pike Creek Valley, Polly Drummond Hill, Ogletown, Stanton, Christiana, North Star, Chapel Hill, Brookside Park, Harmony Hills, Milltown, Hockessin and others.
The White Clay valley was settled long before the arrival of Europeans. Archaeological finds have indentified Lenni Lenape Native American villages that thrived hundreds of years ago. The 17th century brought colonists, lured by rich soil and abundant water. A short walk or drive in any direction brings old structures into view-dams, mills, houses, barns, churches, a railroad. Some are still in use.
A "jewel" in the watershed's "crown" is an 1800-acre nature preserve straddling the Pennsylvania/Delaware line, a gift of the DuPont Company in 1984, jointly administered by the two states.
Metropolitan expansion is creating change in this Piedmont wonderland. More houses have brought more commerce and in turn, more waste water. Forests and open space are diminishing. There are fewer birds. Heavier traffic builds pressure for new and wider roads. Residents increasingly are concerned about the quality and adequacy of the water supply.
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