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Sussex County, DE

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APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General


LOCATION: The project is located north of Milford, Sussex County DE and adjacent to the Mispillion River.

DESCRIPTION: The Project provides a channel five feet deep, 80 feet wide and 3,730 feet long from the confluence of Cedar Creek with the Mispillion River to the state launching ramp, and five feet deep and 50 feet wide thereafter for a distance of 2,470 feet to a point 1,000 feet upstream of the State Route 36 Bridge.

STATUS:  The U.S. Coast Guard has expressed concerns in the past that poor channel conditions could delay the response of oil spill emergency clean-up and containment contractors during lower tide stages. An Environmental Assessment of the channel with a negative declaration was completed on 22 September 1981. 

This waterway supports the only launch service that provides safe transport of personnel and supplies to large tanker vessels anchored in the Delaware Bay, and the nearby Atlantic Ocean.  This is a critical part of the logistics of lightering tankers so they can proceed up the Delaware River to the various refineries.  The launch service operates four commercial crew boats that require drafts up to 6 feet.  They annually complete over 5000 vessel trips per year and transport 12,000 tons of supplies, as well as transporting 10,000 passengers including Delaware River pilots, Coast Guard and Homeland Security Inspectors.

The local commercial fishing fleet stationed within this project totals approximately 35 vessels.  A large number of tourists are attracted to the charter fishing opportunities at Cedar Creek.  Recreational use of this waterway is also significant.  The State of Delaware operates a public launching facility within the project limits.  

PROJECT GOALS:  The purpose of this project is to deepen the channel from the confluence of Cedar Creek with the Mispillion River, to the state launching ramp.