Mispillion River

USACE Philadelphia District
Published July 1, 2021
Mispillion River Project Index Map

Mispillion River Project Index Map

The Mispillion River rises in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. It flows northeasterly 13 miles along the boundary line between the two counties and empties into the Delaware Bay about 16 miles above Cape Henlopen, Del. The waterway supports the only launch service that provides safe transport of personnel and supplies to tanker vessels anchored in Delaware Bay and the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

The Mispillion River rises in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. It flows northeasterly 13 miles along the boundary line between the two counties and empties into the Delaware Bay about 16 miles above Cape Henlopen, Del. The waterway supports the only launch service that provides safe transport of personnel and supplies to tanker vessels anchored in Delaware Bay and the nearby Atlantic Ocean.

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: DE-AL

APPROPRIATION / PHASE: Operation & Maintenance, General

BUSINESS PROGRAM: Navigation

LOCATION: The project is located north of Milford in Sussex County, DE. 

DESCRIPTION:  The waterway rises in Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware. It flows northeasterly 13 miles along the boundary line between the two counties and empties into the Delaware Bay about 16 miles above Cape Henlopen, Delaware. The waterway provides an entrance channel six feet deep and 60 feet wide from Delaware Bay to the landward side of the jetties.

STATUS: Dredging and placement with the Government Dredge Currituck was designed and permitted in FY19 and conducted in February 2020 and again in February 2021. Use of the Dredge Currituck proved to costeffectively remove the relatively small but critical shoaling from the interior channel and the entrance to the Delaware Bay. The placement area is located to the north of the entrance, keeping sediments in the system and supporting coastal resilience and the adjacent beaches. Channel condition and maintenance dredging surveys were performed in FY 20 and FY21. Channel shoaling rates will be monitored. The jetties were assessed and rated failed relative to structural condition, but are still considered adequate relative to functional condition ratings. Funding has been requested for a Major Maintenance Report as the decision document needed for jetty repairs.

Along with the Cedar Creek federal channel, this waterway supports the only launch service that provides safe transport of personnel and supplies to tanker vessels anchored in Delaware Bay and the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard has expressed concern that future shoaling in the channel could delay the response of oil spill emergency clean-up and containment contractors during lower tide stages. Failure to perform routine maintenance dredging will result in hazardous navigating conditions, damage to commercial, charter and recreational vessels, delays in service to the shipping industry utilizing the Delaware River, Philadelphia to Sea Channel, restricted and/or delayed Coast Guard national security vessel audits and economic hardships.

​PROJECT GOALS: The purpose of this project provides for an entrance channel from the Delaware Bay to the landward side of the jetties

PROJECT MANAGER: Monica Chasten