Brief History of DCVA
DCVA is a nonprofit watershed organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the Darby Creek Watershed and its resources, including water, wildlife, historical sites, floodplains,wetlands, and riparian zones. A major goal of DCVA is the immediate prevention of all forms of pollution in the Darby Creek and its tributaries, including a prohibition against all forms of dumping and construction within floodplain zones and maintenance of a debris-free stream through clean-ups and expanded public education programs. DCVA has worked energetically to support the protection of historic properties, such as the Swedish Cabin and Blue Bell Inn, and has as its ultimate goal the development of a 30-mile greenway system to serve this Watershed’s many highly urbanized communities. DCVA, with assistance from the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (“USEPA”), also supports a volunteer water quality monitoring program.DCVA continues to work energetically with public and private schools, the Delaware County library system, the Delaware County Environmental Network, the Philadelphia WaterDepartment and the Darby-Cobbs Partnership, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary(formerly Delaware Estuary Program), the Delaware County Historical Society, the Stroud Water Research Center, the Philadelphia Water Department (“PWD”), and Aqua Pennsylvania(formerly known as Philadelphia Suburban Water Company).
Darby Creek Watershed
Darby Creek is located within southeastern Pennsylvania and flows into the Delaware River, south of the Schuylkill River and the City of Philadelphia (Figure 1-1). The Watershed straddles the Fall Line, the imaginary physiographic line separating the Coastal Plain, vividly exemplified by the John Heinz NationalWildlife Refuge at Tinicum, from the rolling hills of the Piedmont. The Darby Creek Watershed includes more than 77 square miles and includes portions of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery,and Philadelphia Counties, with all or parts of 31 municipalities. Most of the Watershed is located within Delaware County. Major tributaries of the Darby Creek include Cobbs Creek, Naylors Run, Indian Creek, Langford Run, Little Darby Creek, Julip Run, Ithan Creek, Meadowbrook Run, Wigwam Run, Foxes Run, Muckinipattis Creek, Hermesprota Run, StonyCreek, and Whetstone Run, all of which combine to flow into the tidal Darby at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at the Darby’s juncture with the Delaware River, south of Little Tinicum Island. The Refuge is the largest remaining freshwater tidal wetland in Pennsylvania.Tidal influence exists throughout this lower portion of the Darby and its tributaries, extending varying distances upstream on tributaries like the Muckinipattis, Stony, and Hermesprota Creeks,and also to old impoundment areas such as on the main Darby stem and Cobbs Creek.
Although an exact count has not yet been done, the Watershed, though not large by watershed standards, is home to a population that approaches 500,000 people, for an average density of nearly 10 persons per acre.