Originating in the Catskill Mountains of New York, the Delaware River flows over the fall-line between the Piedmont Plateau and the Coastal Plain as it passes between the cities of Trenton, New Jersey and Morrisville, Pennsylvania. Here the river experiences high and low tides (like the beach) over the next 130 plus miles before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. That’s why we call this area the Tidal Delaware River.
The Delaware deepens and widens as it crosses the flat, sandy Coastal Plain, allowing for the passage of larger ocean going vessels. Shipping and trade routes existing since the early days of American history support vibrant port and industrial centers. The industrial and residential water pollution that plagued the tidal Delaware in the past century has been steadily ameliorated by an engaged citizenry empowered by the Clean Water Act. This allows the river towns and boroughs to turn the river into a “front yard” for public recreational uses such as boating, fishing, birding, walking trails, and other eco-tourism and heritage activities.
A variety of ecological resources are found along the river. Wetlands and forested riparian edge complexes offer important fish and wildlife habitat, including food and shelter for anadromous fish, waterfowl, and wading birds. As fish return in greater numbers there are opportunities to catch striped and smallmouth bass, shad, catfish, and white perch. The Tidal Delaware Water Trail boast the only freshwater tidal marshes in Pennsylvania. The ecology of the Delaware River is fascinating and we hope you’ll explore the natural resources of the Tidal Delaware!