Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Delaware: Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank Project and Fox Point State Park Expansion

Trucks bringing landfill to Fox Point State Park
Trucks bringing landfill to Fox Point State Park

The Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank Project and Fox Point State Park Expansion are innovative on many fronts. In September 2003, heavy rains fell in the residential community of Glenville, Delaware, and residents living on the banks of the Red Clay Creek faced rising flood waters. Within 15 minutes, the flood consumed the entire neighborhood, and officials ruled 145 homes out of the 194 homes in the community unsafe. Former Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner decided that the State would lead an expedited process to assist the displaced Glenville residents. By January 2004, New Castle County, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and multiple State agencies had secured the $36 million required to carry out the purchase and demolition of the impacted homes, as well as relocation of the displaced residents. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) was selected to manage the buy-out process due to DelDOT's knowledge, experience, and access to resources.

Data collection and site analysis revealed that the Red Clay Creek site would be an ideal location for both flood water storage for severe flood events and for a critical habitat corridor in a fragmented ecological landscape. Subsequently, DelDOT, FHWA, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) signed the Glenville Wetlands Mitigation Bank agreement in 2007 to create a wetland mitigation bank that sits in the footprint of the 145 damaged Glenville houses. In order to create the mitigation bank, crews removed an average of 7 feet of topsoil (300,000 cubic yards of material).

Opening of the new Fox Point State Park area
Opening of the new Fox Point State Park area

DelDOT and DNREC arrived at a win-win decision to use the removed soil to expand Fox Point State Park. This action saved the wetland mitigation project $500,000 in waste disposal fees and provided valuable fill for the expansion of a waterfront park in downtown Wilmington. The expansion project had been stalled due to the need for a substantial amount of clean fill material to cap a contaminated portion of the park. By combining resources for the two projects, DNREC was able to utilize free clean fill excavated from the Red Clay Creek to cap the site and save approximately $2,500,000 in materials costs for the Fox Point State Park project.

The Glenville Bank will be one of the few urban wetland mitigation banks in the county and was a creative solution to the challenges posed by a natural disaster. Open communication, innovative ideas, strong leadership, clear organization goals, and interagency collaboration led to the wetland mitigation bank's creation and fostered a remarkable solution that used waste material from one site as valuable fill on a Wilmington waterfront project.

For more information contact Diane Bernardo at Diane.Bernardo@state.de.us, Wayne Rizzo at Wayne.Rizzo@state.de.us, John Cargill at John.Cargill@state.de.us or Tim Ratsep at Timothy.Ratsep@state.de.us.

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