Darby Creek (Pennsylvania)
Darby Creek is a creek in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. It rises in Chester County in Tredyffrin and Easttown townships and in Delaware County in Radnor township and forms the western border of Haverford Township. The Darby Creek watershed courses through many of the townships of Delaware County before it empties into the Delaware River 2 miles (3 km) from the Philadelphia city line, near Philadelphia International Airport. The total length of the creek is 26.1 miles (42.0 km).
For a brief stretch in its lower course, the creek coincides with the city limits of Philadelphia when it joins with Cobbs Creek and begins meandering southwesterly. In the Borough of Norwood, just prior to connecting with the Delaware, the Muckinipattis Creek joins. The mouth of the creek forms the eastern property line of a helicopter factory operated by Boeing in Ridley Township. The lower creek contains an interesting mix of freshwater and estuarine fish and fish that migrate between fresh and salt water including American eels. The recent removal of three dams on the lower Darby will allow freer passage by migratory fishes.
The lower course, often termed the Lower Darby Creek Area, includes an area classified as a Superfund site due to contamination from a landfill in Darby Township. Just before entering the Delaware River the Darby Creek flows through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. A vast marsh once occupied this area and the remaining marsh found in and around the refuge is very rich with wildlife. Fishing, birding, walking, bicycling, and boating are all enjoyed in the refuge and the surrounding area. The refuge and the marsh provide an excellent opportunity to learn about aquatic and terrestrial wildlife and are visited by school groups from pre-schooler to college students.
There is a movement to help restore the creek.
Darby Creek’s watershed is often referred to as the “Darby-Cobbs watershed” since its largest tributary, Cobbs Creek, is approximately one third of the Darby Creek watershed. The Darby-Cobbs watershed has a total area of 77.2 square miles.
The major tributaries of Darby Creek:
- Cobbs Creek
- Little Darby Creek
- Julip Run
- Ithan Run
- Meadowbrook Run
- Wigwam Run
- Foxes Run
- Muckinipattis Creek
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 1, 2011
- US-EPA Region 3 Superfund Site: Lower Darby Creek Area
- EROSION CONTROL | Bartram Park and Darby Creek Stream Restoration Project
- Delaware County Planning Department. 2005. Darby and Cobbs Creeks Watershed Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan
- Art by unknown artist, American or European, early 19th century, Darby Creek (near Chester, Delaware County)
- 2006 Trout Stocking Schedule for Darby Creek and other Delaware County, Pennsylvania Trout Streams
- Darby Creek Valley Association a non-profit community action group who promotes the assessment, monitoring, and restoration of Darby Creek.
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