Broadkill River

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Broadkill River
Broadkill River.jpg
The Broadkill River in Milton in 2006
Country United States
State Delaware
Source Wagamons Pond
 - location Milton
 - coordinates 38°46′37″N 75°18′47″W / 38.77694°N 75.31306°W / 38.77694; -75.31306 [1]
Mouth Delaware Bay
 - location northwest of Lewes
 - elevation 3 ft (1 m) [1]
 - coordinates 38°47′25″N 75°09′44″W / 38.79028°N 75.16222°W / 38.79028; -75.16222Coordinates: 38°47′25″N 75°09′44″W / 38.79028°N 75.16222°W / 38.79028; -75.16222 [1]
Length 13.3 mi (21 km) [2]
Basin 110 sq mi (285 km2) [2]
Location of the mouth of the Broadkill River

The Broadkill River is a river flowing to Delaware Bay in southern Delaware in the United States. It is 13.3 miles (21 km) long and drains an area of 110 square miles (285 km²) on the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

The Broadkill flows for its entire length in eastern Sussex County. It issues from Wagamons Pond in the town of Milton; the pond is fed by two tributaries known as Ingram Branch[3] and Pemberton Branch.[4] From Milton, the Broadkill River flows generally eastwardly, passing through wetlands and salt marshes in the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.[5] After approaching to within one quarter mile (0.5 km) of Delaware Bay, the river parallels the shoreline a short distance inland for approximately two miles (3 km) before flowing into the bay, approximately one mile (1.6 km) northwest of Lewes. The United States Coast Guard maintains a station near the mouth of the Broadkill. The mouth is connected to Rehoboth Bay by the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, which forms part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.[6]

In the 19th century the river was the center of a regional shipbuilding industry, arising from the access it furnished to inland forests; the industry fell into decline in the 1890s.[7]

A footpath known as the Governors Walk follows the Broadkill in central Milton. The Nature Conservancy established a preserve along the river downstream of Milton in 1998.[8] As of 2005, an annual canoe and kayak race was being held on the river in Milton.[9]

Variant names and spellings[edit]

The United States Board on Geographic Names issued an opinion clarifying "Broadkill River" as the stream's name in 1961. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known historically as:[1]

  • Broad Creek
  • Broad Kill
  • Broad Kill Creek
  • Broadkill Creek
  • Broadkiln Creek
  • Lewis Creek

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Geographic Names Information System. "GNIS entry for Broadkill River (Feature ID #213715)". Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  2. ^ a b DeWitt, Piet; Daiber, Franklin C. (March 1973). "The Hydrography of the Broadkill River Estuary, Delaware" (PDF). Chesapeake Science, Vol. 14 No. 1. Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  3. ^ Geographic Names Information System. "GNIS entry for Ingram Branch (Feature ID #214147)". Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  4. ^ Geographic Names Information System. "GNIS entry for Pemberton Branch (Feature ID #214434)". Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  5. ^ United States Fish and Wildlife Service. "Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge". Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  6. ^ DeLorme (2004). Maryland Delaware Atlas & Gazetteer. pp.44-45. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-279-X.
  7. ^ State of Delaware. "Shipbuilding on the Broadkill". Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  8. ^ State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Division of Parks and Recreation. "Greenways & Trails". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  9. ^ "Milton Fairs and Festivals". Retrieved 2007-02-04.