Seaford, Delaware

Coordinates: 38°38′28″N 75°36′40″W / 38.64111°N 75.61111°W / 38.64111; -75.61111
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Seaford, Delaware
High Street in Seaford
High Street in Seaford
Etymology: Seaford, East Sussex in England
Location of Seaford in Sussex County, Delaware.
Location of Seaford in Sussex County, Delaware.
Seaford is located in Delaware
Location within the state of Delaware
Seaford is located in the United States
Seaford (the United States)
Coordinates: 38°38′28″N 75°36′40″W / 38.64111°N 75.61111°W / 38.64111; -75.61111
Country United States
State Delaware
IncorporatedApril 6, 1865
Named forSeaford, East Sussex
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorDavid Genshaw
 • Vice MayorDan H. Henderson
 • Total5.16 sq mi (13.37 km2)
 • Land5.09 sq mi (13.19 km2)
 • Water0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)
23 ft (7 m)
 • Total7,957
 • Density1,562.65/sq mi (603.31/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code302
FIPS code10-64320
GNIS feature ID214626[2]

Seaford is a city located along the Nanticoke River in Sussex County, Delaware, United States. According to the 2010 Census Bureau figures, the population of the city is 6,928, an increase of 3.4% from the 2000 census.[3] It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.

It is the largest city fully within Sussex County.


Seaford is named after Seaford, East Sussex in England.[4]

All land in current western and southern Sussex County was first settled as part of Maryland. Seaford, along with Bridgeville, Greenwood, Middleford, and others, were all part of Dorchester County in the Province of Maryland. Blades, Laurel, and Concord areas, on the other hand, were part of Somerset County. It is reported that an error in a map coordinate resulted in the east-west line of Delaware being from current Delmar to Fenwick. The original agreement had the eastwest line at Cape Henlopen, not at the false cape. If the line had survived, Seaford would now be in Maryland. After many years in the courts of London, the boundary lines are as the surveyors Mason and Dixon defined in 1763.

Seaford is one of seven Main Street communities that participated in the Delaware Main Street Program to revitalize commercial districts. From 1999 to 2000, Seaford's downtown was renovated to preserve historic details through $1.5 million of landscaping, street paving, sidewalks, lamp posts, street lights, and utility upgrades.[5]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.14%) is water.


Situated on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, Seaford's weather is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean. Seaford has a mild subtropical climate consisting of hot, humid summers and cool winters.

The highest official temperature ever recorded in Seaford was 104 °F (40.0 °C) on July 22, 2011,[6] while the all-time low was -13 °F (-25.0 °C) on January 28, 1987.[7]

According to the Köppen climate classification, Seaford has a humid subtropical climate (abbreviated Cfa).

Climate data for Seaford, 1991–2020 simulated normals (26 ft elevation)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 45.1
Daily mean °F (°C) 36.1
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 27.0
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.47
Average dew point °F (°C) 26.2
Source: PRISM Climate Group[8]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[9]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 6,699 people, 2,629 households, and 1,664 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,925.9 inhabitants per square mile (743.6/km2). There were 2,809 housing units at an average density of 807.5 per square mile (311.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 64.04% White, 30.02% African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.49% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 1.72% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.25% of the population.

There were 2,629 households, of which 31.5% had children under 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 25.6% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 77.6 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 69.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,402, and the median income for a family was $39,688. Males had a median income of $30,467 versus $23,490 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,022. About 22.0% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 43.4% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those aged 65 or over.


According to National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), violent crime in the United States is most likely to be committed in urban areas. Violent crime is made up of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. To determine the most dangerous cities in Delaware in 2023, a review of the NIBRS data was conducted of violent crimes reported in 2022, 2021, and 2020 per 1,000 residents, with Uniform Crime Reporting Program data. Wilmington, the most populous city in Delaware, registered 2,412 violent cases Seaford was ranked second in the state behind Dewey Beach.[11]

A combination of factors has led to Seaford being listed as the second-worst place to live in the state. Seaford has the highest rate of violent crimes and the fourth-highest property crime rate in Delaware. There were 498 crime cases in 2021, violent crime occurred at the rate of about 59.34 per 1000 residents in 2021. Seaford recorded 14 Kidnapping, 16 sex offenses, and 1 rape case, and in the crime against property, there were 1 arson, 20 motor vehicle theft, 13 robberies, and 262 drug/narcotic offenses.[12][13][14]

Art and culture[edit]

Child laborers at Ross's Canneries in Seaford, 1910. Photo by Lewis Hine.

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places include:[15]

Points of interest[edit]

  • Nanticoke River Arts Council/Gallery 107.
  • Seaford Christmas Parade.
  • Nanticoke River Walk - a pedestrian walkway beside the Nanticoke River in downtown Seaford.
  • Seaford Museum – located in a former post office.
  • Ross Mansion and Plantation – former residence of former Delaware Governor William H. H. Ross; the 20-acre (81,000 m2) property includes the Gov. William H. Ross House, a granary with farm equipment exhibits, carriage house, a Victorian cottage and Delaware's only documented log slave quarters.
  • Nanticoke Riverfest takes place in July and the Nanticoke River is used for inner tube floating. There is also a three-day festival.
  • The AFRAM Festival is a celebration of African American culture held in August.


Seaford District Library was founded in the early 1900s. It holds 28,000 items, and has a community center.[16]

Parks and recreation[edit]

  • Kiwanis Park – a memorial park.
  • Gateway Park – a park with brick sidewalks and a fountain, forming the gateway into downtown Seaford.
  • Soroptimist Park – a park located at Williams Pond complete with a playground and a pavilion.
  • Nutter Park – contains a playground and basketball courts.
  • Williams Pond Park – a ballpark run by the Nanticoke Little League.
  • Sports Complex – includes the Jay's Nest community-built playground, and softball facilities.
  • Hooper's Landing Golf and Country Club – a public 18-hole course, pool, tennis courts and driving range.


Seaford has a mayor-council system of government with a mayor and a city council, the mayor has no official authority outside the council, serving a chiefly ceremonial role as council chairperson.[17]

Mayor - Council
MayorDavid Genshaw[17]
Elected2014, 5th Term
Liaison AppointmentEconomic Development[18]
Vice MayorDan H. Henderson[17]
Elected2014, 3rd Term
Liaison AppointmentPolice Department & Fire Department[18]
CouncilmanMatthew MacCoy[17]
Elected2019, 2nd Term
Liaison AppointmentElectric[18]
CouncilmanMichael Bradley[17]
Elected2023, 1st Term
Liaison AppointmentAdministration & Information Technology[18]
CouncilmanOrlando Holland[17]
Elected2015, 3rd Term
Liaison Appointment[18]Code & Parks and Recreation[18]
CouncilmanJames King[17]
Elected2018, 2nd Term
Liaison AppointmentPublic Works & Wastewater[18]
as of the 2023 election[18]

Government controversy[edit]

Seaford’s controversial Mayor David Genshaw was accused of possible quid pro quo after the Attorney General’s Office announced it was suing the city over a controversial abortion-rights ordinance that Councilman King claims the mayor spearheaded because of his own personal agenda. As of December 14, 2021, the city had over $10,000 tied up in this controversial ordinance.[19] “It’s very sad when your AG’s office has to step in, again, and sue one of their own cities,” King stated. “We’re using taxpayer dollars and resources to fund this, and at the end of that what does that look like? Dave [Mayor Genshaw] has a history of this, with right-to-work we’ve seen it, spending money and passing an ordinance and then the state stepping in and saying ‘those behaviors are illegal’ we can’t do that. We’ve seen this before, it’s dangerous behavior.”[20] Mayor Genshaw has continuously defended the ordinance and flaunted the possibility of a private donor funding legal expenses for the city to fight the lawsuit. City Councilman King continued to question the mayor and the legal ramifications. “Dave [Mayor Genshaw] is saying ‘hey, you know what, we’ve got this magical donor that’s willing to pick up all the expense, and that whole conversation didn’t feel right, so I’m like ‘who is this person, is it a quid-pro-quo? What are they trying to get out of this?’ And he’s like, look I’ll tell you this information, but you got to be sworn to silence, secrecy, and I’m like, man, that’s not what we’re elected for, I’ve got constituents, people in the community that are asking who this person is, and if you’re going to tell me and you’re asking me to be silent with that information, then don’t tell me.” “You’ve got the AG’s office suing, asking for our fees reimbursed, so what are you going to deplete resources, reserves, for legal fees that aren’t going to amount to anything.” Attorney General Kathy Jennings moved forward with the lawsuit after multiple warnings that the ‘anti-choice ordinance’ violates state law. This ordinance is part of a national wave of anti-abortion policies that have been weaponized in the politics of the United States of America.[21]


Seaford is home to the Seaford School District.[22] The Seaford School District, based in the town of Seaford, Delaware, encompasses 82 square miles in the southwest corner of Sussex County. It serves the communities of Seaford and Blades and consists of four elementary, one middle, and one high school, serving approximately 3,500 students in grades pre-K through 12.[23][24]



WGBG 92.7 FM broadcasts from just outside the city limits.[citation needed]


WDPB-TV 64 is the only television station originating from Seaford. It is a subsidiary of WHYY-TV in Philadelphia and an affiliate of PBS.


The Seaford Star is a weekly newspaper. Morning Star Publications has been in business for approximately 27 years.[25]

  • Name: Morning Star Publications Inc.
  • Trade Name: Seaford Star, Laurel Star, Morning Star Report, Business Report, and Salisbury Star [25]




US 13 southbound/DE 20 eastbound in Seaford

U.S. Route 13 is the main north-south thoroughfare within city limits, with Delaware Route 20 being the main east-west highway. U.S. Route 13 connects Seaford with Bridgeville to the north and Laurel to the south as part of the Sussex Highway. State Route 20 connects Seaford with Millsboro to the east and tiny Reliance, Maryland to the west.

The closest airport with commercial air service to Seaford is the Wicomico Regional Airport in Salisbury, Maryland. The closest public airport is Laurel Airport in Laurel, Delaware. There is also an airport in Georgetown called the Delaware Coastal Airport. This airport has a jet service section, as part of the nearby industrial park.

DART First State operates the Route 212 bus that connects Seaford to Georgetown and Delmar and the Route 903F bus that runs on a loop through Seaford.[26]

Freight rail service in Seaford is provided by two carriers: the Delmarva Central Railroad and the Maryland and Delaware Railroad. The Delmarva Central Railroad runs north-south through the city, parallel to US 13. It interchanges with the Maryland and Delaware Railroad in Seaford, which heads west to Federalsburg and Cambridge in Maryland.


The City of Seaford Electric Department provides electricity to approximately 6,700 customers in the city. The electric department owns three substations and more than 37 miles (60 km) of transmission and distribution lines. The city purchases its electricity and is a member of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation.[27] The Public Works department provides water and sewer service to the city.[28] Natural gas service in Seaford is provided by Chesapeake Utilities.[29]

Health care[edit]

TidalHealth Hospital and TidalHealth Cancer Care Center, both operated by TidalHealth Health Services, are located in Seaford.[30]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ "Seaford". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  3. ^ "The Delaware Census State Data Center". Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Katy Rice, 'Across the Pond', in Sussex Society, September 2011, p. 28
  5. ^ National Trust Main Street Center
  6. ^ "Daily Averages for Seaford, DE (19973) -". Archived from the original on September 16, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2006.
  7. ^ "Daily Averages for Seaford, DE (19973) -". Archived from the original on September 16, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2006.
  8. ^ "PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University". Northwest Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering (NACSE), based at Oregon State University. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  9. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  11. ^ Hitchcock, Kristin (March 18, 2022). "10 Most Dangerous Cities in Delaware (2024 Update)". House Grail. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  12. ^ "Most Dangerous Cities in Delaware 2023/2024". Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  13. ^ Flynn, Liz (March 18, 2023). "The 20 Worst Places to Live in Delaware". Money Inc. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  14. ^ "10 Most Dangerous Cities In Delaware". Travel Safe - Abroad. February 28, 2023. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  16. ^ "History". Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "City Council". City of Seaford.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h City of Seaford, DE. (n.d.). Council members. Home - City of Seaford, DE. Retrieved April 21, 2023, from
  19. ^ "Our view: Seaford abortion law donor must not trump citizens, voters". The News Journal. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  20. ^ Rolfe, Glenn (January 9, 2022). "Identity of anonymous donor at issue in Seaford fetal-remains debate". Bay to Bay News. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  21. ^ "Quid Pro Quo in Seaford? Councilman blasts Mayor after state files lawsuit over abortion ordinance • TV Delmarva". TV Delmarva. January 12, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  22. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Sussex County, DE" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  23. ^ "District Profile and History". Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  24. ^ "District Profile and History".
  25. ^ a b "Morning Star Publications Inc: Seaford Star". Buzzfile. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  26. ^ "Routes and Schedules". DART First State. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  27. ^ "Electric". City of Seaford. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  28. ^ "Public Works". City of Seaford. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  29. ^ "Delmarva Service Territory". Chesapeake Utilities. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  30. ^ "Locations & Directions". Nanticoke Health Services. Retrieved August 10, 2017.

External links[edit]