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The Resilient Community Partnership with the City of New Castle

The City of New Castle, like other low-lying Delaware communities, is vulnerable to natural hazards from multiple sources. New Castle is particularly at risk due to its location along the Delaware River, which makes it susceptible to upstream flooding, downstream tidal surge, and combinations of the two.  A significant portion of the City is in the coastal floodplain and within an area that is predicted to be impacted by sea level rise. There are four earthen dikes within and near the City (Buttonwood Dike, Broad Dike, Gambacorta Marsh Dike, and Army Creek Dike), which were first built in the late 1600s by the original City founders. Though maintenance (vegetation removal, placement of rip-rap, leveling, etc.) was recently completed at each dike, their tops are at approximate elevation of 8.5 feet, which is below the 100-year flood elevation, and below future elevations given considerations of future sea level rise scenarios. The City also has tide gates and extensive marshes that need to be considered in its flood mitigation strategy. The threat of dike failure or overtopping continues with the added recognition that coastal storms are becoming more frequent and more intense. Sea level rise also is expanding high tide inundation areas and increasing instances of nuisance flooding.

Preparing for Hazards Today - Planning for Risks Tomorrow
Starting in the spring of 2017, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Delaware Coastal Programs (DCP) office began working with the Town to carry out a comprehensive assessment of risks to the community from coastal storms, sea level rise and extreme tides. This assessment will be performed by AECOM, and will inform the City’s development of adaptation and mitigation measures to enhance the City’s resiliency, or ability to withstand and bounce back from natural hazards. Public participation will be extremely important to this effort. Through public engagement in several workshops and taskforce meetings residents and stakeholderswill have the opportunity to contribute input and brainstorm strategies for addressing these risks. The work in this partnership will also be promoted through information sharing across the state and region so that other municipalities and communities may benefit.  

If you have questions or would like additional information about the partnership, please contact the Delaware Coastal Programs at (302) 739-9283 to speak with (or email) Danielle Swallow or Dr. Bob Scarborough.  


 Upcoming Events: 

Resilient Community Partnership Open House and Public Workshop  

Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017 at 5 p.m. at the New Castle Elementary School

Learn how the City of New Castle can manage risks from flooding. Prepare today for tomorrow's hazards!

Find out how the Resilient Community Partnership is improving the capacity to plan for and recover from coastal and climate hazards in the City of New Castle. All City of New Castle residents and stakeholders are invited to the New Castle Elementary School to hear about the project and provide comments. Informational exhibits and feedback stations will be available from 5 - 7:30 p.m.. A short overview presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m., and will be repeated at 6:15 p.m.

Flooding at the Intersection of Rt. 9 and Ferry Cutoff during Hurricane Irene August 2011

Please stop in to:

  • Share your observations and concerns about current coastal hazards and future climate hazards such as nuisance flooding and storm surge
  • Listen to an informative presentation about the project
  • Speak with subject matter experts

Prior registration not required. Your participation will help guide the assessment of the New Castle’s vulnerability to flooding and climate impacts as well as to inform the development and prioritization of adaptation strategies.

Can't attend the event? Please send your comments on the project to this email:  


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