The beneficiaries of removing mill dams in Delaware River watershed? ‘Fish, fish, fish’

2/19/2024  |  Delaware Currents
On a spring day more than 300 years ago, the people of the Lenape tribe gathered in their homeland along the Brandywine Creek in Delaware. Hundreds of fish had just begun to make their way from the Atlantic Ocean, up the Delaware River and into the Brandywine to spawn in the creek’s upstream headwaters in Pennsylvania. After a long, lean winter for the Lenape, these fish — now known as the American Shad — were greeted as relatives and the first source of fresh food for the Lenapes every year. But when Samuel Kirk built a dam in 1720 near where the Brandywine Creek meets the Christina River — which bridges the Brandywine with the Delaware River in the city of Wilmington — the shad could no longer swim to their ancestral spawning grounds upstream.

Stay up to date with our email newsletter