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The Delaware River flows in a general southerly direction, forming the
boundary line between New York and New Jersey on the east and Pennsylvania and
Delaware on the west. It empties into Delaware Bay, the mouth of which lies
between Cape May, N. J., and Cape Henlopen, Del., on the Atlantic Ocean. The
river provides the principal artery for water-borne commerce, not only for Phila
delphia and points on the left bank opposite that city, but for numerous other
localities below and above the limits of Philadelphia Harbor and for Wilmington,
Del., at the junction of the Christina and Delaware Rivers. Trenton, N. J., 32
miles above Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, is the present head of commercial
navigation on the river.
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal extends from the Delaware River at Reedy
Point, Del., just below Delaware City, to the Elk River, an arm of Chesapeake
Bay, and provides an alternate approach to the Delaware River parts and a pro
tected route between them and Baltimore, Md., and other Chesapeake Bay ports.
Inbound vessels enroute to Philadelphia or to points opposite or beyond it
pass the towns and localities of Delaware City and New Castle, Del., Pennsville
and Deepwater Point, N. J., the portion of the port of Wilmington, Del., which
fronts on the Delaware River, the cities and villages of Pennsgrove, N. J.,
Claymont, Del., Marcus Hook, Pa., Bridgeport, N. J., Chester and Eddystone,
Pa., and Thompson Point and Paulsboro, N. J., at each of which terminal facil
ities have been provided for handling water-borne traffic.
All the localities
named are located within the 30-mile stretch of the river below the southern
limit of the port of Philadelphia. The port of Wilmington, Del., which is
located at the junction of the Christina and the Delaware Rivers about 29 miles
below Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and includes the village of Edge Moor, Del.,
is described separately in Port Series No. 8. Numerous other localities located
along the 40-foot channel in the Delaware River between Philadelphia and the sea
have no water front terminal facilities and are therefore not considered in this
The harbor of Philadelphia includes the water front on the right bank of
the Delaware River from the site of what was formerly the lower dock at Hog
Island, belou the mouth of the Schuylkill River, to Poquessing Creek at the
upper limit of the city of Philadelphia, a distance of about 23 miles. On the
left bank of the river, opposite Philadelphia, are the cities of Camden and
Gloucester and the two unincorporated settlements of Delair and Riverside. A
detailed description of the port of Philadelphia and of the ports and locali
ties lying opposite is given separately in Port Series No. 7.
Above the upper limit of the port of Philadelphia (at the mouth of Poques
sing Creek) the localities at which water front terminals are available for
handling traffic include Andalusia, Pa., Burlington and East Burlington, N.J.,
Bristol, Pa., Florence and Roebling, N. J., Penn Manor, Pa., and Fieldsboro
and Trenton, N. J. The main channel in the Delaware River between the Pennsyl
vania Railroad bridge at Delair and Trenton has a project depth of 25 feet.
Additional information concerning the location and description of the
ports on the Delaware River below and above Philadelphia is given in the
Ports belon Philadelphia
Delaware City, Del, is located on the right bank of the Delaware River,
southwestward of Pea Patch Island, 13 miles above the entrance to the Chesapeake
and Delaware Canal, and approximately 39 miles below Chestnut Street, Philadel
A branch channel connects Delaware City with the Chesapeake and Delaware
Canal. One wharf provides a landing for small boats at Delaware City.
New Castle, Del,, is on the right bank of the river, about 5 miles below
Wilmington, 34 miles below Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, and approximately
69 miles from the ocean.
Three public wbarves are available and at the north
side of the town there is a ferry slip used by the vehicular and passenger
ferries plying between New Castle and Pennsville, N.J., on the opposite shore.
Pennsville, N. Je, a village on the left bank of the river, opposite New
Castle, has two water front terminals, including a landing used by the ferries
from New Castle and a passenger terminal at Riverview Beach, north of the ferry
slip. The latter is used mainly during the summer months.
Deepwater Point, N. Je, is located on the left bank of the river nearly
opposite the mouth of the Christina River, about 30 miles below Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, and about 72 miles from the sea.
The Salem Canal enters the Del
aware River near Deepwater Point but is blocked by a dam a short distance above
Below the mouth of the Salem Canal is the electric generating plant
of the Deepwater Operating Co. and above the canal E. I. du Pont de Nemours &
Co. operates a chemical plant with three water front terminals.
electric power line extends to the end of a pier just above the du Pont piers,
thence it is carried down and crosses on the river bottom to a pier at Pigeon
Point, directly opposite, where it is again elevated to steel towers.
Deepwater Point Anchorage in this vicinity has an area of about 305 acres.
Edge Moor, Del., a village on the right bank of the Delaware River about
27 miles below Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, adjoins the city of Wilmington
and for the purposes of this report is considered to be within its port limits.