In 1998, the EPA established the first Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in the Appoquinimink Watershed for the tidal portions of the river. A TMDL gives the maximum amount of pollution that is allowed for a waterbody and indicates the amount of pollution that needs to be reduced to meet this threshold.
In order to allow any interested citizen to participate in the process of reducing pollution in their neighborhood waters, DNREC created the Appoquinimink Tributary Action Team in 2000. Comprised of local educators, scientists and landowners, this group spent the next couple of years discussing and developing detailed recommendations on how the 20% nutrient reduction required by the TMDL could be achieved in the watershed.
Following the issuance of the second Appoquinimink TMDL in December 2003, the Team initiated further discussion of ways to reach the TMDL that now required a 60% nutrient reduction. As a result of the intensive dialogue, the team decided that it was necessary to transition the group into a separate nonprofit organization to be able to best address the needs of the watershed. Thus, in April 2004 the Appoquinimink River Association was incorporated in the State of Delaware.
As the Association began to work more on projects throughout the watershed, they realized the benefits of expanding into a organization that helps preserve, protect and enhance the water resources and natural areas of all the watersheds of southern New Castle County. To begin implementing this vision, in 2009 the Association increased their education, outreach and project implementation throughout southern New Castle County.