Lenape Cabin Club Dam (D15-388) Removal and FAQs

Lenape Dam (D15-388) was a 280-foot-long, rock-fill dam on Brandywine Creek located in Pocopson Township originally constructed in the early 1900s to create an impoundment of water for boating and recreational purposes. Several years ago, the dam was breached leaving an 18 foot gap in the dam, lowering the impoundment water levels and adding to the boating hazard created by the dam. The Pennsylvania DEP Division of Dam Safety notified the Lenape Cabin Club, Inc, the owner of the dam, that it no longer met current dam safety standards and needed to be replaced or removed. The owner elected to remove the dam as it was not economically or practically feasible to replace the dam to meet current standards. In 2019, the owners received approval for the project from PADEP and the dam was removed in February 2021 with project oversite and support from Brandywine Red Clay Alliance.

Dam Before Removal

BRC is proud to be a member of Brandywine Shad 2020 which has identified 11 dams on the Brandywine Creek as obstructions to the migration of anadromous fish from the Delaware Bay. American Shad are an historically significant fish that was once abundant in the Brandywine before hundreds of dams were built that obstructed their annual migration. Removing dams across the country is a growing technique with many benefits for humans and wildlife.

Dam After Removal

The dam removal restored a 3,300-foot section of Brandywine Creek to free-flowing condition.
• SAFETY- Low head dams are safety hazards for boaters, anglers and others recreating on streams. Fatalities have occurred at this site and removing the dam eliminated this hazard.
• ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS- The creek has returned to free-flowing condition allowing for:
o Natural stream channel flow with faster flowing shallow riffles and runs replacing slower moving water
o Improved fish and aquatic habitat with cooler waters and greater oxygen levels supporting more diverse aquatic life
o Access for migrating local and anadromous fish, such as Shad from the Delaware Bay
o Improved canoe and kayak access for the public and commercial canoe liveries
o Safe fishing and recreational water access

Ed O’Donnell, University of Delaware Institute of Public Information

Funders: This project is funded by the Lenape Cabin Club and a $57,182 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Brandywine Red Clay Alliance is the grant recipient and is providing in-kind project administration and support.


“The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government, or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its funding sources.”