SCD approves over $770,000 in tax ditch cost-share funding

Sept. 6, 2023

The Sussex Conservation District (SCD) board of supervisors voted to approve the annual tax ditch cost-share program funding, totaling $772,000, at the board meeting on Aug. 22.

“Tax ditches are a critical drainage infrastructure for much of the county and many ditches date back to the 1950s. Routine maintenance is necessary to ensure they continue to function as designed,” said Joel Wharton, SCD board of supervisors chairman. “We are fortunate to have the support of Reps. Vanderwende (R-35) and Gray (R-38) to lead efforts to add an additional $500,000 to the program this year.”

Sussex County has over 135 tax ditch organizations that cover over 1,200 miles, providing drainage for 340,000 acres of land. Approximately 60% of Delaware’s tax ditch miles are located in Sussex County and 42% of the county relies on drainage provided by tax ditches. Tax ditches are a governmental subdivision of the state.

The tax ditch cost-share program received 260 applications totaling over $772,000. All applications for mowing, maintaining right-of-way access, and spraying, to control woody or invasive vegetation, were approved. Maintenance applications, which include dip outs, erosion repair, new pipes, crossings or replacements, tree removal, erosion repair and beaver dam removal were also funded.

Funding for SCDs tax ditch cost-share program is provided by the Delaware General Assembly through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Sussex County Council.

To learn more about DNRECs Tax Ditch Program, visit To learn more about SCDs tax ditch cost share program, visit