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News Release

Delaware Completes Digital Soil Survey of New Castle County


United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
1221 College Park Drive, Suite 100
Dover, Delaware 19904
For More Information:

Diane Shields, 302/678-4172
Dastina Johnson, 302/678-4179

Delaware Completes Digital Soil Survey of New Castle County
Soils information for entire state now available in digital format

Dover, Del., January 25, 2010 – In early January, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Delaware completed its digital mapping of 298,000 acres of soils in New Castle County.  This latest mapping supersedes the previous soil survey completed in 1970 and completes the digital mapping for Delaware.  Now the public can access current digital information for 1.3 million acres of soils throughout the entire state.  

“The existing soil surveys were outdated and focused primarily on agricultural interpretations,” said Marianne Hardesty, NRCS district conservationist.  “With this new digital format, individuals can obtain access to updated soils data and maps, geographic data, aerial photography, roads, towns, slopes, drainage, and more - either online, on a CD or in GIS software.”  

Soil surveys provide useful information to homeowners, community planners, developers, farmers, realtors, engineers and foresters, among others. This information can help determine if land is suitable for building, farming, grazing, and many engineering and conservation applications.  In addition, soil surveys provide information needed to protect water quality, wetlands and wildlife habitat.  

Anyone can access soils information through their local soil conservation district office or on the Web Soil Survey (WSS) at or the Soil Data Mart at  Viewers can subscribe to the Soil Data Mart to receive future notifications of data updates via e-mail.  

Delaware’s soil survey and digitizing project is part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey led by NRCS.  The project began in 1998 and was successfully completed with assistance from the following partners: the Delaware Office of State Planning, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) program and several consulting firms.   

For additional information on the soil survey, please contact Diane Shields at or visit  Or, contact the local USDA Service Center nearest you. In Kent County, call 302-741-2600 x 3; in Sussex, call 302-856-3990, x 3 and in New Castle, call 302-832-3100 x 3.


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