The Dutch hired Henry Hudson who mapped it in 1609. They called it the South River (Zuid) when they founded their initial settlement in the bay in 1631, but when King Charles II relieved them of Niew-Nederland in 1664, the English renamed it after the 3rd Baron De La Warr.
The Delaware was then linked to the Chesapeake in 1829, after an idea first conceived by the Dutch and later promoted by Benjamin Franklin. A public-private partnership, it was one of the great infrastructure works of the age; following a typically expansionist Roosevelt initiative of 1906, the Feds ended up buying the Canal in 1919.
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is 14 miles long and reportedly there is a minimum speed of 3 miles per hour. Apparently, however, there is no speed maximum.