Delaware River Basin Deserves Federal Protection

349 349 Stroud Water Research Center


Beverly M. Payton, Communications Director

Stroud Water Research Center applauds reintroduction of Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.

AVONDALE, Pa.— Stroud Water Research Center applauds U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Del., for sponsoring the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, which was reintroduced — for the fifth time — in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 15. The Act will improve habitats, protect water quality and mitigate flood damage across the 13,000-square-mile watershed.

The act establishes a non-regulatory program within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for restoration and protection activities. It also authorizes $5 million for competitive grant and technical assistance programs.

“Delaware River restoration efforts receive limited federal funding compared to similar watersheds across the country,” said Bernard W. Sweeney, Ph.D., director of Stroud Water Research Center. “The Delaware River does not have a federal program dedicated to its conservation, yet it is every bit as important as the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound which do.”

“Freshwater scientists at the Stroud Center have been monitoring the water quality of regional sub-watersheds in the Delaware River Basin for several decades,” said Sweeney. “This year our scientists, in cooperation with collaborating scientists, will continue that monitoring as well as begin substantial work in a wide range of range of watersheds within the Delaware River basin. We can state emphatically that such work needs not only to continue, but to be expanded.”

“Protecting water quality in the headwaters, before it becomes substantially degraded, in each of the many sub-watersheds of the Delaware River basin is a much better economic model than developing and maintaining the complex infrastructure needed to filter and treat contaminants that accumulate downstream,” he added.

The Delaware River watershed headwaters start in the Catskill and Pocono mountains and drain through New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware before the river enters the Delaware Bay and then the Atlantic Ocean. It delivers clean drinking water to 16 million people, provides habitat for a diverse mix of species, and offers abundant recreational opportunities.

In addition to appreciating the leadership of Sen. Carper, and Rep. Carney, we thank these U.S. Senate co-sponsors: Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del.; Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, both D-N.J.; Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both D-N.Y.; and Robert Casey, D-Pa.

Moreover, we are pleased to see bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representative whose co-sponsors include: Reps. Chris Gibson, R-NY; Chaka Fattah, D-Pa.; Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; Matt Cartwright, D-Pa.; Charlie Dent, R-Pa.; Ryan Costello, R-Pa.; Brendan Boyle, D- Pa.; Pat Meehan, R-Pa.; Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.; Chris Smith, R-N.J.; Donald Norcross, D-N.J., Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.; Frank LoBiondo R-N.J.; Tom MacArthur, R-N.J.; and Bob Brady, D-Pa.