U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand last week introduced legislation that would improve and preserve the overall wellness of the Delaware River watershed.
The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2014, cosponsored by Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons (both D-Del.), Cory Booker and Robert Menendez (both D-N.J.), and Robert Casey (D-Penn.), strengthens the environmental health of the watershed while also spurring the Delaware River watershed region’s economy.
“Creating a partnership to coordinate conservation efforts will allow New York and other states to build on their successes and enhance water quality and the environment throughout the Delaware River watershed,” said Schumer.
“Investing in our waterways is critical for our environment and our communities,” added Gillibrand.
The Delaware River is not just a key resource for important habitat and recreational activity, but a vital generator of economic activity for the region.
The Delaware River is directly responsible for an estimated $4.3 billion in annual wages, with $149 billion in annual wages contained within the watershed. According to a 2011 comprehensive study of the region, more than 200,000 jobs are estimated to be directly tied to the Delaware River, with nearly 3 million jobs contained within the watershed.
The Delaware River also houses the nation’s largest fresh water port, the Delaware River Port Complex. The complex is estimated to generate more than $19 billion in economic activity annually.
Press Release, May 12, 2014