U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, Ducks Unlimited, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gathered for a press conference last week to discuss the significance Delaware plays within Delaware River Basin and new funding coming to the state.
For the first time in history, dedicated federal funding to Delaware River Basin states was secured through the Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations omnibus bill in the amount of $5 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP).
“Advocating for the passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act has been a top priority for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed since our founding in 2012,” stated Sandra Meola, Director for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.
“Now, with the successful establishment and movement of the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, we are immensely grateful to Congressional champions who led on DRBRP funding for understanding the importance the Basin has on the environment and economy of the region. This year’s funding and anticipated future funding directly translates into a protected watershed and healthier environment for Delawareans.”
The DRBRP was created after the 2016 passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. The DRBRP is a non-regulatory effort that will be administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceand will leverage private investment, regional partnerships, and local knowledge to protect and restore the resources of the basin.
Funding from the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program will be available to nonprofits; state, Federal, Tribal and local governments; and educational institutions seeking to address pressing environmental issues within the Delaware River Basin.