Federal budget includes $10 million for Delaware River conservation

Environment. The program helps organizations tackle overdevelopment, stormwater runoff, flooding, stream erosion, and loss of wildlife habitat.

06 Jan 2021 | 01:05

The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP) received $10 million in funding as part of the fiscal year 2021 Interior Appropriations bill approved by Congress and signed by the President, a modest increase from $9.7 million last year.

The program will provide technical assistance and grant funds in 2021 to address the Delaware River Basin’s environmental challenges in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. Government entities, non-profit organizations, and schools within the basin can apply for funds to implement on-the-ground restoration and conservation projects.

”We applaud the Congressional champions who supported the inclusion of $10 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program in the 2021 federal budget,” said Sandra Meola, Director, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “This program represents a critical investment in the land and water resources of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The program empowers organizations to tackle critical environmental issues, such as overdevelopment, stormwater runoff, flooding, stream erosion, and loss of wildlife habitat. The increase in funding for the Delaware River Basin will allow for the continued expansion of conservation and restoration of the resources upon which people, wildlife, and our economy rely.”

Since 2018, the grant program created by the DRBRP, called the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, has awarded $16.86 million to 90 projects, which generated $34.05 million in match, for a total conservation impact of $50.91 million. These projects will collectively restore almost 17 miles of riparian habitat and 73 miles of stream habitat, conserve and enhance 297 acres of wetland habitat, restore 251 acres of floodplain, improve 10,648 acres of forest habitat, and open 3,173 acres for public access.

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is a network of over 160 non-governmental organizations in NJ, PA, DE, and NY dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural resources of the Delaware River Basin. For more information, visit DelRiverWatershed.org.

By the numbers
The Delaware River Basin:
Encompasses portions of four states.
Supplies about 13.3 million people (4% of the U.S. population) with water for drinking, washing, and farming.
Is the only water source for two major U.S. cities, Philadelphia (100%) and New York (50%.)
Brings in $25 billion annually in economic activity.
Supports 600,000 jobs.
Provides habitat to over 400 types of birds, over 90 fish species, and many other animals, including several threatened and endangered species.
‘The increase in funding for the Delaware River Basin will allow for the continued expansion of conservation and restoration of the resources upon which people, wildlife, and our economy rely.” Sandra Meola