What is the mission of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River?

Apr 23 2019 | 09:04 AM

    Q: What is the mission of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River?
    JS: To protect, preserve, and enhance the cold-water ecosystem and the economy of the Upper Delaware River watershed and to address all environ- mental threats in our area for the benefit of local com- munities, residents, and visitors to the region.
    Q: As a geotourism program, the Scenic Wild Delaware River program encourages recreational travelers to experience our region’s authentic natural, historical and cultural sites. How does this fit with your work at the Friends?
    JS: The Friends of the Upper Delaware works to protect and restore a world class wild trout fishery in the Upper Delaware River that attracts thousands of anglers from around the globe every year. We also work hard to generate river-related tourism opportunities on the river such as hiking, boating, and birdwatching. We believe the quality of the river and the watershed is inextricably linked with healthy communities and the local economy. When people experience the river and the Upper Delaware region firsthand, they will gain an appreciation of its awesome beauty and natural resource value and will understand the need to keep the water and the land clean and healthy. This will help ensure a sustainable future for the watershed and foster responsible and sustainable tourism activities that will help stimulate the local economy in a region that desperately needs rejuvenation.
    Q: What issues are most critical to protecting the Upper Delaware’s cold-water trout fisheries?
    JS: There are a number of very important issues that could help ensure the long-term protection and restora- tion of the Upper Delaware River. These include:
    1. Improved releases of cold water from the New York City Delaware River basin reservoirs. Water releases from the reservoirs play a major role in the health of the river every day and the economic vitality of the communities and people that rely on it for their livelihood.
    2. Protecting and restoring tributar- ies to control erosion and accelerated sedimentation, one of the top threats to water quality and aquatic habitat in the Upper Delaware River.
    3. Ensuring that proper protections are put into place to address threats like illegal harvesting of fish, and unlicensed guiding and angling. Expansion of catch and release requirements is also something that should be seriously considered by NY and PA fishery agencies.
    Q: Finally, tell us some of the “Must See and Experience” places that you recommend for travelers that can be found at scenicwilddelawareriver.com.
    JS: We’ve got some great lodges and resorts here in the Upper Delaware River including West Branch Angler and Delaware River Club. We also have world class guides and outfitters that can dramatically shorten the learning curve for the visiting angler including but not limited to Cross Current Outfitters and East Branch Outfitters. These places and others will supply all your angling equipment needs and information about fishing the river.
    Editor's note: The Scenic Wild Delaware River Geotourism Project: Scenic Wild Delaware River Geotourism is one of only 23 geotourism programs created by National Geographic worldwide. Working collaboratively in the 3 states along the middle and upper Delaware River region, the Program promotes and sustains the region’s resources for long-term economic and environmental vitality. NPCA helps staff this program. Visit the interactive travel website showcasing local experiences at ScenicWildDelawareRiver.com.