Our Perspectives on the Latest Issues
Pennsylvania is among four states that include portions of the Delaware River Basin, along with New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. In Pennsylvania, 17 of the state’s 67 counties lie entirely or partly within the Delaware River watershed. In 2010, according to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, nearly 5 million people lived within Pennsylvania’s portion of the watershed. That number has certainly grown since.
PennFuture, the Delaware Nature Society, Friends of the Upper Delaware, and New Jersey Audubon, are now working together with our partner, the National Wildlife Federation, to lead the 4TheDelaware Campaign, urging state leaders to advance and expand support for this critical watershed.
The Delaware River provides drinking water to residents both within and outside of the watershed and supports local economies along its banks in cities like Philadelphia and the many towns in the region. The river also provides millions of jobs (accounting for approximately $115.5 billion in wages in 2011) in the state including outdoor recreation, farming, water supply and wastewater utilities, and watershed organizations. It is a resource that plays a crucial role supporting public health as well as the regional economy. By prioritizing the Delaware, leaders can prove that good jobs and a healthy environment go hand in hand.
We are joining together as organizations across four states to call on the governors of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey to take a stand and defend the river’s health, protect the thriving economy that relies on the Delaware River watershed, and safeguard the animal and plant life essential to the ecological health of the region and the river.
Restoration programs established by environmental organizations, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the federal government have been successful in bringing bald eagles and river shad back to the Delaware River, where they had nearly disappeared entirely. This is a promising sign of restoration, but there is much more to be done to ensure regional progress. The Delaware River is home to several endangered species, and fish and wildlife rely on the watershed for habitat and food. With such precious wildlife at stake, it is especially critical for Pennsylvania to protect the diverse ecosystems that support the Delaware River.
Through the work of our incredible supporters, the commitment from our legislators, and the thoughtful leadership from our business partners, we can restore the Delaware River, protect the region for generations to come, and preserve it for the families and wildlife that all call this watershed home.
Join us as we kick off this great campaign to make the Delaware River watershed the model for a fully restored and vibrant watershed!