Delaware River Basin

From the mainstem Delaware River in Philadelphia to the abundant exceptional value streams in the Poconos, PennFuture is working diligently and purposefully in restoring and maintaining our precious natural resources in the Delaware River Basin. 

The source of drinking water for 13.3 million people, the Delaware is now relied upon as a clean water resource. But, 50 years back, the water quality we enjoy today was nearly unimaginable. Polluters recklessly dumped raw sewage and chemicals straight into the river, making it near impossible to sustain even the most basic forms of aquatic life.

Our legal team and community organizers defend the Delaware against illegal polluters and from efforts to undermine legal protections.

PennFuture is a lead convener for groups such as Our Pocono Waters, a coalition of businesses and conservationists advocating for protection of the Exceptional Value headwaters of the Delaware. A recent campaign successfully thwarted well-heeled owners of resorts and other large developments from weakening regional stream protections.

We also recently published a new version of our Stream Redesignation Handbook, an 82-page manual that serves as a guide for those looking to protect and maintain local stream quality. This handbook is a critical tool for anyone in Pennsylvania who wishes to have more protective rules and regulations put in place for their local streams and waterways. You can read more about the handbook here.

PennFuture also holds the state lead seat for the Coalition of the Delaware River Watershed, a four-state coalition made up of over 150 members nongovernmental organizations. This coalition is dedicated to “protecting and restoring the Delaware River, its tributaries, and more than 13,500 square miles of forests, wetlands, communities, and other distinctive landscapes in the Watershed, so that clean water and valued resources can be here for generations to come.”


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