It was an honor to be recognized last week for our work on the successful passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act! We want to extend the congratulations to all of our members and partners who were absolutely key in this achievement, as well as the groups that were able to join us that night.
There is a there's a lot to report and many ways to for all of you to get involved; from weighing in on EPA's Regulatory Evaluation and signing onto our PA budget letters to helping out with our Forum planning (psst...we set our date). Please read on for more news and updates from around the watershed!
At a glance:
- CDRW Updates: Special Recognition Award, Forum Save the Date, PA Budget Letters, DRBRP Update, EPA Regulatory Evaluation, State Lead Renewal
- Watershed News: NWF Testifies on Clean Water in Congress, Spring Cleanups, & Earth Day beer partnerships grow in popularity
- Member Resources: An EPA Webinar you won't want to miss!
- Events, funding, and new 6 job opportunities and 3 internships!
Coalition Director Maddy Urbish, along with Madeline Emde (CDRW) and Grant La Rouche of National Wildlife Federation at the WRADRB Awards Dinner.
CDRW Receives Special Recognition Award
The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed was presented with the Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin's (WRADRB) Special Recognition Award for its work on the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act on April 19, 2017 at the Association's 35th Annual Recognition Dinner. Our allies in Congress including Senator Tom Carper, Governor Carney, Congressman Frank LoBiondo, Congressman Ryan Costello, and Former Governor and Congressman Mike Castle were also recognized at the event. Thanks to the members who were able to attend the event and represent the Coalition! You can read more about the award here.
Mark Your Calendars - 2017 Delaware River Watershed Forum
We are pleased to announce that the 2017 Delaware River Watershed Forum will take at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos region! Please mark your calendars for October 17-18 for the region's forum for watershed action. Our official save the date will go out soon, but we wanted you to be the first to know! Want to get more involved? Please contact Madeline Emde if you are interested in participating in our planning committee.
Pennsylvania Budget Sign-on Letters
The Coalition is currently circulating two sign on letters (PA Funding Letter and PA DRBC Funding Letter) to our PA and regional members regarding the recent budget passed by the PA House of Representatives that significantly cuts funding for the Department of Environment, Conservation District grants, the Delaware River Basin Commission, and other important programs. Please contact Maddy Urbish by COB 5/8/17 if your organization would like to join the letter.
Delaware River Basin Restoration Program
Through our workgroup, we have continued to provide feedback to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on their draft framework for the program and just recently submitted comments on the final draft. We are really pleased to see our Coalition's input included in the final draft and the Service's continued responsiveness with us and other stakeholders.
EPA Regulatory Evaluation
In response to a recent Executive Order, EPA has established a Regulatory Reform Task Force that will evaluate existing regulations and identify regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make less burdensome. EPA’s Office of Water will host a public listening session to obtain feedback on water regulations on Tuesday, May 2nd, from 11am-2pm Eastern. For more background and details about joining the listening session, click here.
There is also an opportunity to submit comments outside of the meeting. Written comments are due May 15th. Our Coalition is working to draft written comments to assist your organizations should you choose to submit. We encourage everyone to comment on this important process and will be sending out template language soon.
Request for Proposals for Next Round of Coalition State Leads
Since our State Outreach Lead Initiative launched in early 2016, our four State Outreach Leads have helped to further our Coalition's reach and better connect with our members. They have played a key role in representing our coalition, building membership, and implementing grassroots campaigns. We are pleased to announce that we are continuing this effort in 2017 to advance Coalition priorities and enhance our effectiveness across the four states of the watershed. The opportunity to apply for the State Outreach Lead position is open to all Coalition member organizations. If you are interested in applying, please contact Madeline Emde for more information. Application deadline is May, 19th.
In the News:
- Raritan Valley Community College joins with Clean Ocean Action to clean up nearly 8,000 pieces of debris along the Delaware River
- VIDEO: Schuylkill County Trout Unlimited, Schuylkill Headwaters help to revitalize the river
- Governor Wolf Announces $39 Million Investment in Water Infrastructure Projects including a grant to The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
- VIDEO: Building a Stronger Coast: Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Federation's CEO Colin O'Mara testifies in Congress
Yesterday, Colin O'Mara testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the need for a strong Clean Water Rule that conserves our Nation’s wetlands, streams and rivers for fish, wildlife and communities. Check out our social media coverage and some great photos and quotes on twitter @nwfwater.
Earth Day Beer Partnerships Grow in Popularity
Dew Point Brewery, a DE-based brewery sold its Earth Day Beer, the Red Clay Pale Ale, in honor of Brandywine Red Clay Alliance (BRC) from April 19-23 with a portion of the proceeds to be donated to BRC. The Cape May Brewing Company hosted a special "Earth Day Pint Night" on April 20 during which one dollar from each pint was donated to the Nature Center of Cape May and the Cape May Bird Observatory, both NJ Aubudon Society locations.
Support a Project in the Delaware Watershed in USA Today's Grant Competition
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation is part of a nation-wide competition to help fund a floating classroom to bring hands-on lessons about watershed protection and freshwater ecology to students on Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey’s largest lake. To check out their project, click here.
WEBINAR: Feedback on Reducing Regulatory Burden
The EPA is seeking public input on existing regulations that could be repealed, replaced, or modified to make them less burdensome. As part of that effort, the EPA will host a public listening session to obtain additional feedback on water regulatory actions on Tuesday, May 2nd from 11:00am to 2:00pm EST. You must register for the telephone conference online here.
RCA Interactive Data Viewer
The USDA has put together a data viewing tool that highlights information regarding the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) that now includes FY 2015 information about the State, Regional, and National Conservation Program reports. This tool includes data on obligations, contracts, and easements, as well as conservation practices applied. The RCA data viewer provides tabular reports, maps, and downloadable data files.
WEBINAR: EPA's Global Change Explorer Web Tools Collection
On May 31, as a part of the Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Program, the EPA is hosting a webinar to explain a collection of web tools that allow visualization, comparison, and access to spatial data that describe potential environmental change. The three web tools that comprise the Global Change Explorer are land use, watersheds, and deposition. For more information and registration, click here.
- Director of Outreach - Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (application due by May 5)
- Nature Center Assistant - NJ Audubon
- Policy Manager - NJ Audubon
- Stormwater Specialist - Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association
- NY/NJ Trails Volunteer Programs Support Staff - The Appalachian Mountain Club
- Environmental Education Intern - Pocono Environmental Education Center
- Development Intern - Natural Lands Trust
- Business Development Intern - The GREEN Program (application due by April 30)
- Mid-Atlantic Leadership Development Manager - River Network (application due by May 15)
4/27 Webinar on Innovative State Water Agency Practices: Working Toward Resilience
4/27 PA Member Call 3pm, call in # 609-447-2401
4/28 FUDR's One Bug Kick Off Party
4/29 Darby Creek Watershed Cleanup
4/29 Brandywine Creek Clean-up
5/2 Webinar: Feedback on Reducing Regulatory Burden
5/6 Delaware Nature Society Native Plant Sale
5/6 White Clay Creek Fest
5/11 DRBC Water Quality Advisory Committee
5/13 Love Your Park Week
5/17 DRBC Regular Quarterly Public Hearing Meeting
5/20 Native Plants for Native Pollinators
5/22 Delaware River Heritage Lecture
For more events, check out our calendar
NYSDEC Technical Assistance Grant Program
The DEC is continuously accepting applications for Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs). TAGs are a citizen participation tool available to eligible community groups to increase public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in their community. For for information and to apply, click here.
NJDEP Water Quality Restoration Grant Program
This grant focuses on issues surrounding reducing or eliminating combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and improving resiliency to storm events like Superstorm Sandy. The efforts can be advanced by implementing NPS pollution reduction strategies, including green infrastructure, living shorelines, and environmental education. Applications due May 4, 2017. For more information, click here.
First Energy STEM Classroom Grant
Educators (Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12) and youth group leaders are eligible to apply if their school or group is located in communities served by FirstEnergy’s electric operating companies or in communities where the company has generating plants. Applications are being accepted now for the 2017-2018 school year and are due by Friday, September 22, 2017. For more information and to apply, click here.