Governors of DE, NJ, and PA Commit to Restoring the Delaware River Watershed  

Governors of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania Commit to Restoring the Delaware River Watershed  


On May 16, 2019 in Philadelphia, the governors of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania made a shared commitment to protect the Delaware River Watershed and agreed to work as equal partners to grow the region’s economy and protect America’s “founding waterway.” The Governors signed a proclamation agreeing to work together to make the Delaware River Basin the national model for sustainable economic development, drinkable clean water, healthy fish and wildlife populations, outdoor recreation and nature-based climate resilience.


Conservation organizations cheered the action, which came during a moderated forum at the Independence Seaport Museum as Governors Carney, Murphy, and Wolf discussed the challenges and opportunities for restoring the Delaware River Watershed.

“The Delaware River Basin is not only the cradle of American democracy, it’s an economic engine for our region and provides drinking water for nearly 15 million people. In the face of escalating climate impacts and the Trump Administration’s rollback of basic clean water protections, collaborative, cross-state solutions are needed more now than ever to grow our economy, ensure clean drinking water, recover fish and wildlife populations, expand outdoor recreation opportunities and improve our resilience to climate impacts,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We commend Governors Carney, Murphy, and Wolf for committing to work together on making the restoration of the magnificent Delaware River Watershed a national model.” 


Each of these states has a unique relationship with the river. In Delaware, for instance, the Delaware Bayshore provides a world-class destination for outdoor recreation, especially birding, fishing, hiking and paddling. Right now, thousands of red knots and other shorebirds are stopping over in Delaware Bay to feast upon the eggs of horseshoe crabs as part of their annual migration to their Arctic breeding grounds.

“Millions of people in our region depend on the Delaware River Basin for clean drinking water, and the river remains vitally important for outdoor recreation and economic development for communities in Delaware and beyond,” said Governor Carney. “I am proud to join Governor Wolf and Governor Murphy in protecting this precious resource for the residents of our states, and for future generations.”

Millions of New Jersey residents depend on the Delaware River Watershed for clean drinking water, bird watching and other recreation opportunities.


“For the vibrant communities along our state-side riverfront, and many more within the nearly 3,000 square miles of Delaware River Watershed within New Jersey, the waterway and its tributaries are the backbone of economic development, recreation, and the source for approximately 25 percent of our clean drinking water,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am proud to stand alongside Governors Carney and Wolf as we pledge to preserve these vital waters that flow from and in between our states from the impacts of climate change.”

Seventeen Pennsylvania counties lie entirely or partly within the Delaware River Watershed, and the river provides drinking water and outdoor recreation opportunities and supports countless wildlife species.


“The Delaware River is a great resource for recreation, an economic engine for the eastern part of our state, and a vital drinking water source for millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done to clean up our waterways and look forward to working with our neighboring states to continue our progress.”

Participants at the event noted that today’s action accelerates the growing private-public investment in the Delaware River Watershed; it comes on top of major philanthropic support, local groups caring for community resources and the first-ever dedicated federal funding of $5 million for restoration. 


Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all rely on the 13,539 square mile Delaware River Watershed for jobs, clean drinking water and outdoor recreation opportunities. The river supports a more than $22 billion economy and provides drinking water for millions. About 600,000 jobs are tied to the watershed.

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The Clean Water Act is at Risk: Take Action by April 15th

Throughout our region, residents rarely think twice about turning on their taps and receiving clean water to drink, clean, and cook with. The Delaware River Watershed alone provides clean water an estimated 13.3 million Americans, roughly 4 percent of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, clean water protections are threatened by the current Administration’s proposed redefining of the Waters of the United States rule under the Clean Water Act.

Setting Legislative Priorities for the Delaware River Watershed in NJ

New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the State Policy Lead for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, is proud to announce New Jersey’s 2019 State Priorities. Along with the Coalition’s federal policy priorities, State Lead organizations are encouraged during the meeting to adopt their own, state-specific priorities, that complement the watershed-wide adopted priorities.

Advocating for Clean Water at the 2019 Delaware River Watershed Hill Day

On March 12, 2019, 39 individuals from 25 Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed member organizations went to Washington D.C. for the Coalition’s annual Delaware River Watershed Hill Day. In total, organizations met with a total of 29 Congressional offices that represent the watershed states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The Coalition thanked Members of Congress for their support of federal clean water funding and protections and advocated for 2019 policy priorities, which included the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Clean Water Act. Clean water advocates from all over the watershed ensured that Members of Congress know that clean water is a priority for the Delaware River, its tributaries, and the people and wildlife that call it home.

NY, NJ, DE, and PA Waterways to Benefit from Infusion of Delaware River Basin Funds

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is celebrating today as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation jointly announced the first round of 25 Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grant recipients totaling $4,140,000 in federal funds. This is the first time that dedicated federal funding has been allocated to on-the-ground projects that conserve and restore the Delaware River Basin (NY, NJ, PA, and DE) which provides 15 million people, including New York City and Philadelphia, with drinking water.

The Delaware River Means Photo Campaign’s Grand Finale: How Can You Stay Involved?

The Delaware River Watershed is an expansive area, tracing its borders around 12,800 square miles across four different states in the Northeast. It is an area as diverse in its fauna and flora as it is in its people and communities. With millions of different people living within the watershed, there is a multitude of backgrounds and perspectives and, more pointedly, endless opportunities for experiencing the Delaware River and the resources it has to offer. It was that desire to learn and share personal experiences that sparked the Delaware River Means photo campaign and now, over a year since its beginning, the initial photo campaign has reached its grand finale.

Delaware River Restoration and Conservation Awarded $6 Million for 2019

On February 15th, the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP) received $6 million in funding as part of the fiscal year 2019 Interior Appropriations bill approved by Congress and signed by the President, a $1 million increase from last year. The DRBRP will provide much-needed technical assistance and grant funds to address the Delaware River Basin’s environmental challenges. This funding will support local governments, state governments, and nonprofits in NY, NJ, PA, and DE that are implementing on-the-ground restoration and conservation projects that combat critical issues like habitat degradation, invasive species, and climate change….