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.
The WRADRB recognized the Coalition for its advocacy efforts on federal policies that create and support opportunities for a region-wide approach to conservation, including the passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. Additionally, the WRADRB recognized Senator Tom Carper (DE), former Congressman Mike Castle (DE-At large), Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), and Congressman Ryan Costello (PA-6) for their leadership on the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.
"Thank you to the Water Resources Association for the Delaware River Basin for this recognition and to our congressional champions who are also being honored tonight." said Maddy Urbish, Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. "Though there are many important players in this work, I want to specifically recognize the work of our Coalition's members, whether traveling to Washington, DC with us each year, contacting Congress, or dedicating their time and resources, their efforts were critical to the legislation's passage and we could not have been successful without them."
From the outset, the Coalition's primary interest has been to develop and support a more comprehensive approach to conservation in the watershed. Basin-wide planning and supporting policies are key to this goal. The Coalition has therefore focused its advocacy efforts on federal policies that create and support opportunities for a region-wide approach to conservation. This includes the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, which was successfully passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in December 2016; the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which awarded $13 million for agricultural conservation efforts in the basin over five years; and support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Clean Water Act, and federal funding for the Delaware River Basin Commission.
The Coalition works to achieve these goals by bringing organizations together to share information, leverage resources, and collaborate with on another. The Coalition's success is firmly rooted in its members. With over 110 member organizations representing all four states of the Basin, as well as national organizations, the Coalition has both a broad and deep reach throughout the Delaware River Watershed.
As the central organizing force behind the advocacy that led to the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act's passage, the Coalition will now focus on urging Congress to appropriate funding to support the newly authorized program. The Coalition will also work with its members and partners, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other government agencies, to ensure that the collective voice of the nonprofit community is included in the development of a basin-wide strategy as part of the program.
The WRA is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy and public information organization whose stated MISSION is to promote sound water resources management within the Delaware River Basin.