U.S. House of Representatives Recognizes the Significance of the Upper Delaware River: NY Rep. John Faso Calls for New Resources to Support River, Economic Growth

U.S. House of Representatives Recognizes the Significance of the Upper Delaware River:
NY Rep. John Faso Calls for New Resources to Support River, Economic Growth

By Jeff Skelding

 Congressman Faso signing the Upper Delaware resolution in March 2018.  Photo credit: Friends of the Upper Delaware River

Congressman Faso signing the Upper Delaware resolution in March 2018.
Photo credit: Friends of the Upper Delaware River

Representative John Faso (NY-19) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2018 that recognizes and celebrates the natural resource value and growing economic importance of the Upper Delaware River. The resolution highlights how the Upper Delaware River is anchoring a robust regional tourism economy in Delaware and Sullivan counties (NY) and how critically important that is to the people, communities, and businesses who rely on the river for their livelihood.

"The Upper Delaware River watershed is tremendously important to our regional economy. It attracts visitors from around the globe who come to enjoy the top notch outdoor and nature-based experiences it offers, while at the same time supporting our local businesses," said Congressman John Faso. "The river is part of the National Park system and one of the most picturesque scenic byways in the country runs along its shores. Upstate New Yorkers understand how important the river is to their social, cultural, and economic identity and that's why I'm fighting in Congress to fund the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program."

The Faso Resolution also highlights the efforts of the Upper Delaware River Tailwaters Coalition (UDRTC), a group of widely diverse Upper Delaware River-based interests representing multiple constituencies including government, businesses, and NGO's who all agree the river is a critical piece of the economic future of the region.

"The Upper Delaware River Tailwaters Coalition came together and agreed to focus on one mutually held interest: protecting the river and promoting it in a responsible way that ensures long term economic sustainability for this region," said Jeff Skelding, Chair of the UDRTC and Executive Director of Friends of the Upper Delaware River.

The resolution was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, which represents 125 organizations across the watershed, visited Washington, D.C. to advocate for the protection and restoration of the Delaware River with Members of Congress.

"The Upper Delaware River is where it all begins. The headwaters of the river help to write the story for the entire basin. We are extremely grateful for the hard work and positive energy from Congressman Faso in recognizing the significance of the Upper Delaware, and the entire Delaware River, in Congress," said Kelly Mooij, Co-chair of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.

 David Yarnold, President and CEO of National Audubon, thanking Faso for his leadership on the Delaware River on March 20, 2018 in Washington D.C. at CDRW Hill Day.  Photo credit: Justin Stokes

David Yarnold, President and CEO of National Audubon, thanking Faso for his leadership on the Delaware River on March 20, 2018 in Washington D.C. at CDRW Hill Day.
Photo credit: Justin Stokes

Congressman Faso's resolution also points to an increased interest in the Catskill region on the part of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY Legislature.

"As Congress works to appropriate funding for the newly authorized Delaware River program, this must be accompanied by an equal investment on the part of the Governors of all the states that border the Delaware River. We are pleased that Governor Cuomo has turned his attention to the western Catskills and look forward to working with him to promote the economic and natural resource values of the Upper Delaware River watershed," said Halle Van Der Gaag, Director of Delaware River Programs for the National Wildlife Federation.

For more Information, contact: Jeff Skelding at skelding@fudr.org or 410-245-8021.