The Coalition identifies watershed-wide policy priorities each year through a nomination and adoption process with its members.
The CDRW 2019 Priorities are:
As a convener of organizations throughout the region, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed will strive to amplify the development of a vision for the watershed, empower an engaged constituency, and support planning initiatives with basin-wide significance. In working towards these goals, the coalition will support watershed-wide and transparent planning that comprehensively addresses the watershed’s biggest challenges. As such, the Coalition will:
Serve as the nonprofit voice in the implementation of the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program and amplify the success of the program to a broad audience.
Facilitate efforts to develop a vision for the watershed, strengthen collaboration beyond political boundaries, and engage a broad constituency through events including the 2019 Delaware River Watershed Forum.
Support the implementation of the Flexible Flow Management Program that effectively protects water quality, aquatic habitat, public safety, and economic revitalization.
Advance efforts to reduce single-use plastics from entering the Delaware River Watershed through increased advocacy and awareness.
Amplify efforts aimed at achieving “fishable and swimmable” waterways for all.
Federal Policy & Funding
The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed will support federal policies and spending that promote a healthy watershed. The Coalition will leverage efforts in the watershed by acting as a unified voice to ensure federal policies and spending support restoration and protection of the Delaware River Basin through direct advocacy, outreach and education, and grassroots organizing throughout the region and in Washington, DC. The Coalition will educate members of Congress on key policy issues and other legislative matters through briefings, in-district engagements, and its annual Delaware River Watershed Hill Day.
The Coalition’s federal priorities include advocating for:
Robust Delaware River Basin Restoration Program funding to support restoration and protection needs in the watershed.
Increased federal funding and awareness for Wild & Scenic Rivers, Partnership Rivers, and eligible rivers in the Delaware River Watershed as well as strengthening of implementation efforts.
Permanent reauthorization and full, dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and support of pending projects within the Delaware River Watershed.
Full state and federal funding for the Delaware River Basin Commission, consistent with the “fair share” funding percentages agreed to in 1988.
Increased federal water infrastructure investment including natural infrastructure.
Strong Clean Water Act protections and funding.
State Policy & Funding*
The Coalition will support state clean water policies and funding for the watershed in the four basin states. It will do so through its State Outreach Lead Initiative, which will work with coalition members to identify state-specific priorities that advance clean water funding and policies. This will include driving legislative strategy on identified priorities, building capacity for existing clean water funding campaigns, and sharing information and resources among members. In addition to state-specific priorities, each state will work to advance full state funding for the Delaware River Basin Commission, consistent with the “fair share” funding percentages agreed to in 1988.
*state specific priorities are identified by State Policy Leads in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Promote and defend funding and policies for the New Jersey’s water and conservation programs
Support restoring New Jersey’s contribution to the Delaware River Basin Commission to the full “fair share” level of $893,000.
Reverse the rollback of regulations by the previous administration that severely threaten water quality including the Freshwater Wetlands Rules, Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) consistency determinations for the Highlands, and Flood Hazard Rules.
Advocate for appointments to the Highlands Council and Pinelands Commission who support the mission of the Regional Master Plan (RMP) or Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP), respectively.
Promote stormwater programs and best practices to address flooding, reduce polluted runoff, and modernize infrastructure.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice
The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed is dedicated to advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice within our structure, partnerships, processes, and policy goals to ensure that all communities share equitably in the benefits of clean water. We recognize that environmental injustices discriminate against many communities today and will work to comprehensively represent the region’s population by amplifying the voices of untapped communities to build a healthy and equitable watershed for generations to come.
We are committed to:
Providing a platform that empowers our members and partners to learn from each other, increase understanding, and take mindful action.
Fostering a culture that embraces differences and works to break down barriers that hinder participation and collaboration.
Implementing and encouraging inclusive practices where every voice is heard and valued, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, geography, educational background, religion, ability, and political philosophy.
Advocating for sound policy that aligns with our mission and is grounded in equity and justice Individual staff recommendations by nomination.
Photograph by Nicholas A. Tonelli.