WILMINGTON, Del. (January 6, 2017, 1:30pm-2:30pm) – On Friday, federal, state and local partners will come together at the DuPont Environmental Education Center on the Wilmington Riverfront to announce the passage of the Delaware River Basin and Conservation Act. The DRBCA was included in the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act for the Nation (WIIN) Act that passed the Senate on Dec. 10, 2016. This is a major accomplishment for local lawmakers and stakeholders who have been working for decades to secure the federal support achieved by other major watersheds, such as the Chesapeake Bay. The DRBCA will establish a coordinated approach for identifying, prioritizing, and implementing restoration and protection activities throughout the basin while supporting on-the-ground projects to protect our water quality, recreation opportunities, and critical wildlife habitat.
The event will begin at 1:30pm with a welcome from Delaware Nature Society’s Executive Director, Brian Winslow, followed by remarks from Wendi Weber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Gov.-elect John Carney, DNREC Secretary David Small, and Collin O’Mara, National Wildlife Federation President/Former DNREC Sec.
Background on the Delaware River Watershed:
Spanning 330 miles and four states, the Delaware River Watershed provides more than 15 million people, including the City of Wilmington and much of New Castle County, with clean drinking water. The Watershed also provides critical habitat to hundreds of plant and wildlife species including 200 resident and migrant fish species, contains significant recreational fisheries, and is an important source of eastern oyster, blue crab, and the largest population of the American horseshoe crab. Additionally, the Basin contributes $25 billion annually in economic activity. Through the maritime, agriculture, tourism, hunting, fishing and wildlife industries, it supports 600,000 jobs in our region.
The Delaware Nature Society has focused on water quality and quantity for the past 50 years. The passing of the DRBCA adds additional momentum to our efforts to improve our waterways. We are the State lead for the Coalition of the Delaware River Watershed, which increases our ability to make a difference in protecting and improving Delaware’s water.
On behalf of our partners in Clean Water, and our Water Warriors, The Delaware Nature Society extends our sincere thanks to all of Delaware’s decision makers including Congressman and Governor-Elect John Carney, Senator Chris Coons, and Senator Tom Carper for their leadership on this important legislation.
Founded in 1964, Delaware Nature Society works to improve the environment through conservation, advocacy, and education. For more information, visit www.DelNature.org.