• Lifestyles

$11.5 million given in grants to Improve the Health of the Delaware River watershed

TRENTON, NJ – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced 41 grantees totaling nearly $11.5 million in awards. Grantees have committed more than $13.5 million in match, for a total conservation impact of $25 million that will restore and protect our land and water resources.


Of the 41 projects, 32 were awarded through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF) in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, totaling $9.52 million. The 32 awards announced generated $12 million in match from the grantees, providing a total conservation impact of more than $21 million. With this 4th round of DWCF funding, 17 Coalition members will complete 22 awarded projects. The projects range from increasing habitat resiliency and beach restoration to those that will expand recreational information and access.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , which assesses climate change science, released its new 2021 report, serving as a warning for policy makers all over the world that we are nearing irreversible tipping points. Climate change is rapidly intensifying as a result of human activity, resulting in devastating floods and destructive wildfires. Funding from the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund will provide projects with the necessary resources to combat the effects of climate change through improving drinking water quality and protecting our communities against flooding.


“We’re thankful to our Congressional champions and thrilled to see that our advocacy for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program continues to translate to on-the-ground dollars for restoration and conservation throughout the Delaware River Basin.” said Kelly Knutson, Interim Director of The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “The science is clear. Climate change is here and this round of funded projects will go a long way to improving water quality and protecting our communities against flooding. Today’s announcement of forty-one projects will continue to build a lasting impact of protecting our land and water resources across the region.”


On behalf of Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) and the Delaware Estuary Program, Kathy Klein, Executive Director of PDE said "we are thrilled to see the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund growing and supporting so many meaningful projects in the Delaware River Watershed. These projects support the Estuary Program's themes of clean waters, healthy habitats and strong communities and are helping to achieve the goals of the Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan to make watershed improvements to benefit millions of people who live, work, and play in the region."


“The Musconetcong Watershed Association thanks the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund for providing matching funds to expanding recreational information, access, and interpretive development at scenic, recreational, and historic sites in Northwestern New Jersey,” said Alan Hunt, Director, Policy & Grants, Musconetcong Watershed Association. “This project will advance the development of an interpretive center at the historic 1865 Asbury Mill, create a new interpretive loop trail connected to that Mill, and provide online maps and guides of recreational resources from Lake Hopatcong down the Musconetcong River to the Delaware River.


“With this award from the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, we are thrilled to be joining the many projects that aim to restore and conserve the vital Delaware River Watershed,” said Jen Mihills, Mid-Atlantic Regional Executive Director at National Wildlife Federation.


“This round of funding will support Sacred Grounds in Wilmington, DE, a program that recognizes congregations, houses of worship, and faith communities who both create wildlife habitat and actively link faith practices and caring for the environment.”


Funded projects will contribute to long-term outcomes for equitable access to nature, resiliency, healthy habitat, and a thriving outdoor economy. This year’s grant slate also includes projects that address disparities in access to nature by putting equity, justice and cultural competency at the core of their work.


About the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF)

Grants were awarded through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF), a program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The DWCF is funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to achieve the goals of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. The Act guides and supports federal, state, regional and local partners to collaboratively identify, prioritize, and implement habitat restoration and conservation activities within the watershed. In three years, the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund has funded 90 projects that provide vital support to fish and wildlife, help support economic vitality, and contribute to quality of life through public access and outdoor recreation opportunities. The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed has advocated, year over year, for robust federal funding to support this essential program.


About Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed protects and restores the land and waters in the Delaware River Basin. We amplify the collective power of 160+ member organizations and other stakeholders as we advocate for a healthy and protected watershed with an inclusive, unified voice. The Coalition convenes member and non-member organizations, builds capacity, coordinates communications, and advances policy at the federal and state levels.

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