This article was originally published on Storm Water Solutions.
The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP) received $9.7 million in funding for 2020.
The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program (DRBRP) received $9.7 million in funding as part of the fiscal 2020 Interior Appropriations bill.
The bill, which was approved by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump, is a 62% increase from 2019, according to the Dover Post.
The DRBRP will provide technical assistance and grant funds to address the Delaware River Basin’s environmental challenges. The funding will support eligible applicants in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
Projects will combat critical environmental issues, such as overdevelopment, storm water runoff, flooding, stream erosion and loss of wildlife habitat.
“The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program represents a critical investment in the future of our region. We have strongly advocated for the inclusion of $10 million for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program and are thrilled by the tremendous amount of good the program has done so far,” said Sandra Meola, director at New Jersey Audubon and the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “We anticipate a growing demand for the project funding from eligible entities throughout the basin. We know that this funding increase will allow for the necessary improvement of the land and water resources upon which people, wildlife, and our economy rely.”
In the first two years of implementation, the DRBRP has funded 53 projects throughout the basin and awarded $8.74 million in grants for these projects, reported the Dover Post.
The grants have generated $12.04 million in matching funds for a total conservation impact of $20.78 million. Collectively, these projects will: restore 10 miles of riparian habitat and 17 miles of stream habitat; conserve and enhance 119 acres of wetland habitat; restore 251 acres of floodplain; improve 3,737 acres of forest habitat; and open 200 acres of land for public access.
“We’re grateful to see increased federal investment in the four-state, 13,500 square-mile Delaware River Basin, which is an ecological and economic powerhouse that more than 8 million people call home in the densely populated Mid-Atlantic region,” said Anne Harper, executive director of the Delaware Nature Society. “The basin is a historical icon that is home to nationally significant ecological and recreational assets, including six National Wildlife Refuges, like Bombay Hook and Prime Hook, and one of the largest systems in the National Estuary Program.”