• Our Shared Waters

Delaware River Basin Commission turns 60

This article was originally published in WDEL.com.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) presents an American Flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to Lauren Morgens, Captain of the Kalmar Nyckel 📷 Mike Phillips

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

The organization predates the Clean Water Act in working to restore and sustain the health of the Delaware River.


"It's been a long journey, there's more to be done, but there's been remarkable progress made in cleaning up this river," said DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini.


The Delaware River Basin spans four states with the river itself running over 300 miles from Hancock, New York, to the Delaware Bay.


And with stakeholders ranging from commercial to recreational, human to wildlife, it's a challenge to meet all the needs equitably.


"We want to make sure that there's a balance between the economy and the economic needs, and the valuable services these rivers provide to make sure it supports our economy, and the environment," said Tambini.


Going forward the DRBC is closely monitoring the effects of rising sea levels.


"Looking at climate change very seriously in terms of water availability and water quality, and its potential impacts to water resources," said Tambini.


The merging of ocean water up from the Delaware Bay with fresh water down from New York adds to the challenge.


"Which puts more pressure on how do we manage those flows," said Tambini. "How do we make sure there is enough fresh water to repel that salt front to where it normally is?"


The DRBC last week held what was supposed to be an educational sail aboard the Kalmar Nyckel, but excessive heat kept the ship docked in New Castle.


As part of the event, U.S. Senator Tom Carper presented Lauren Morgens, Captain of the Kalmar Nyckel, with an American flag flown over the U.S. Capitol.