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  • Writer's pictureOur Shared Waters

Delaware River Watershed conservation projects awarded $16 million in funding

This article was originally published in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Nearly $16 million in federal grants and private matching awards were announced this week for conservation projects throughout the Delaware River Watershed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) made the announcement for 41 grant awards totaling $6.9 million for water quality restoration and habitat conservation. At the same time, organizations receiving those grants pledged $8.9 million in matching money, bringing the total for conservation projects to about $15.9 million.

The money comes from two pots: the Delaware River Restoration Fund, part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative, mostly funded by the Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation, and the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to achieve the goals of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.

All the efforts are to help protect and conserve the Delaware River watershed, which comprises 13,539 square miles of land and waterways from the Catskills to the Delaware Bay.

Among local projects getting money from the conservation fund are:

  • $312,000 to the Delaware River City Corporation for stream-bank and forest restoration in Pennypack Creek in Northeast Philadelphia. About 600 feet of eroded stream bank will be restored and additional habitat will be improved in the adjacent woods next to the creek’s confluence with the Delaware River. It will entail removing invasive trees and replacing them with native trees.

  • $110,000 to Schuylkill River Development Corporation to design a fishing pier at Bartram’s Mile extension of Schuylkill Banks, which runs along the west bank of the Schuylkill between Grays Ferry Avenue and 56th Street, on either side of Bartram’s Garden. Plans include rehabilitation of an abandoned industrial pier into a recreational site on the river.

  • $133,817 to Pinelands Preservation Alliance to help reduce the impact of off-road vehicles in the Rancocas Creek watershed. The money will go toward conservation groups, municipalities, and state agencies to limit off-road vehicle access at key sites on public lands in Burlington County.

  • $251,000 to Mastery High School in Camden to design an 11-acre waterfront park, including 1,200 feet of riverfront at the school. The project will include a plan to transform a fenced-off waterfront area into a “learning landscape” with water access, resulting in a publicly accessible community recreational space that also will help reduce flooding.

Among local projects getting money from the restoration fund are:

  • $937,627 to Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County for introducing agricultural best management practices on nine farms. Plans call for training farmers in soil and stream health.

  • $264,987 to South Jersey Land & Water Trust for green storm-water infrastructure in the Upper Muddy Run reach of the Maurice River watershed. The project is designed to reduce storm-water runoff and address pollution. It includes plantings to act as a buffer to the waterway and talking to landowners about water issues.

  • $494,867 to Brandywine Red Clay Alliance to restore 2,001 feet of Plum Run, an impaired stream. Plans call for stream-bank stabilization, and a tree and shrub buffer to improve water quality. A goal is to address highly eroded stream banks, sediment, and nearby properties that affect the stream.

  • $294,500 to American Littoral Society Grant to install green storm-water infrastructure in the Cohansey River Watershed focusing on Indian Field Branch and Muddy Run in Bridgeton, Cumberland County. The goal is to restore water quality and educate residents and students on their role in managing storm water.

A full list of Delaware River Restoration Fund projects receiving grants is available here. A full list of Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grants is available here.


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