Our Shared Waters
Lawmakers Tour Delaware River On Tall Ship
This article was originally published in Levittown Now.
By Tom Sofield | September 17, 2021
Elected officials from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Pennsylvania Senate took to the water last week to learn about the vital role of the Delaware River.
Aboard the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a federal agency that oversees the river in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York, hosted the event that stressed the importance of the waterway and keeping it clean.
Borough Councilman Michael Gorman said during a press event that the river was important to Bristol Borough’s success over the years.
DRBC Executive Director Steve Tambini highlighted the efforts the commission is undertaking to keep the river clean and the water safe to drink. He noted that just a few decades ago the river was highly polluted and in decline, adding it is being restored today.
While touring the river in Bristol Borough and Bristol Township last Friday, lawmakers heard from from experts from Audubon Mid-Atlantic about the types of birds that thrive along the river, New Jersey American Water on the way to keep the river water drinkable, DRBC on the salt line and insects that can be indicators of water quality problem, and Naked Brewing Company head brewer Hannah Gohde explained how water quality impacts beer.
The Kalmar Nyckel, which is operated by the nonprofit Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, was constructed to be similar to the ship that brought Swedish settlers on a 1638 trip from Europe to what is now known as the Delaware Valley. Lawmakers helped hoist the sails as the ship moved along the river.
State Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, a Republican from Bensalem Township; State Sen. Art Haywood, a Democrat from Philadelphia and Montgomery counties; State Rep. Perry Warren, a Democrat from Newtown Borough; State Rep. K.C. Tomlinson, a Republican from Bensalem Township; State Rep. Meghan Schroeder, a Republican from Warminster Township; and others were on hand for the event.
Correction: This story has been changed to note Sen. Haywood is a Democrat, not a Republican, as mistakenly published previously.