Delaware Riverkeeper Network

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Webinar: Restoring Life in the Delaware River: A Call to Action

Join the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Clean Air Council, PennFuture & Environment New Jersey for a webinar series to learn more about the history of water quality conditions and protections in the tidal Delaware River, the state of the River today, and actions we can take to finish the work of past generations to preserve the River in perpetuity for our communities and for the life that depends on it.

Thursday, May 13 at 12pm EST:  In our second webinar, we explore the legal and regulatory mandates from the Clean Water Act for improving water quality in the tidal Delaware River.  Learn how to get involved in this campaign and actions you can take to protect the River. Register here:

Wednesday, May 19 at 7pm EST: Join our scientific and policy experts for a group discussion on the Estuary’s restoration.  We will briefly review the evidence, and then embark with participants on an exploration of this history, the current controversies, and the future possibilities. Register here:

Background & Context

The Delaware Estuary is recognized around the world as a great success story for how to restore life to a dead river system.  Actions taken in the 1960s and 1970s paved the way for the restoration of oxygen to these waters, which led to the successful return of iconic fish species such as American shad and striped bass to the Delaware River system.  Yet our efforts to fully restore this vibrant estuary have stalled over the past 30 years, as policymakers have made excuses instead of taking bold action to restore dissolved oxygen to levels needed for all species of fish and aquatic life to thrive.  This failure to complete the restoration work has harmed both the ecosystem itself, and the communities living and recreating along the urban corridor- from Camden and Philadelphia down to Chester and Wilmington.  Each year the regulators postpone action, further damage is done to our environment and our communities, particularly communities of color, and the ecosystem of the river is further imperiled.

The regulations currently upheld by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), Pennsylvania and New Jersey fail to recognize that this ecosystem has been transformed and is now a thriving nursery for both resident and migratory fish throughout the urban corridor.  As a result, the current water quality standards cannot be relied upon to sufficiently protect the health and safety of our ecosystems or our communities.

A coalition of environmental organizations recently submitted a petition (see websites: DRN, CAC, PennFuture, Environment New Jersey) calling on DRBC and its member states to recognize the full aquatic life as a designated use for this section of the Delaware River and to modify water quality standards to better protect the species that rely on this reach of the Delaware River.

Learn how you can join this effort to urge DRBC and the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to recognize the full aquatic life use as a designated use for this section of the Delaware River and help restore once and for all the water quality conditions needed for our river and our communities, both now and to ensure a cleaner future for our river.

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 12:00 PM