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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act

The longest free flowing river east of the Mississippi has a bill in congress to create The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.  This Act if passed, would provide $5 million per year for five years to implement a voluntary, coordinated approach to sustaining and enhancing habitat, water quality and flood control improvements for fish, wildlife and people.

Under the act, the Secretary of the Interior would coordinate a program that would involve all four states in the basin, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The program would provide support for local, projects by non-profits, universities, state and local governments, community organizations and others. This could support such things as wetlands restoration and protection, flood mitigation and waterfront revitalization.

The Delaware River Basin lacks a coordinated federal/state/local oversight effort, even though it is home to more than 8 million people and provides drinking water to 15 million. Other major American watersheds, including the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, get tens of millions of dollars in federal funding for conservation coordination. The Delaware Basin get relatively little funding, and the upper basin gets none.  This bill can change that.

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act (H.R. 4698) was introduced on Feb. 25 by U.S. Rep. Michael Castle (R-Del.) and has bipartisan co-sponsorship by U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Charles Dent (R-Pa.) and Joe Sestak (D.-Pa.).

Please send an email asking them to support H.R. 4698, the proposed Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. Here's a handy link to make it easy: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml Also, send an email, to the congressmen listed above thanking them for supporting this legislation.