The Delaware River Watershed Coalition Celebrates $14 Million in Grants to Improve the Health of the Delaware River Watershed

Beneficiaries of the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF) (Photo provided).

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The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced on August 26, 2022 that 36 Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grants total $14 million, including $4.9 million in funds made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act.

Grantees have committed $14.2 million in matching, for a total conservation impact of $28.2 million that will restore and protect our land and water resources.

Of the 36 new or ongoing conservation and restoration projects, thirteen will be carried out by nine members of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.


With this fifth round of funding, Coalition members received a total of $5.2 million and generated $5.1 million in matching funds for a total of $10.3 million for projects ranging a small framed grants program for coastal marsh restoration and conservation workforce development. .

Kelly Knutson, director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, said:

We are grateful to our Congressional Champions and excited to see that our advocacy for the Delaware Basin Restoration Agenda continues to translate into dollars on the ground for restoration and conservation throughout the Delaware Basin.

In particular, we are delighted to see that this list of grants prioritizes restoration and conservation projects in rural and disadvantaged communities.

The Coalition is excited to be working in coordination with NJ Audubon on a grant that builds capacity through an intensive peer monitoring and coaching program for small organizations, especially those located in underserved environmental areas.

On behalf of the Delaware Estuary Partnership (DEP) and the Delaware Estuary Program, Kathy Klein, DEP Executive Director, said:

It’s been such an exciting year for the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund with the available funding pot continuing to grow and an influx of additional funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

We are especially excited about projects that will provide much needed support to many underserved communities in our watershed and are thrilled to be the recipient of a grant to build capacity at the Federal Partnership Delaware River location. urban waters.

Oliver Bass, President of Natural Lands, said:

We are grateful for this opportunity to add over 340 acres to Natural Lands’ 3,565-acre Bear Creek Preserve.

This acquisition will fill the last major gap in a conservation corridor comprised of our Bear Creek Preserve, the 1,880-acre North Branch Bear Creek Camp easement, and the 21,137-acre Game Lands #91.

This area is part of a regional landscape of protected lands, including state parks, forests, and game lands, which spans over 150,000 acres.

Jeff Skelding, Executive Director, Friends of the Upper Delaware River, said:

Since 2018, the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program has been a game-changer in New York.

The program raised the profile of the Upper Delaware River (UDR) statewide and helped create a new position for the watershed in the 2022 NYS Environmental Protection Fund.

The program has funded numerous stream restoration projects that unify watershed stakeholders, create local jobs, protect the UDR’s wild trout fishery, and build community resilience to flooding.

Our 2022 award will support an exciting new workforce development program that engages youth in conservation work across the watershed.

Eric Olsen, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey, said:

The Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund has played a vital role in The Nature Conservancy’s work to restore New Jersey’s waterways and aquatic wildlife.

Continued funding for this program will help us restore rivers so that migrating fish and aquatic wildlife can adapt to changing weather conditions in the future.

Funded projects will contribute to long-term outcomes for equitable access to nature, resilience, healthy habitat, and a thriving outdoor economy.

This year’s list of grants also includes projects with nature-based solutions that address disparities in access to nature by placing equity, justice, and cultural competence at the heart of their work.

See the full list of 2022 Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund grants by clicking here.

About the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF)

The grants were awarded through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund (DWCF), a program administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The DWCF is funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to achieve the goals of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.

The act guides and supports federal, state, regional, and local partners to collaboratively identify, prioritize, and implement habitat restoration and conservation activities in the watershed.

In five years, the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund has funded 159 projects that provide vital support for fish and wildlife, help sustain economic vitality, and contribute to quality of life through public access and recreational opportunities in outdoors.

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed has advocated, year after year, for strong federal funding to support this essential program.

About the Delaware River Watershed Coalition

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed protects and restores the lands and waters of the Delaware River Basin. We amplify the collective power of over 175 member organizations and other stakeholders as we advocate for a healthy and protected watershed with an inclusive and unified voice.

The Coalition unites member and non-member organizations, builds capacity, coordinates communications, and advances policy at the federal and state levels.

Click here to learn more.

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