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Delaware congressional delegation reintroduces the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act

Rachel Sawicki
Delaware Public Media
Delaware Senator Tom Carper and one of the bill's sponsors talks about the details of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.

Delaware Congressional delegation reintroduces the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act.

Originally signed into law in 2016, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act has directed $40.4 million in grants to 159 projects that support recreation, water quality, and habitat conservation – restoring 76 miles of stream and 27,000 acres of forest habitats and 4700 acres for public access.

More than 13.3 million people depend on the Delaware River Watershed for drinking water, and bill sponsor Senator Tom Carper says the four states that the watershed runs through – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York – share responsibility to protect it.

“What we've done is we've taken joint ownership of the river and we said ‘this is our river and we're gonna take care of this river.,'" Carper says. "We're gonna make sure that the folks who come after us will have an even better, cleaner river. A lovely river to enjoy in the years to come.”

Bill sponsor Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester says there is bipartisan support and expects the bill to pass through Congress quickly.

“In order to tackle something of this magnitude, of this most pressing environmental challenge of our time, from combating climate change to securing environmental justice for all, we have to work together," she says.

This new version of the act also expands equity by helping underserved rural and urban communities better access funding for water quality and conservation measures.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.