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New round of grants pump $15.8 million into Delaware River Watershed restoration

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Chris Coons were on hand in Wilmington Thursday to announce nearly $16 million in grants to restore the Delaware River Watershed.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grants include 45 projects in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

The investment will help improve 10,000 acres throughout the 330 mile watershed.

Sen. Carper said the funds come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress last year and through public/private partnerships.

“When we work together, the federal government, state government, foundations, private sector corporate partners, and our many volunteers, we get a better bang for our buck. We can do so much more to protect our environment and support our local community.”

He said he looks forward to seeing how the projects help protect the environment not only in Delaware, but throughout the watershed.

Sen. Coons said the grants feature six projects in the First State.

“About $1.2 million in this coming year. And the implementing partners are as diverse and broad as Delaware itself,” Coons said.

Partners include Cesar Rodney School District, DNREC, the University of Delaware, Ducks Unlimited and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

One Delaware project includes $500,000 to study the removal or modification of the Brandywine Falls Dam to improve fish migration.

Mark Arehart is an award-winning reporter/producer. Before returning to Delaware, Arehart was a reporter for WKSU and Ideastream Public Media in Northeast Ohio. He previously hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He has worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.