Friday, June 24, 2011

Ten Congressmen Launch Bipartisan Effort to Save Delaware River Basin Delaware

According to Patch, the Delaware River is Pennsylvania's 2011 River of the year. A bipartisan group of ten Congressmen are doing their best to make sure your grandchildren can enjoy it, too.

From the Office of Congressman John Carney (D-Del.), 6/23: - A bipartisan group of ten U.S. Representatives from Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania introduced legislation today to enhance habitat, water quality and flood control improvements for fish, wildlife and people in the Delaware River Basin. The legislation requires the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify, prioritize, and implement restoration and conservation activities in the entire Basin, which is home to eight million people and provides drinking water to 15 million.

Rep. John Carney (D-DE), Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA) proposed the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011, which will not add to the current budget deficit. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will use their existing budget to implement the requirements of the legislation.

The legislation is focused on optimizing collaboration and increasing resources and local capacity for on-the-ground and community-based projects. The legislation would enable communities and citizen groups to lead the way in addressing local watershed priorities.

“This program will improve coordination between government, private, and non-profit entities and focus our efforts on the most effective projects. The grants will be competitive and peer reviewed, ensuring we are being good stewards of the Delaware River Basin and taxpayer dollars alike,” said Representative John Carney (DE-AL). “I am honored to carry on this effort, which my predecessor, Mike Castle, championed.”

“The Delaware River is the longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States, spanning from its headwaters in the Catskills of New York to the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Yet the federal government has never had a comprehensive strategy addressing conservation, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat protection,” said Representative Rush Holt (NJ-12). “The six million people who make their home along the River deserve the coordinated effort that this legislation would establish.”

"We need a comprehensive strategy to provide for conservation in the Delaware River Basin," said Representative Maurice Hinchey (NY-22). "The Basin is already a source of drinking water, recreation and prosperity for millions of people, and this legislation will help to ensure it remains that way."

“The Delaware River Basin is not only an environmental treasure, but an economic engine for our region,” said Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02). “Supporting countless maritime, agricultural and recreational jobs, this legislation will ensure the watershed is protected going forward. I applaud this bipartisan legislation and the environmental partners, including the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, who tirelessly work to ensure the health of the Delaware River Basin.”

“A regional coordinated effort in the Delaware River Basin will ensure that our natural resources and our communities are protected,” said Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08). “Through this legislation we will be able to better manage and mitigate flooding that occurs all too frequently along the Delaware River.”

“A healthy Delaware watershed is critically important to the people of my District, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our entire region,” said Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15). “Developing a coordinated federal strategy for protecting and restoring the watershed will benefit communities across our region by improving water quality, enhancing recreational opportunities and strengthening flood prevention and mitigation.”

“The Delaware River watershed is a regional treasure that provides economic opportunity and recreational activities,” said Representative Allyson Schwartz (PA-13). “It’s time we get smarter about coordinating efforts to protect the river basin’s environment. This legislation does just that. Without any additional mandates or regulations, interested parties will be able to work together throughout the entire basin and do so with the support of federal assistance.”

“Protecting the Delaware River Basin is very important to our region,” said Representative Patrick Meehan (PA-07). “I am pleased to support this legislation which takes a coordinated approach to the restoration and protection of the Delaware River Basin for generations to come.”

In addition to current Basin funding and programs, a dedicated source of federal resources would bolster restoration and conservation in the region through strategic grant-making and more coordinated implementation of existing funding mechanisms at the federal, regional, state, and local level. The Delaware River Basin Restoration Grant Program will support locally-driven, on-the-ground projects by non-profits, universities, state and local governments, community organizations and others.

Reps. Holt, Dent and Hinchey are co-chairs of the Delaware River Basin Task Force. Reps. Carney, Andrews and LoBiondo are all members of the Task Force.

A similar proposal is being introduced in the Senate today.

10 comments:

c said...

Good to see our government working as a unit on something.

Jon Geeting said...

Does this mean Dent opposes fracking in and around the basin?

Anonymous said...

@Jon.......IT SHOULD!!!!!

Ayn Rand said...

Jon
Please tell us your marvelous accomplisments and years of service in actual physical work to save the environment.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how long Republicans like Dent stay on board if this initiative affects the gas corporations' abilities to frack when, where, and however they want WITHOUT paying a state severance tax or if it "burdens" them with more "onorous" requirements to protect our water quality.

c said...

Ayn,
While I may not always agree with Jon, I am happy to see the fact that young people want to get involved and make a difference. The Delaware is sacred ground in my book, as a child we owned a 120 acre farm overlooking the river. It is good that folks have gotten together in a bipartisian fashion to find a way to properly manage this resource. We should all do more of the same.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey c, That must have been one beautiful farm.

c said...

It sure is Bernie. Located in Columbia New Jersey. It is state game land now so it is open to the public.

Marc Grammes said...

As a boy, we leased a camping spot along the Delaware from Russ Eshbach. Every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day my mom and dad would load up the car and we would head up the line to the River. I had a boat before I had a car. Tocks Island Dam fiasco came and went, but the land was taken for the project by eminent domain and we then leased from the Army Corps of Engineers. The land is now a National Park..and I am heading up there next week.Still some of the best smallmouth bass fishing anywhere. The place is now called Eshbach's landing. Not as peaceful with all the canoe activity, but still a place filled with so much scenic beauty..which should protected for all to enjoy.

Zorn said...

All pols are whores