Seven municipalities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have received grants totaling $30,600 to help promote and protect a 65-mile reach of the Delaware River and selected tributaries recently included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The municipal incentive grants, funded by the National Park Service, were awarded by the Lower Delaware Management Committee, which is responsible for implementing a plan to protect and enhance the "exceptional scenery, recreational opportunities, fisheries and wildlife ... and historic and cultural resources" along the nationally designated waterways between the Delaware Water Gap and Washington Crossing, Pa., just upstream of Trenton, N.J.
The following municipalities received grants:
Kingwood Township, N.J., $4,500 for the development of an environmental resource inventory;
West Amwell Township, N.J., $5,000 to examine the existing zoning in a section of the township and its potential impact on water quality;
Knowlton Township, N.J., $5,000 to purchase river-front property for a park;
Hopewell Township, N.J., $4,000 for a study of properties to be preserved as part of a stream corridor preservation program;
Tinicum Township, Pa., $4,100 for a Tinicum Creek restoration-education project;
Bridgeton Township, Pa., $4,100 to map the existing natural and man-made features in the township;
Portland Borough, Pa., $3,900 to replace the slate roof of an historic building;
Members of the Lower Delaware Management Committee consist of representatives from towns and townships along the designated reach of the river, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Departments of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service, the Delaware River Greenway Partnership, the Delaware River Basin Commission, conservation organizations, and interested members of the public. The committee meets quarterly, and the next meeting is November 14.
To protect the water resources within the scenic stretch, a Lower Delaware Technical Implementation Committee (LDTIC) was established. It consists of biologists, engineers, and other scientists from the member agencies of the Lower Delaware Management Committee as well as from the U.S. Geological Survey.
The LDTIC is involved in a five-year water quality and flow monitoring program for the lower Delaware River and numerous tributary streams in order to establish baseline data which can be used as a foundation for future water quality protection and enhancement programs.
Water samples are taken twice a month from May through September at nine river locations and at sites near the mouth of 15 tributaries.
The samples are analyzed for nutrients, fecal bacteria, suspended sediments, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, water temperature, and other selected constituents. An aquatic insect (macroinvertebrate) monitoring program is being conducted simultaneously to determine the biological health of the river and streams.
The Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law in November of 2000.
Two other reaches of the Delaware River were added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1978. One section extends 73 miles from the confluence of the river's East and West branches at Hancock, N.Y. downstream to Milrift, Pa.; the second covers about 40 miles from just south of Port Jervis, N.Y. downstream to the Delaware Water Gap near Stroudsburg, Pa.
In addition, the Maurice River and several tributaries, including Menantico and Muskee Creeks and the Manumuskin River, were added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1993. The Maurice, located in New Jersey, is a Delaware Bay tributary.
And the White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic Rivers System Act, signed into law in the fall of 2000, designated approximately 190 miles of segments and tributaries of the creek as components of the national system. The creek flows from southeastern Pennsylvania and eventually joins the Christina River, another Delaware River tributary in the State of Delaware.