WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted to advance the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2023 by a voice vote. The legislation, introduced by EPW Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.), would reauthorize the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act (DRBCA) through September 30, 2030, and make it easier for small, rural, and disadvantaged communities to engage in restoration projects.
“Since its enactment, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act has successfully combined public and private interests to protect and restore wetlands, habitats, and waterways in the Delaware River Basin,” said Chairman Carper. “By reauthorizing this program, we would continue the critical work of preserving the basin and expand the robust tools at our disposal into the communities that need them the most — a win for our communities and our wildlife. I’m proud to lead this effort in the Senate, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to send this legislation to President Biden’s desk.”
“Reauthorization of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act - S. 654 – moving through the EPW Committee, is fantastic news for the Delaware River watershed and a testament to Senator Tom Carper's effective leadership,” said Kelly Knutson, Director, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “We're one step closer to securing the future of our watershed, thanks to his dedication and the support of the delegation in the region. This milestone underscores our collective commitment to preserving this invaluable natural resource.”
Signed into law in 2016, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act has successfully brought federal, state, and local governments together with regional partners to identify, prioritize, and implement restoration activities within the Delaware River Basin. Grants through the legislation have assisted Delaware and other watershed states with restoration projects.
The program has funded several diverse projects in Delaware including installing pollinator gardens at places of worship, dam removal in the White Clay Creek, improving fish passage in the Brandywine River, and restoring wetlands at Bombay Hook and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuges.