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Urban Waters

Greater Philadelphia Area / Delaware River Watershed (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware)

A view of the Delaware River between Philadelphia (left) and Camden, NJ. Other cities in this Urban Waters Federal Partnership location are Chester, PA and Wilmington, DE. Photo Credit: Andrew Dobshinsky, WRT

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The Delaware is the longest un-dammed river in the United States east of the Mississippi, extending 330 miles from Upstate New York to the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Over 15 million people (roughly 5 percent of the nation's population) rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking, agricultural, and industrial use, though the watershed drains only four-tenths of one percent of the total continental U.S. land area.

The Greater Philadelphia Area/Delaware River Watershed Urban Waters Federal Partnership encompasses several major urban areas – from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE, and including Camden, NJ and Chester, PA – as well as the surrounding suburban and even rural landscape. The area along the Delaware River throughout the region has historically experienced a significant loss of economic benefits and environmental services provided by the river. Numerous local and regional initiatives are underway to reduce the negative impacts of urbanization on the quality of the river while reclaiming and restoring impacted riverfronts and economically revitalizing depressed areas. Challenges include stormwater management, erosion and flooding control, source water protection, restoring lost habitat, enhancing overall waterway health, protecting community investments, pursuing environmental justice, and promoting public access. Due to the geographic extent of the Delaware River Watershed and the diverse set of environmental and social issues at hand, restoration requires a larger scale focus while advancing small-scale on-the-ground implementation.

List of Partners

Federal Partners

  • USDA Forest Service (USFS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of Interior (DOI)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • US Coast Guard (USCG)
  • US Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)
  • Federal Interagency Executive Board (FEB)

Local Partnership Workplan

  • Related Links

Partnership in Action Report (PDF) (59 pp, 3.8MB)

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