Washington, DC- Last week, Congressman Andrews announced the introduction of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, which will create an estimated 55 jobs and promote the long-term health of this vital waterway. The bill, which is cosponsored by a bipartisan coalition of Representatives, requires the creation of a region-wide strategy to manage the Delaware River watershed and authorizes $5,000,000 annually for local cleanup projects.
“By protecting the Delaware, we are protecting the jobs of the men and women of New Jersey whose livelihoods in transportation, tourism, or recreation are directly tied to the river,” said Rep. Andrews. “The $5,000,000 in annual competitive grants will put people to work cleaning the river and its tributaries to ensure that its natural beauty is there for future generations to enjoy.”
The bill would also allow waterway management experts to design a strategy to prevent flooding throughout the entire region. Currently, flood control efforts in one area of the watershed can have unforeseen consequences in other parts of the river or its tributaries. “This legislation will go a long way towards lessening the impact of flooding in South Jersey,” said Rep. Andrews. “A lower risk of flooding means homes are cheaper to insure and businesses have a more stable environment.”
The Delaware River’s importance to the region cannot be understated. Approximately 200,000 jobs depend directly on the river, with millions more closely tied to it. As a major source of drinking water, it supplies water to 5% of the country’s population. The river also enjoys a unique place in American military history. It was the site of Washington’s crossing and has been the launching point of hundreds of Navy ships. The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act will protect the river and preserve its legacy as an economic driver of the region for generations to come.