This year, Congress has a chance to take a major step in protecting one of the most important ecological resources on the East Coast. Lawmakers from both parties have long supported a new Delaware River Basin Restoration Program to coordinate conservation efforts in the watershed and set aside $5 million in competitive matching grants.
I greatly appreciate recent efforts by U.S. Rep. Dent, Sen. Casey and their congressional colleagues to advocate for this watershed, and I urge them to push for inclusion of this important program in the final version of the Water Resources Development Act. It's an opportunity not to be missed.
The basin provides drinking water for 5 percent of the American population. This legislation would support the sort of work Trout Unlimited volunteers do to protect, reconnect and restore cold-water streams. This work does not just improve fish habitat; it also promotes clean water, improves flood resiliency and strengthens local economies supported by millions of sportsmen's dollars.
This program would prioritize and help fund a multitude of programs like these. Now is the time to put the Delaware on par with other major U.S. watersheds receiving dedicated federal support, from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake.
The writer is president of the Monocacy Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
LINK to original printed in the Morning Call.