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EPA awards $517,000 to Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

Release Date: 11/29/2005
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $516,966 grant to the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary for education, outreach and habitat and water quality improvements.

“This partnership effort exemplifies how government and private organizations can come together to support vibrant programs to protect and enhance the critical Delaware Estuary that provides habitat to numerous wildlife species,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The funding will support several educational and restoration projects including an annual teachers’ workshop, helping to restore and protect 1,200 acres in the Delaware Estuary study area and monitoring water quality.

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is a non-profit organization founded in 1996. Its mission is to lead collaborative and creative efforts to protect and enhance the Delaware Estuary and its tributaries.

The Delaware Estuary region is where salt water from the Atlantic ocean and fresh water from the Delaware River and its tributaries mix. This mixture of water types creates a unique environment that is critical for the survival of many species of fish, birds, and other wildlife. The area provides safe spawning grounds and nurseries for fish and shellfish, ideal resting and refueling places for migratory birds, and habitat for many reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

Marshes and other wetlands, which fringe the estuary, protect marine life and water quality by filtering sediment and pollution from upstream sources. The estuary also creates natural protection from damaging storm waves and floods. The region includes portions of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania from the mouth of the Delaware Bay upriver to Trenton.

In 1988, EPA recognized the Delaware Estuary as a “water body of national significance” and established the Delaware Estuary Program as one of 28 EPA national estuary programs. Federal Clean Water Act Section 320 grant funds are authorized to support this program for making continued improvements in water quality, habitats and aquatic resources.

To find out more about the Delaware Estuary Program and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary go to www.delawareestuary.org or call the Partnership Office at 1-800 445-4935.