Partnering with River Network on Watershed-wide Policy Work in the Delaware River Basin

River Network has been conducting water quality policy research and project development in the Delaware River Basin with the support of the William Penn Foundation since 2015. The EFC began partnering with River Network on its work in the spring of 2018.  

Each of the four states within the basin – Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania - has assumed authority to implement programs under the Clean Water Act. Each has a different regulatory structure and approach to permitting in these water programs, with resulting differences in strengths and weaknesses in achieving water quality protection. As part of its more than $100 million investment to improve water quality in the Delaware River Basin, the William Penn Foundation is supporting River Network, a national organization that works to protect clean water and build capacity in local watershed organizations throughout the country, to research water policy issues in the basin, make recommendations about where additional engagement could result in meaningful policy changes, and pilot some strategies to test these recommendations. 

Part of William Penn’s investment strategy in the Delaware River Basin is to focus on eight subwatersheds to seek collaboration among organizations to achieve water quality improvements. These groups are called clusters. River Network’s grant includes partnering with organizations in these eight clusters. The work to be completed during the remainder of River Network’s current grant includes strengthening partnerships with cluster organizations and collaborating with other William Penn grantees to identify needed water quality policy changes and strategies to achieve those changes, with particular emphasis on protecting recreational uses of water bodies throughout the basin. 

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