December 21, 2011 —
WASHINGTON, DC — The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011, federal legislation to help protect the Delaware River Basin, has passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. A companion bill is still in committee in the House of Representatives.
The Senate co-sponsors of the legislation include Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Robert Casey of Pennsylvania. The House bill is sponsored by U.S. representative John Carney (D-DE), and its sponsors include Charles Dent, Michael Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach and Patrick Meehan, (R-PA) Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).
The act would implement a voluntary, coordinated approach to sustaining and enhancing the basin’s habitat, water quality and flooding controls. It would provide $5 million for each of the next five fiscal years, and would include a competitive grants component to provide support for local, on-the-ground projects by universities, state and local governments, community organizations and others. The grants could be used to support such things as wetlands restoration and protection, flood mitigation and waterfront revitalization.