Fitzpatrick’s bill reauthorizes conservation funding for Delaware River Basin

Federal funding for conservation and restoration efforts in the Delaware River Basin would be reauthorized under a bipartisan bill introduced last week by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

“The Delaware River is a crucial natural resource for our communities in Bucks and Montgomery counties and for Pennsylvania’s neighbors,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral bill to ensure that federal funding continues to reach our state, local, and non-profit partners engaging in conservation and restoration efforts throughout the Delaware River Watershed area.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick on March 7 sponsored the Delaware River Basin Conservation Reauthorization Act, H.R. 1395, with 11 original cosponsors, including lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA). The legislation is a companion bill to the same-named S. 654, introduced by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and four of his Democratic colleagues. 

The bill would reauthorize the Delaware River Basin conservation programs by amending the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which allows federal, state, and local governments to collaborate on restoration projects. Since being signed in 2016, the legislation has funded 149 projects with $40.4 million, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office.

“I’m pleased that we again have bipartisan support for reauthorizing the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program,” said Rep. Evans. “This program provides valuable support, through technical and grant assistance, to restoration and protection activities throughout the Delaware River Basin, a vital watershed covering over 13,000 square miles in four states and reaching 15 million people.”

The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed endorsed the bill.