Rep. Joe Pitts (PA-16) introduced the White Clay Wild and Scenic River Expansion Act, H.R. 5813, a bill to protect additional waterways in the White Clay Creek watershed spanning Pennsylvania and Delaware. The bill, cosponsored by Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), expands the National Wild and Scenic River designation first established in 2000 legislation that was introduced by Pitts.
The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System preserves certain rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational value. White Clay Creek was the first designation to encompass an entire watershed rather than a single waterway.
"White Clay Creek is a beautiful natural resource in the 16th Congressional District," said Pitts. "I fished in the creek with my son when he was growing up, and I'm glad that we can preserve even more of these streams for future generations."
The White Clay Creek watershed has significant historical and wildlife resources. Thirty-eight sites along the creek are designated on the National Register of Historic Places. The waterways are home to 33 species of small mammals, 21 species of fish, 27 species of reptiles and amphibians and 90 species of birds.
Additionally, the creek is a major trout fishing stream with both rainbow and brown trout.
The additional sections protected in the new bill include 7.4 stream miles in New Garden Township and 1.6 miles in Delaware. With these additions, nearly 200 miles of streams in the watershed would be protected.
"I'm hopeful that Congress can consider this legislation soon. Senator Edward Kaufman (D-DE), with the support of Senator Casey (D-PA), has already introduced a companion bill in the Senate. There's strong bipartisan support for protecting more of White Clay Creek," added Pitts.