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PhillyBurbs.com - Federal Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Protect Delaware River Basin

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By David Levinsky
Staff writer

Environmental groups and advocates from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York are cheering the introduction of federal legislation aimed at enhancing and protecting the Delaware River and its large watershed.

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act would require the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create and adopt a regionwide plan that would guide restoration and conservation efforts in the 13,600-square-mile watershed.

It would also authorize $5 million a year in competitive grant funds to support restoration projects by nonprofit groups, universities, and state and local governments.

Typical projects include the restoration of wetlands, grasslands, and other natural areas that provide habitats for endangered species and migratory birds. Other efforts center on maintaining water quality and preventing erosion.

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Runyan, who serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, called the basin "one of our region's ecological gifts" and said he was proud to co-sponsor the bill.

"Not only does this bipartisan, deficit-neutral legislation protect one of our region's largest sources of drinking water, it also helps to preserve recreation and other jobs dependent on a healthy Delaware River Basin. I applaud Congressman Carney and the rest of my colleagues for taking action."

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