Wednesday, Congressman Andrews, along with a group of 10 other Congressmen and women, announced a plan that will bring jobs to our region improving the environment, water quality and flood control for the people, fish and wildlife that depend on the Delaware River Basin. Despite its estimated $26 billion economic impact on the region annually, Delaware River restoration efforts receive very limited federal resources compared to similar watersheds across the country.
The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act would create the Delaware River Restoration Program, giving federal matching dollars to projects where government, nonprofit groups, and private industry work together to conserve and restore the basin. Grant applications that demonstrate collaboration between organizations, universities, and governments will be most likely to receive funding. The federal share of a project is limited to 50 percent of the cost, which will encourage applicants to find private investment to match the federal commitment. Because this program will use only the existing budget of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, it will not add a single penny to the deficit.
"The Delaware River Basin is a vital resource for jobs and economic growth in our region and it must be protected," said Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ). "By boosting state, federal and local efforts to enhance our river basin, there will be more demand for recreational use of our waterway, which will attract new economic development and demand for jobs in our region. This is truly a win-win that I am proud to sponsor."
As a member of the Health Employment Labor and Pensions Sub-Committee and a lead author of the Affordable Care Act, Congressman Andrews is determined to preserve the natural resources like clean air and water that keep the people of South Jersey and the Country healthy and safe.