The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced $8.12 million in grants this week toward Delaware River Watershed conservation that will include money for a new park in Bridesburg, for improved habitat for horseshoe crabs in Cape May County, and to make an old fishing pier along the Schuylkill suitable for public access.
That sum was matched by $22 million from environmental and conservation nonprofits.
The money will go toward 37 projects scattered throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware near tributaries of the watershed. The grants are designed to enhance recreation, water quality, and habitat conservation.
The grants are awarded through the Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The federal money funds the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, legislation to protect the watershed, which is a source of drinking water for more than 13 million people.
“Investing in conservation now helps ensure a sustainable future for the Delaware River watershed, a region where communities, lives, and livelihoods depend upon a healthy environment,” said Mike Slattery, landscape partnership coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Slattery said the list of projects will improve 6,783 acres of forest habitat, treat polluted runoff using agricultural conservation practices on more than 4,596 acres, restore 141 acres of wetland habitat, and improve 3.5 miles of stream in critical headwaters.
Among the projects: