‘The Big Think’ with Andrew Johnson
A series of conversations with people who have worked in and for the watershed, sharing their expertise and knowledge

A man in blue winter jacket standing in front of a fir tree.

Andrew Johnson was an environmental grant-maker at the William Penn Foundation from 2001-21 and oversaw its Watershed Protection Program for nearly a decade. What observations do you have today about building and institutionalizing an effective, ongoing movement to protect and restore the Delaware River watershed? At the risk of opening with a truism, it is…

Left to right: Shawn Garvin, secretary of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Shawn LaTourette, commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection; Kristen Bowman Kavanagh, deputy executive director of the Delaware River Basin Commission; Rit Aggarwala, the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection; and Adam Ortiz, Region 3 administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

‘We’re not going to beat Mother Nature’: Tackling climate change in the Delaware River basin
Environmental officials say urgency and innovative thinking are needed

The effects of climate change are already readily apparent in the Delaware Estuary and the window to respond is rapidly shrinking, a panel of federal, state and New York City environmental leaders warned on Tuesday. “Every time we think we have 20 years to do something, it turns out we have 10 or five,” said…

Raymond Najjar is a professor of Oceanography in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at Pennsylvania State University. 

A ‘sobering’ look at the effects of climate change on the Delaware Estuary
“The challenges we are facing are really immense,” a keynote speaker on Monday warned.

Climate trends in the Delaware Estuary and Basin reflect a blend of spiking temperatures, with a growing number of 90-degree-plus days, increasing and intensifying precipitation, and a rapid rise in sea level, a Penn State professor warned on Monday. The professor, Raymond Najjar, offered what he described as an “exciting, daunting and sobering” assessment of…

A red circle on a topo map.

Mammoth industrial park planned near Delaware River could transform Slate Belt
River Pointe Commerce Park, with 13 warehouse-sized buildings of more than 6 million square feet, represents the largest project in the Lehigh Valley perhaps ever, planners say

Head east on I-80 from Stroudsburg, Pa., in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Poconos – once renowned for lovers’ resorts featuring heart-shaped tubs – and snake your way through a series of S-turns. Drive over the Delaware River on the Portland-Columbia Toll Bridge and into Upper Mount Bethel Township, Pa., (population a bit under 6,500). Here…

The Neversink River in Port Jervis

$500,000 grant to help the Neversink River
A National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant will be used to develop a watershed management plan

The Sullivan County (N.Y.) Planning Division has received a $500,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop a Neversink River watershed management plan. The first steps in that process were presented to the public via a Zoom meeting on Wednesday night with the title “What is a watershed management plan and why…

A National Park Service sign for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area on a stone stand.

More than $235 million in revenue tied to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
An economic impact report finds it also supports more than 2,600 jobs

Tourism tied to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area generated more than $235 million for local businesses, supported 2,686 jobs and raised nearly $3 million in hotel and sales tax revenue for the area, according to an economic impact report. The National Parks Conservation Association partnered with economic development consultants Jon Stover and Associates to…

Kids take the plunge into the Delaware River.

A January plunge into the Delaware for a good cause
Dozens came out for the Port Polar Plunge to support the Port Jervis Fire Department and, from the sound of all the laughter, had a good time doing it.

Why? Sure, taking a dip in the almost-freezing Delaware River to raise money for the Special Ops Team of the Port Jervis Fire Department is a great idea! But, when asked, most of these brave souls said something about “crazy”! H’mmm that has the ring of truth! It was 31 degrees, with a significant wind…

An area closed sign near an orange snow fence.

Watergate wetlands are restored in Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Animals and plants are expected to thrive after dams and ponds were removed and parts of Van Campens Brook restored

When the National Park Service studied visitation at the Watergate Recreation Site in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area it found that most people stayed for just three to seven minutes. The site, which is about 11 miles west of Newton, N.J., had gone through numerous iterations before arriving at that unpopular version of…

Snowy Delaware River from Port Jervis, N.Y.

Delaware Currents in 2022: A year in review (ICYMI)

Editor’s note: This is a free newsletter that was sent to subscribers. To sign up for the newsletters, email us. Social media is a strange place overrun with shorthands, like TIL (Today I Learned), FWIW (For What It’s Worth) and YSRDC (You Should Read Delaware Currents). OK, that last one I made up. But there is…

Ben Spinelli

NJ Highlands Council chief seeks to build coalitions
Ben Spinelli, who took over as executive director in July, has a background in land preservation and water policies.

The new executive director of the New Jersey Highlands Council, Ben Spinelli, brings experience gained as a member of the first council after the Highlands Water Protection Act of 2004 was enacted. In a recent interview, Spinelli said he believes his new position is an extension of work he began back then and continued during…

DRBC meeting on Zoom

DRBC adopts new rules to prohibit fracking wastewater discharges
The commission tightened rules for Delaware River water to be exported for fracking and the importation of fracked wastewater.

Ever since the DRBC banned fracking in the watershed in February 2021, the issue that has environmental activists alarmed is what are known as fracking-related activities: importing fracked wastewater into the basin, and exporting Delaware River water to be used for fracking. Once the ban on fracking was approved, the DRBC turned its attention to…