Norman Torkelson

I have always enjoyed the Delaware River since first coming to the Delaware Valley in the early 70's to develop a hands on environmental science program for a residential school for children with learning disabilities. My passion to be out on the water, flyfishing, kayaking, & photographing the natural environs continue to this day.

I was a board member of Del-A-Ware during the Pt. Pleasant Pump fight. Later I was invited to be a founding board member for the Delaware Riverkeeper.

I have been on the Stockton Planning Board for over 25 years, & I have been the Stockton representative to the Lower Delaware Wild &Scenic Committee for many years.

I am delighted to see the improvements in water quality and biodiversity that the Delaware now enjoys.

I am excited and blessed to be able to continue helping the River as a trustee on the DRGP.

Sincerely,

Norman Torkelson

Christopher Meyers

Living on the Musconetcong Mountain, near the confluence of the Musconetcong and Delaware Rivers, I consider our local watersheds integral parts of my home; their health and well being are of paramount importance to me.

As an avid canoeist, officer of the Mohawk Canoe Club, member of the Board of the Delaware Valley Division of the American Canoe Association, and member of various and sundry area paddling clubs, I feel a deep and visceral connection to our local waterways. I've paddled the Delaware River from the confluence of the East & West Branches to the tidal section in Burlington, NJ, many tributaries of the Delaware, large and small, including the Lackawaxen, Mongaup, Flatbrook, Pequest, Paulins Kill, Lehigh, Pohatcong, Musconetcong, Tohickon, Neshaminy, Crosswicks, Rancocas, Maurice, as well as the entire navigable length of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, from Bulls Island to New Brunswick.

These waterways and natural lands are a blessing, a great luxury, in my opinion. I'm immensely grateful to all of the people and organizations that have worked in the past to preserve, protect, and improve the quality of our local waterways. This is a job that demands constant attention, and I believe it's of the utmost importance to recognize ongoing and new threats to the health of the Delaware River and its surrounding lands and waters. It is a privilege to help protect and share all that these natural treasures have to offer, and I am honored and excited to participate in continuing this work with the Delaware River Greenway Partnership.

Mark Zakutansky
Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager, Appalachian Mountain Club, Bethlehem, PA
Legislative Committee Chair, Highlands Coalition
Chair, Eastern Forest Partnership
Race Director, Lehigh Classic Downriver Race
Resident, Albrightsville, PA

Since we moved to Princeton 50 years ago, the Delaware River, (and adjoining canal), has been second only to my home in the hierarchy of the places I treasure. I have walked its trails countless times by day and under a full moon, and “bird” it on a regular basis. Less frequent but memorable are my paddling and cycling ventures along the canal, picnics, special dinners out, crafts shows and fireworks over the river. I drive along both sides of the river every chance I get to observe the scenery and historic landmarks, and continuously explore nature on foot in adjacent parks and preserved lands. I drink and bathe in its water every day. After I retired as an art museum curator I found it an easy and satisfying switch from art history to researching the river’s rich history and cultural heritage. I feel a strong need to champion the river and its many assets, to share it with others and to encourage and participate in the river’s protection and restoration, realizing that towns and parks along it will also be affected positively. I am preparing a guide to the D&R Canal, and aspire to continue to engage in historical research leading to exhibitions, lectures and articles about the river’s history. I am on the boards of the D&R Canal Watch and Washington Crossing Audubon Society, both grassroots organizations with some interest in the canal and river. With its mandated singular dedication to the river valley in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, DRGP, in partnership with other organizations and agencies, can play a leadership role in making the river an even better place; I joined the DRGP board to help in that effort!

Tony grew up in an organic farming environment in Pennsylvania and studied agriculture and microbiology at Delaware Valley University before switching his focus to the business side of environmental sustainability. He holds an MBA from Temple University and a Masters of Tax Law from Villanova Law School. Now he heads a New Jersey non-profit BaySave Corporation that focuses on education and advocacy for the Delaware Bay shore communities. His independent work as a Certified Public Accountant brings exposure to many of the environmental and regulatory challenges faced by communities and businesses in the Delaware Valley today. He represents Money Island Marina, a New Jersey Green Marina, Nantuxent Seafood, a sustainable seafood company, and Nantuxent Corporation, a private sustainable redevelopment group and others associated with this effort to achieve environmental and economic sustainability. Over the past few years he entered a partnership led by The Nature Conservancy for living shoreline restoration, conducted research in oyster reef construction, established an oyster shell recycling program in Philadelphia and constructed the region's only floating dock public fishing facility on the Delaware Bay.

His primary public involvement is speaking and writing on the connection between environmental and economic sustainability. He is a community leader in sea level rise response and the long term recovery plan for the Delaware bay shore region. Despite living directly on the shore of the Delaware Bay, he rarely has time to travel by boat or even pick up a fishing rod. But he loves the work posed by the massive challenges of providing leadership in climate change and community-based sea level rise response.  He is proud to serve as the Treasurer for Delaware River Greenway Partnership.

So many of my childhood memories were made on the Delaware River.

The river region is still my source of relaxation, exercise and inspiration. As an artist I have always been captivated by the Delaware River’s endless source of changing cloud formations, mist, beautiful light, reflections, and interesting surrounding historic architecture. 

As an adult I realized the importance and power of cultivating strong community ties when I served as a board member for the original Del-A-Ware during the “Pump fight”, which lead to my involvement with the formation of the first Delaware Riverkeeper.

As a business owner in a river community for 25 years, I had the opportunity to learn the importance of cultivating an atmosphere of sustainable economic growth.

For 12 years as the executive director of a Nationally Registered historic site on the Delaware River, I experienced the importance for the public to understand the historic value and natural assets of the Delaware River region.

Involvement with the Delaware River Scenic Byway was a natural progression for me. I feel fortunate to serve on the DRGP board and serve as the Byway administrator, helping to promote cross-river connections and communication. Promoting preservation of the natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the lower Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania has always motivated me. Using the arts to enhance and recognize the value of our natural resources is a passion and so I also serve as a board member of Artsbridge Inc, a regional art association, I am a Delaware River Region Artists and serve on the Somerset and Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commissions grant panels.

I have spent my professional life working to preserve historic sites and landscapes with local, state and national organizations. Current interests are heritage education and tourism. For me, the Delaware River is a spectacular natural resource, an important heritage corridor and an ongoing conservation battle. The Delaware & Raritan and Delaware Canal State Parks are favorite destinations in all seasons. I feel privileged to have a front row seat to so much history and beauty.

To enjoy smell of spring, the sound of a river flowing, the sight of beautiful landscape or the feel of soft moss under your toes is
something I believe everyone should experience. This is why I am excited to be a part of DRGP.

DRGP’s goal in promoting and protecting the Delaware River and its surrounding lands provides the public with areas to explore nature; to experience and become part of nature; to better understand how their life forever interacts with nature.

The Delaware River Region is rich with diversity and historical significance. As the naturalist of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, I am privileged to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and work with dedicated groups and individuals in preserving these qualities for future generations.

Why I am excited to be volunteering at DRGP:

Conservation of the Delaware River and its watershed for the people, wildlife, and habitats is what drives me through my career. When I was asked to join the Delaware River Greenway Partnership Board, I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to work with even more great people doing spectacular things for the Delaware River. DRGP allows me the ability to delve deeper into conserving the quality of the river, connecting to people and connecting them to nature, and building upon the strong relationships and team to do even more and better.

Madeline Urbish

Madeline (Maddy) Urbish serves as Director of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, which brings together over 85 nongovernment organizations working throughout the Delaware River Basin to network, share information, and advocate for protecting and restoring the watershed. Maddy has lived on the Delaware River for many years with her husband, Paul, and dog, Abby, first in Philadelphia and now in Stockton, NJ. The whole family loves walking along the canal path that runs right outside their front door and going swimming, kayaking, and tubing down the river. From experiencing and appreciating the river in both an urban and a rural setting, Maddy is excited to join the DRGP and contribute to conserving the river and its surrounding communities.

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