Wild & Scenic Lower Delaware River Management Committee Action Plan — 2007 To 2011

Section I: Introduction

 The Lower Delaware River flows through the very heart of the birthplace of our great nation. Every bend in the river speaks to us of history, of beauty, of opportunity—of life itself. Its fresh, free-flowing water nourishes human inhabitants as it has for over twelve thousand years. Along its path evolved the greatest economy in the world. Our nation's history is revealed in the agricultural fields, forests, canals, villages, mills and inns along its path. Diverse flora and fauna thrive on its banks and islands. Its natural beauty inspires serenity. Yet today the Delaware River supports one of the country's largest concentrations of population and industry. Our challenge is to manage the growth and use of the corridor and its resources to protect its outstanding character. Unmanaged development and inappropriate use of the corridor's resources would lead to a degradation of the water quality, loss of habitat for endangered and valuable wildlife and plant species, and destruction of its natural beauty and charming historic sites.

No great American landscape is ever saved by accident. From Acadia National Park in Maine to Yosemite in California, including the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and the Everglades, it is deliberate actions by citizens and their political leaders that assure these great landscapes will be more than sites for motels, shopping centers, suburban sprawl and vacation house developments. The high level of protection that these great national parks enjoy is not envisioned for the corridor of the Lower Delaware River, given its history of multiple uses, private property ownership, and complex resource management. It is, however, essential that the Lower Delaware River corridor be managed in a way that will protect its outstanding resources.

The Lower Delaware River Management Plan sets forth a vision for the wise management and use of the land and water in the Lower Delaware River corridor and the watersheds of Paunacussing, Tinicum, and Tohickon creeks to achieve protection of the valuable natural, historic and cultural resources. The Management Plan was prepared as a requirement of the designation of the lower Delaware River into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Plan proposes specific actions that can be taken by local, state and federal government entities, property owners, and organizations in the corridor to protect outstandingly remarkable resources and water quality, while providing for future economic growth and recreational uses. Primary responsibility for the river remains with property owners through proper stewardship of their land, with local governments through land use regulations, and with those who enjoy the scenic and recreational values of the river.

The assure successful implementation of the Management Plan the following action plan has been prepared by the Lower Delaware River Management Committee to facilitate their action and the action of river management partners.

Goals & Policies

The following goals were carefully developed as the basis for the Management Plan:

Goal 1: Water Quality

Maintain existing water quality in the Delaware River and its tributaries from measurable degradation and improve it where practical.

Goal 2: Natural Resources

Preserve and protect the river's outstanding natural resources, including rare and endangered plant and animal species, river islands, steep slopes and buffer areas in the river corridor and along the tributaries.

Goal 3: Historic Resources

Preserve and protect the character of historic structures, districts and sites, including landscapes, in the river corridor.

Goal 4: Recreation

Encourage recreational use of the river corridor that has a low environmental and social impact and is compatible with public safety, the protection of private property and with the preservation of natural and cultural qualities of the river corridor.

Goal 5: Economic Development

Identify principles for minimizing the adverse impact of development within the river corridor and to encourage sustainable development where appropriate.

Goal 6: Open Space Preservation

Preserve open space as a means of maximizing the health of the ecosystem, preserving scenic values, and minimizing the impact of new development in the river corridor.

National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Passed by Congress in 1968, the intent of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act is to establish a national system to protect selected free flowing rivers with outstanding natural, cultural and recreational features for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Act is designed to provide river protection through the combined efforts of private landowners and other citizens, river related organizations, and all levels of government. Emphasis is given to protection of landowners' rights, and there is no federal intent to acquire land along the segments of the river being studied. Designation does not open private lands to public access, nor affect existing uses of private property.

The River Management Plan

The Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River Management Plan sets forth resource and land management techniques that will help maintain good water quality in the Lower Delaware River. Projected population increases of about 14% by the year 2020 will put the river's ecosystem and water supplies under increasing stress. The land use planning we do now will save valuable resources for the future. In planning for residential and commercial development it is essential to reduce the potential for soil erosion and sedimentation and storm water runoff, which can degrade water quality and aggravate existing sedimentation problems in the estuary. Preservation of native plant species along the river and stream banks and wetland areas will further protect water quality by preventing excessive erosion and filtering impurities entering waterways.

The Management Plan recommends actions to maintain and improve the Lower Delaware River, its tributaries and surrounding natural, historic and cultural resources. It provides for economic growth in a manner that does not adversely affect the region's exceptional river-related resources.

The Plan was compiled by the Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River Study Task Force Management Plan Committee and Local Government Committee, with the assistance of the National Park Service, Northeast Region. The Committee was made up of regional, state, and local agency representatives, landowners, conservationists, business people, and other stakeholders in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Each level of government retains its existing level of authority with National Wild and Scenic Rivers System designation. Federal agencies are required to consider the values for which the river is designated and make decisions which are compatible with the plan.

A wide range of federal, state and local regulatory programs provide varying degrees of resource protection in the Lower Delaware River corridor. Some are very effective because they are based on well-founded laws, aggressively supported by the necessary finances, qualified personnel, and include education programs. Others lack these qualities and are therefore less effective. Local municipalities are a key to many of these regulatory programs even though enforcement originates from higher levels of government. They are close to areas where violations may be occurring and are intimately aware of local situations. Municipalities carry considerable persuasive weight with these regulatory agencies and are a key to bringing important facts to their attention. In addition, municipal land use regulations, stormwater management controls, and open space programs can provide further levels of resource protection.

 

 

Section II: ACTION PLAN

Water Quality

Goal 1: Water Quality

  • Maintain existing water quality in the Delaware River and its tributaries from measurably degrading and improve it where practical.
    Policies
  • Achieve the highest practical state and federal water quality designation for the river and its tributaries.
  • Manage point discharge and storm water non-point runoff with best management practices to minimize degradation of the river and tributaries
  • Encourage the use of Best Management Practices in the agricultural areas within the river and tributary corridors to minimize water quality degradation from storm water runoff.
  • Encourage the use of Best Management Practices for activities other than agricultural that could result in water quality degradation from storm water runoff.
  • Discourage inappropriate development in floodplains, wetlands, steep slopes and buffer strips along the Lower Delaware River and its tributaries.
  • Encourage restoration of floodplain storage capacity, removal of structures in floodplains, and prevention of development in floodplains.

Implementation Strategies

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, and the Delaware River Basin Commission should jointly develop a river corridor water quality management plan describing the highest level of water quality protection consistent with the water quality goal of this Management Plan, and the monitoring, research, modeling and regulations needed to insure protection of that level of water quality. (The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has designated many of the Delaware River tributaries as Category One, targeting waterbodies that provide drinking water, habitat for Endangered and Threatened species, and popular recreational and/or commercial species, such as trout or shellfish. Waterways can be designated Category One because of exceptional ecological significance, exceptional water supply significance, exceptional recreational significance, exceptional shellfish resource, or exceptional fisheries resource. The Category One designation provides additional protections to waterbodies that help prevent water quality degradation and discourage development where it would impair or destroy natural resources and environmental quality).

High Priority - The Delaware River Basin Commission should adopt permanent Special Protection Waters designation for the lower Delaware River.

High Priority - The Delaware River Basin Commission should include the three designated tributaries, the Paunacussing, Tinicum, and Tohickon creeks, in the Special Protection Waters designation.

High Priority - The State of Pennsylvania should grant Exceptional Value status to the Delaware River mainstem.

High Priority - The three designated tributaries, the Paunacussing, Tinicum, and Tohickon creeks, should receive Exceptional Value status by the State of Pennsylvania.

High Priority - The Delaware River Basin Commission should continue the water quality monitoring program initiated to measure baseline water quality for the Special Protection Waters Program.

An enhanced water quality monitoring program should be implemented for the Lower Delaware River and its tributaries under the leadership of the Delaware River Basin Commission.

TMDL's should be established for all major tributaries, particularly Pennsylvania tributaries, including streams in good condition. Sewage discharges from malfunctioning private or public sewage systems can severely impact water quality. The current system of monitoring septic/sewage systems should be improved and property owners should be educated. The Management Committee should identify those lower Delaware River tributaries without watershed associations and help establish watershed or similar organizations. Watershed organizations are a good mechanism for landowner outreach and education.

Education programs should be designed to educate the public to know that:

  1. many of the serious impacts are the result of individual and community actions related to land use.
  2. sewage discharges from malfunctioning private or public sewage systems can severely impact water quality.
  3. existing state and federal programs do not offer full protection of streams and rivers.
  4. the use of best management practices can minimize the impact from pollution sources such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.


High Priority
- The Management Committee, building upon existing sources, should develop and distribute a landowner education package.

The Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River 2007 incentive grant round should target landowner forums and outreach.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service and appropriate state agencies should encourage farmers to develop farm management plans in accordance with best management practices.

Periodic water quality announcements/advisories should be issued by DRBC.

The States of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and the Delaware River Basin Commission should issue hazard and water quality alerts when necessary. A reporting mechanism should be developed and alerts distributed to corridor municipalities and the Lower Delaware River Management Committee.

The Management Committee should work with the four municipalities that have not yet endorsed Wild and Scenic River designation to pass
resolutions of support (Durham, Upper Mt. Bethel, White, Pohatcong).

Municipal Strategies

Corridor municipalities should provide stream corridor preservation through preserving buffers, steep slopes, wetlands, floodplains, and woodlands that are a vital part of the ecosystem of the river corridor.

Corridor municipalities should provide protection against non-point source pollution and provide for storm water management.

Regional storm water management facilities should be developed and the use of other best management practices encouraged. Planning at the municipal, inter-municipal, and county levels should be encouraged in order to achieve regional management strategies.

Corridor municipalities are encouraged to work cooperatively on regional issues such as groundwater and watershed protection.

 

 

Natural Resources

Goal 2: Natural Resources

Preserve and protect the river's outstanding natural resources, including rare and endangered plant and animal species, river islands, steep slopes and buffer areas in the river corridor and along the tributaries.

Policies

  • Promote stream corridor preservation, as well as protection of steep slopes, floodplains and wetlands.
  • Encourage the protection of river corridor resources while allowing property owners to utilize their land in ways that do not harm those valuable resources.
  • Encourage the protection of significant natural resources in the corridor, including rare and endangered plant and animal species and significant wildlife habitats.

Implementation Strategies

Landowners will continue as the primary stewards of lands along the river. Long-standing traditions of private land ownership and diverse land uses are major factors in the character and quality of the river corridor. Landowners can fulfill their stewardship responsibility by taking an active interest in the river, expanding their knowledge of sensitive land management practices, and incorporating those practices into land management. Sensitive land management includes maintaining or re-establishing vegetative buffers along the river and tributaries and reducing or eliminating the use of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns.

Watershed plans should be developed for each tributary in the study area under consideration for designation into the Wild & Scenic System. Native plant materials should be used in landscaping. Landowner Education materials should provide information on the use of native plants and the use of conservation design to encourage water retention.

The Management Committee should encourage the use of the Bowman's Hill Plant Stewardship Index throughout the river corridor (the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance is using it on the Lockatong and the Tinicum Conservancy is using on the Tinicum).

High Priority - Invasive plant species, such as Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosetrife, should be removed from the river corridor. An invasive species management program should be developed, including
identification of priority sites.

Municipal Strategies

Corridor municipalities should provide stream corridor protection through preserving buffers, steep slopes, wetlands, floodplains, and woodlands that are a vital part of the ecosystem of the river corridor and the mapping of wetlands.

Corridor municipalities should establish guidelines for natural resource preservation techniques, including cluster development.

Corridor municipalities should establish environmental advisory councils or environmental commissions.

Watershed plans should be developed for each tributary in the study area under consideration for designation into the Wild and Scenic System.

High Priority - The nine municipalities without riparian buffer ordinances in Pennsylvania should adopt them (New Hope, Solebury, Nockamixon, Riegelsville, Durham, Easton, Lower Mt. Bethel, Upper Mt. Bethel, Portland -refer to the Municipal Ordinance Review Project, Lower Delaware River Corridor, January 2006 for more information. New Jersey municipalities are mandated by the state to apply a 300-foot buffer to their Category 1 streams.

Municipalities should review and enhance their floodplain ordinances in light of flooding in 2004 and 2005.

High Priority - In light of significant flooding in 2004, 2005 and 2006 FEMA and ACOE should update floodplain mapping.

 

 

 

Historic and Cultural Resources

Goal 3: Historic Resources

Preserve and protect the character of historic structures, districts and sites, including landscapes, in the river corridor.

Policies

  • Structures (including bridges), districts or sites, including landscapes, that are listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places, or are eligible for such listing, are important to the character of the river corridor and should be preserved and contributing elements should not be removed.
  • Encourage communities and historical organizations to survey and, where appropriate, to establish local historic districts and to nominate historic structures, landscapes or districts for inclusion on the states and national registers of historic places.

Implementation Strategies

Educate residents/users about the history of the region and the benefits of historic preservation including the potential for an increase in property values that ensues from such preservation.

Municipal Strategies

Corridor municipalities should conduct inventories in order to identify the structures, districts or sites that are eligible for inclusion on the State or Federal Registers of Historic Places.

Corridor municipalities should preserve significant historic places by nominating them to state or national registers and by establishing local historic districts.

 

 

 

Recreational Resources 

Goal 4: Recreation

Encourage recreational use of the river corridor that has a low environmental and social impact and is compatible with public safety, the protection of private property and with the preservation of natural and cultural qualities of the river corridor.

Policies

  • Establish publicly owned land which provides appropriate river access and support facilities for people pursuing recreational opportunities.
  • Establish strict rules on excessively noisy or intrusive activities or vehicles in the river corridor, and promote enforcement of those rules by both states.
  • Promote appropriate public access points with maps, guidebooks, signs, etc. to reduce recreational trespassers on private property.
  • Protect lands with significant recreational value within the corridor should be publicly owned or protected by land trusts in order to facilitate public recreational use.
  • Guidelines should be established and enforced for the use of public access sites by commercial operators for access, parking, and operations.
  • No wake zones should be enforced.

Implementation Strategies

Conduct a recreational use study, including impacts on the environment.

Access to the River

Access recommendations in the Delaware River Water Trail Plan should be implemented. Several additional and potential access sites have been acquired or are planned since the Lower Delaware River was designated into the National Wild and Scenic River System, including one at the Giving Pond, the extension of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, and at the mouth of the Musconetcong River. The states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are to be commended. State, county, municipal, and private entities should provide additional access sites to the river, particularly low- impact recreational activities that are environmentally suited to protecting the river and habitats. Suggestions include fishing, birding and wildlife observation, hiking, and canoe camping. All proposals for new recreational activities should be evaluated to determine impact upon the important resources of the study area. An analysis of river access needs should be conducted that facilitates officials at all levels to provide access, including funding information.

The Lower Delaware River Management Committee should participate in the annual Delaware River Sojourn.

Safety

The New Jersey Marine Police and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission should:

  • Provide the police force necessary to enforce the rules governing recreational activity in the river corridor, particularly during peak periods of use on summer weekends.
  • Work in partnership with personal watercraft retailers and manufacturers to encourage safe and courteous use of personal watercraft.

Governmental entities at all levels and both sides of the river should adopt compatible rules governing recreational use of the river corridor. These rules should be in accord with the recreational goals of the Management Plan.

Commercial operators are encouraged to comply with health and safety regulations both in the use of watercraft and food and beverage sales.

An effective enforcement policy should be developed to minimize excessive noise and speed, to eliminate potential collisions between river users, to discourage intimidation of non-power watercraft users and fisherman by power craft, to protect the environment, and to consider establishing designated areas for personal watercraft.

Interpretation

A comprehensive interpretation plan for the entire Lower Delaware River corridor is needed that is compatible with the plan prepared for the Delaware and Lehigh Navigation Canal National Heritage Corridor. The plan will encourage the protection of resources, promote safe and courteous river use, and raise awareness of the value of the Delaware's resources.

 

 

 

Economic Development

Goal 5: Economic Development

Identify principles for minimizing the adverse impact of development within the river corridor.

Policies

Continued economic growth, new infrastructure, and the replacement, repair or expansion of existing infrastructure should occur in ways that minimize harmful impacts on the natural, cultural, recreational and scenic values of the river corridor and that are cost-effective.

Implementation Strategies

Tourism

Establish an Economic Development Coordinating Committee responsible for coordinating river festivals and events, educational programs and economic development opportunities.

Improve coordination between chambers of commerce and economic development groups to attract tourists to area. Chambers should coordinate with government agencies and municipalities to promote recreational and tourist opportunities. Evaluate the need to organize a corridor-wide chamber of commerce.

Identify opportunities for appropriate privately-owned tourism sites (wineries, microbreweries, bed and breakfasts, etc.) Interest by the public should be encouraged in the region through re-enactments, especially at Washington Crossing.

Existing activities that attract outside tourists should be encouraged,such as railroad excursions, trolley-type vehicles, additional tours to promote resources, and enhanced activities such as those associated with recreation areas (outfitters, open space, parks, and trails, environmental areas).

Encourage economic development activities related to historic and cultural sites and support non-profits that run historic sites and state-owned historic sites.

Encourage economic development through the Main Street program, which encourages economic strategies that revitalize downtown commercial districts through historic preservation.

States should seek federal byway designation for roads adjacent to the corridor where not yet done and byway management plans should be developed.

A view shed study should be conducted to identify significant views, areas in need of protection and protection measures. Maintain existing character and views of roadways where possible.

The use of visual themes (signs, construction techniques, road patterns) should be investigated to develop a solid identity within the Lower Delaware valley.

General

Best Management Practices should be required for all industrial areas to protect the river's resources. Visual appearance of industrial areas should be improved to maintain scenic value of the corridor. Buffer zones between public facilities and river should be encouraged.

Public and private utility uses and rights-of-way should be concentrated to minimize impact.

Reviews should be conducted to anticipate expansion needs with natural gas, electric, telecommunication, and other utility companies operating in the river corridor and develop a plan that allows those needs to be met in a manner that is compatible with the river corridor's resources and that is cost-effective.

Expansion needs should be reviewed with appropriate governmental entities regarding existing sewerage authorities and anticipated new sewerage treatment facilities to ensure compatibility with the goals of this plan.

A system of evaluation for proposed projects throughout the corridor should be developed that identifies the impact on significant resources and compares the environmental impacts with the economic benefits, particularly in relation to water quality.

Construction of wireless communication towers in the viewshed of designated sections of the lower Delaware River and Tinicum, Tohickon, and Paunacussing creeks is discouraged.

Municipal Strategies

Appropriate types of development should be identified that are sensitive to the important natural, historic, scenic and recreational resources identified.

Corridor municipalities should assure that local zoning ordinances direct development to locations that are compatible with the river corridor's resources.

Municipalities should review and update, if necessary, their local comprehensive plans, zoning, and subdivision and land development ordinances to ensure preservation of the environmental and historic character of the management area.

Municipalities should report development plans to adjacent communities for review. A corridor-wide newsletter could be developed to inform municipal officials and residents about development proposals within the corridor.

New industrial development should be encouraged to locate outside the immediate river corridor or be concentrated where such uses already exist or on sites of former industrial facilities.

Municipal, county and state departments of highways and transportation should assure that new or improved roads in the river corridor will be environmentally and visually compatible with the river corridor's resources and that the construction techniques used will reduce the impact of storm water runoff on the water quality.

 

 

 

Open Space Preservation

Goal 6: Open Space Preservation

Preserve open space as a means of maximizing the health of the ecosystem, preserving scenic values, and minimizing the impact of new development in the river corridor. (Map and list accomplishments from last five years)

Policies

Lands within the river corridor that have special environmental or scenic value and significant agricultural lands should be permanently preserved by private programs, individual landowners and public ownership in fee or easement as appropriate to assure their ability to continue to offer scenic benefits.

Implementation Strategies

The New Jersey Green Acres program is designed to use public funds for direct State acquisition, as a grant and loan mix for county and municipal acquisition, and as a 50% matching grant for acquisition by private, non-profit land trusts. The New Jersey side of the river corridor should be surveyed to determine which pieces of land should be in public ownership and which public or private entity would be most likely to work with the Green Acres program.

The Pennsylvania Rivers Program, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Key 93 Municipal Assistance program provide direct assistance to municipalities for the acquisition and development of open space, river conservation and recreation projects. A determination needs to be made of the priorities for land acquisition, and appropriate funding provided for land protection.

Islands should be protected and acquired.

Private land trusts should identify and protect lands in the corridor with significant resource value.

The Management Committee should work with land trusts.

The state farmland protection programs should give priority to the protection of agricultural lands in the river corridor.

Farmland should be taxed on the basis of its value for the production of agricultural products, not on its fair market value that includes its value for development.

Agricultural Security Areas or Agricultural Development Areas should be established.

Education programs should be offered to landowners and professionals such as tax attorneys and real estate brokers regarding land and resource protection, and opportunities for conservation easements and land preservation. Methods such as notices in utility bills and IRS mailings could be used.

Unprotected, undeveloped lands within the corridor should be permanently protected with priority given to highly visible, potentially developable tracts, and to the cliff areas that contain rare plant species.

The acquisition or donation of easements for development rights on agricultural lands by land trusts and government agencies should be encouraged.

The main funding source for acquisition and preservation activities in New Jersey, the Garden State Preservation Trust, is set to expire in 2008. There is an effort to renew this fund by placing it on the ballot for public vote in 2007. Given the harsh budget realities here in New Jersey, this must be a very carefully planned effort in order to ensure another 10 years of open space and farmland preservation funding. The committee should work with the Coalition for Conservation, a consortium of non-profit organizations in New Jersey to assist with this effort. Special tax assessment for farms and forest management activities should be modified to encourage allowing landowners to qualify if they create forest stewardship plans to promote species habitat restoration, removal of invasive species, rather than the required forest harvesting activities that are now required of forest owners. The committee should most definitely make this issue as a priority so that landowners have an incentive to incorporate restoration activities into their forest management plans.

The committee should encourage farmland preservation programs to address to expand eligibility for farms with a focus on resource conservation rather than strict cultivation. Current programs encourage farmers to clear more of their land for farming and keep land in cultivation that might otherwise be better suited for conservation of stream corridors, contiguous forests, etc.

Education and Outreach

Landowners will continue as the primary stewards of lands along the river. Actions of residents throughout the Delaware River Watershed have direct impacts upon the river. As such they cannot be neglected as components of a river management strategy. Landowners, both residential and commercial, need to know about the river's important resources and to understand what they can do to enjoy and protect them. The long-term success of this management plan is dependent on: well-informed citizens and landowners who work to achieve the objectives of the plan at home and within their communities; and environmentally aware children and young people who will provide the next generation of leadership and stewardship for the watershed.

Implementation Strategy

The Delaware River Greenway Partnership in partnership with the state parks and the National Heritage Corridor will take the lead in implementing an education and outreach program, and all the parties to the management plan will have roles to play in it. Local and regional school systems will be enlisted as major participants in the educational program. Municipalities, park systems and interpreting institutions will help bring river-related issues to the attention of the public. This outreach will:

  1. Increase general awareness of the river and its tributaries.
  2. Encourage residents to be made familiar with best land management practices to protect and enhance the resources of the Delaware River and tributaries.
  3. Foster a sense of the Delaware Watershed as a “community” and watershed pride by residents and local officials.
  4. Instill in school children a sense of stewardship and pride in the Delaware Watershed through development of school curricula.

A comprehensive interpretation plan for the entire Lower Delaware River corridor is needed that is compatible with the plan prepared for the Delaware and Lehigh Navigation Canal National Heritage Corridor. The plan will encourage the protection of resources, promote safe and courteous river use, and raise the awareness of the value of the Delaware's resources.

 

SECTION III: LONG TERM MANAGEMENT

 

The Lower Delaware River Management Plan recommended the creation of a management committee, coordinated by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership, which has been meeting since January 2002. An underlying principle in the recommendation is that existing institutions and authorities provide the foundation for the long-term protection of the Lower Delaware River and tributaries. This multiple partnership model was recommended to minimize regulation and service duplication, and minimize cost, while protecting river resources. The breadth of issues, political jurisdictions, and resources suggests that no single agency can adequately implement the River Management Plan. This partnership model:

  • Brings the major players in river management together on a regular basis,
  • Stimulates cooperation and coordination among the players,
  • Provides a forum for all river interests to discuss and resolve issues, and
  • Coordinates implementation of the management plan

The Management Committee

The purpose of the Lower Delaware Management Committee is to remind participating agencies of the plan goals, provide oversight and guidance to participating agencies, and through those agencies to other organizations. It is not to assume any regulatory functions. Meetings are to be structured around the goals, open to anyone, and to have agendas and notices provided in advance. Activities of the committee will be coordinated by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership.

The functions of the committee include: prioritizing goals; setting timetables; providing education on river management actions; acting as a watch dog/sheep dog; encouraging other agencies to adopt the plan goals; tracking activity in the river corridor and acting as an information clearinghouse across political boundaries; providing technical assistance; and updating the plan (at least every 5 years).

The committee membership will include representatives of the municipalities, watershed associations, counties, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP), the State of New Jersey (DEP), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (DCNR), the Delaware & Lehigh Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission, and the National Park Service. The public is encouraged to participate in committee meetings.

Each partner organization is responsible for broad resource or issue areas related to their existing responsibilities. They remain responsible for the functions they already have as determined by law, regulation, or charter. As a member of the committee they are responsible for working with their existing partners, including state and federal agencies, and educating those partners about the goals in the management plan. The roles of the partner organizations in relation to management plan implementation are:

Delaware River Greenway Partnership

  • Land use issues
  • Education & outreach
  • Municipal contacts & notification
  • Bi-annual river management report-Coordinate partner issues(government, business, non-profit)
  • Lead contact for river concerns
  • Convenes Management Committee

Delaware River Basin Commission

  • Water quality and flow management and regulation
  • Biological issues (i.e., fisheries

Municipalities

  • Land use regulation & protection
  • Recreation & access
  • Water quality
  • Day to day, the municipalities, as land use regulators, assume the key role in the implementation of the Management Plan.

Watershed Associations and Land Trusts

  • Stream conservation
  • Stream Planning
  • Advocacy
  • Landowner and stream user education

States of NJ and PA

  • Resource Protection
  • Scenic Byways
  • Grants & technical assistance
  • Recreation & access
  • Visitor services & facilities.
  • It is recommended that Governors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania issue executive orders requiring state agencies to act in consistence with the goals of the Lower Delaware River Management Plan.

Counties: Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer, Burlington, Northampton, Bucks

  • Land use review & assistance
  • Recreation, access, open space
  • Planning support

Delaware & Lehigh Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission

  • Resource protection
  • Resource interpretation
  • Land use planning assistance
  • Economic development enhancement.

National Park Service

  • Recreation, historic & tourism coordination
  • Coordination with federal agencies
  • Visitor services & facility development
  • Resource protection
  • Section 7, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Review (insuring consistency at the federal level through its authority under the Act)
Go to top