Help Us Give the Delaware River an Upgrade


Tell the Pennsylvania DEP to give the Delaware River the strongest protections under the Clean Water Act!

In recent months, American Rivers has been working with the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to compile a petition to the state of Pennsylvania to upgrade the protective status of the Upper and Middle Delaware River to the highest level- Exceptional ValueYou can help make this happen!

As you likely recall, in 2010 American Rivers listed the Upper Delaware River as America’s Most Endangered River™ due to the potential impact that rapid natural gas development could have on the river.  Our goal is to ensure that this important drinking water resource for millions of Americans is given the utmost protection as decisions are made regarding water use and industrial development within the watershed.  You have probably heard the recent good news regarding the Delaware River Basin Commission’s vote on natural gas regulations.

In the meantime, we have been working to increase protections for the river through other avenues, such as the anti-degradation program.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that water quality cannot be lowered in Tier III waters (or in this case “Exceptional Value”), except for certain temporary changes.  Such a designation offers special protection for waters of exceptional ecological significance, i.e., those which are important, unique, or sensitive ecologically.

In addition to its own inherent ecological diversity, the Delaware River provides clean freshwater to the Delaware Bay, the largest staging area for shorebirds in the Atlantic Flyway and the second largest staging site in North America, and home to the largest population of American horseshoe crabs.  If degradation is tolerated in this system, impacts will be felt not only in the homes of millions of people who use this river for drinking water, but also throughout the diverse ecosystem of the Delaware Bay.

We invite you to join us as a co-petitioner for the Upper and Middle Delaware River Watershed.  Your support will strengthen the power of the petition and increase the likelihood that PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will grant it.  We need to let PA DEP know that people care about this special watershed, and that you want to see these beautiful streams protected by the strongest protections under the Clean Water Act.

TAKE ACTION:  Go to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s website and send a letter of support!