Supporting the Natural and Cultural Resources along the Delaware River and Its Tributaries


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.


Norman Torkelson

Jim Heim

As a resident of Bucks County for the last 20 years, I have developed a strong bond to the community, the natural resources, and the abundance of recreational opportunities this area offers. Of which, the Delaware River is truly the highlight. From the first time I drove along River Road, I knew this was something special. Having recently moved to a home on the river, I made the commitment to not just be a consumer of these resources, but also an advocate. I want to get more involved by helping to promote, preserve, and enhance this important resource. As a cyclist, fisherman, and novice kayaker, I look forward to years of continued enjoyment of this area and to do my part to ensure that others are connected to it as well. 

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.

Robert Kull, NJPP, AICP

I have had a lifelong personal, professional, and academic relationship with water resources, particularly the Delaware River. In the early 1990s, I helped lead an initiative to create New Jersey's Scenic Byways program, using the NJ Route 29 corridor of the highway, the D&R Canal, and the Delaware River as our prototype effort. Now as a professional planner and administrator of the nationally designated Delaware River Scenic Byway, I am committed to efforts to improve and optimize the natural, historic, tourism, transportation safety, and economic vitality opportunities of the Delaware River Valley.

Mark is a passionate advocate for the Delaware River watershed. In his personal and professional capacities, Mark works to advance several important priority federal and state conservation issues, including land conservation funding, river and watershed protection, as well as access to public lands. As a DRGP Trustee, Mark oversees the Delaware River Water Trail and supports many other core projects and initiatives. Mark is an avid outdoor enthusiast, primarily as a whitewater paddler and telemark skier.

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!

As someone who grew up in southeast Pennsylvania, I have been a longtime supporter and volunteer for the protection of my childhood’s local watershed, and ultimately, the Delaware River watershed. In a prior professional role, I worked in the Upper Delaware River region, which exposed me to the Delaware’s pristine headwaters and invigorated my desire to help protect it. Currently, I work to steward conservation lands in central New Jersey with D&R Greenway Land Trust. In my free time, I love taking the kayak out for a float with my pup, Roger. 

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 be an advisor to the DRGP board where previously I served as the Delaware River Scenic Byway administrator, helping to promote cross-river connections and communication. Supporting 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.


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.

James Ryan (JR) Fisher

James Ryan (JR) Fisher lives in Phoenixville, PA with his wife, Suzanne, and their three children. He believes that the most peaceful places on earth are where trees and open sky can be found overhead. As an avid mountain biker and kayaker, JR enjoys hiking, cycling, and kayaking locally with his family. His love and respect for the outdoors has developed into working with the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP), the French & Pickering Creeks Conservation Trust (FPCCT), and the Friends of the Wissahickon (FOW). When he’s not in the woods, JR is a Financial Advisor at Old York Advisors in Jenkintown, PA, working with his clients to help them live a LIFE WELL PLANNED. Outside of the office, he and his business partner will often be found competing in amateur motorsports events with the Philadelphia Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) or kayaking the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers. JR is honored to work with the DRGP and those dedicated to being careful stewards of our lands and streams. Building relationships and communities that appreciate and care for our environment is a major step in the success of our future generations and our planet.

Sonia Szczesna

Sonia lives in Trenton, New Jersey, right down the street from the Assunpink Creek and a couple of blocks away from the Delaware River. As someone who loves being outside, she is often exploring the watershed - enjoying the river at Scudders Falls, paddling the Tohickon Creek, climbing at the Delaware Water Gap, and riding her bike alongside the Delaware and its tributaries. She is excited to join the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP) Board to ensure the protection, conservation, and public access of the Delaware River, its tributaries, and surrounding lands.

Sonia currently works on developing an 800+ mile off-road trail network known as the Circuit Trails in the Greater Philadelphia region in her position as Advocacy & Campaign Manager with the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and is also working to produce a feature-length whitewater kayaking documentary about the first exploration of the deepest canyon in the world called Canoandes '79.

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