Because our organization was founded to support Wild and Scenic Rivers designation of the Lower Delaware, it remains at the heart of our organization. We develop and implement projects that meet the goals of the Lower Delaware Action Plan. These have included river bank restoration and trail and stewardship projects. We also provide administrative support to the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Management Council.
The Lower Delaware was designated - November 01, 2000.
According to the Lower Delaware's authorizing legislation, 65.6 miles of river segments were designated, including 37.2 miles of the main stem and 28.4 miles of Pennsylvania tributaries. 25.4 miles of the PA tributaries are classified as scenic, and the remaining 40.2 miles are classified as recreational.
The Lower Delaware is one of a very few partnership rivers that are included in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. These rivers are designated by Congress because they possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, animal, historic, cultural, or other similar values, The Lower Delaware, a 67 mile segment between the Delaware Water Gap and Washington Crossing, qualifies on all counts! Designated at the same time in 2000 as part of the Lower Delaware are three Pennsylvania creeks – the Tohickon, the Tinicum, and the Paunacussing.
Partnership Rivers, rather than being managed by the National Park Service or a state agency, are overseen by a local management committee, in this case the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Management Council, in cooperation with the National Park Service, according to a locally devised management plan.
The Management Plan has six goals:
- Maintain existing water quality
- Maintain and preserve the river’s natural resources
- Preserve and protect historic resource
- Encourage compatible recreational use
- Preserve open space in the corridor
- Minimize adverse impacts of development.
These were selected by a lengthy widespread public process, and adopted by all but four of the communities on both sides of the Delaware.
Programs and studies to implement the Management Plan are coordinated under the stewardship of DRGP. These include public informational forums, river cleanups, a municipal ordinance review, youth summits, the Delaware River Sojourn, incentive grants to municipalities and non-profits, and the Delaware River Water Trail.
The Management Plan was updated by an Action Plan in 2007.