Fighting to protect Delaware River communities
While there are many issues facing Congress that we have a hard time agreeing on, Republicans and Democrats can come together on important efforts that benefit our region. Just recently, funding for a new program that will leverage private dollars to complete local conservation projects received strong bipartisan support in the House Appropriations Committee. The Delaware River Basin Restoration Program was established at the end of last year by Congress, and this year we are working to secure funding to support grants to local communities for projects like stream restoration to clean up our water and prevent harmful flooding.
This non-regulatory program is exactly the kind of effort Congress should be supporting. By promoting partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and private partners throughout the region, the restoration program ensures there is local input and control over how these conservation efforts are carried out.
Groups like the Upper Delaware River Tailwaters Coalition, Trout Unlimited, and Friends of the Upper Delaware River are already investing their resources in protecting the streams, rivers and natural resources of our region through cost-effective efforts that employ local engineers and planners. Leveraging these private investments through a matching grant program will expand the great efforts taking place and provide even more opportunities to improve our surroundings.
Protecting our water is essential to building and sustaining a strong economy and good quality of life in our region. I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advocate for funding for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program so we can support important local efforts here in the Upper Delaware River.
[Rep. John J. Faso is the United States Congressman representing New York State’s 19th Congressional District.]