LANGHORNE, PA – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) joined conservation leaders yesterday at Tyler State Park to announce a 2023 grant slate to the Delaware River Watershed Conservation Fund, totaling $14.9 million. In addition to the historic announcement, Congressman Fitzpatrick was joined by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff on a tour of the Spring Garden Dam Removal project at Tyler State Park. The Dam Removal project was funded through the 2022 Delaware River Watershed Conservation Fund and is currently in its construction phase. 

Just last week, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 2023-year round of funding for Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund projects with additional funds provided by the William Penn Foundation and AstraZeneca. These projects consisted of Thirty-six new or continuing conservation and restoration grants totaling $14.9 million were awarded. The 36 awards announced leveraged $20 million in match from the grantees, providing a total conservation impact of nearly $35 million. Additionally, this year’s grant slate is the second year to include funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was enacted in November 2021 and includes a historic $26 million investment in the watershed over five years.

“The Delaware River is a critical resource for Pennsylvania and our surrounding neighbors,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Congressional Delaware River Watershed Caucus. “I am proud to support necessary funding for the conservation and restoration efforts throughout the Delaware River Watershed area so we can preserve our waterways, support wildlife, and restore water quality all while improving communities across the states the watershed.”

“The Coalition would like to express our appreciation to Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Congressional Delaware River Watershed Caucus, for his ongoing dedication and leadership to safeguarding and conserving the basin,” said Meagan Schaefer, Outreach & Communications Manager, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Projects, like the Spring Garden Dam removal, are critical to the health of the entire Delaware River Watershed by allowing passage for aquatic species and increasing public access for fishing. These initiatives underscore the pressing need for increased investments into the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program. By supporting these initiatives, we can ensure that shovel-ready projects come to fruition and continue to benefit both our natural ecosystem and the communities that rely on it for generations to come.”

The announcement and tour included but not limited to the following: Phillip Schmidt - Tyler State Park Manager, Nate Lotze - Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Casey Trinkaus, Communications Liaison, Bureau of State Parks, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Robert (Bob) Caccese - Director of Policy, Planning and Communications, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Executive Office, Peter Marx - Choose Clean Water Coalition, Northeast Region, Mike Slattery - USFWS Northeast Regional Landscape Coordinator, Science Applications, Christina Ryder - USFWS Delaware River Basin Restoration Program Manager, Science Applications, Jen Joseph - USFWS Congressional and Legislative Affairs Specialist, Northeast Region.

The Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund was established in 2018 to promote strategic restoration and conservation of the basin. Congressman Fitzpatrick, along with fellow co-chair Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At Large) of the Congressional Delaware River Watershed Caucus introduced H.R. 1395, the Delaware River Basin Conservation Reauthorization Act. If passed, this legislation would reauthorize the grant programs through FY2030.


Since 2018, projects in PA-1 have receiving funding for 9 projects. Those projects include:

  • Unassessed Waters Initiative - $49,984.08 
  • Aquatic Habitat Restoration at Aquetong Spring Park - $250,000.00 
  • Implementation of Water Quality Best Management Practices at Lake Luxembourg - $250,000.00 
  • Improving Public Access and Recreation in the Pennsylvania Portion of the Delaware River - $200,000.00 
  • Dam Removal and Streambank Restoration in Durham Township - $105,000.00 
  • Improving Public Access and Recreation in the Pennsylvania Portion of the Delaware River II - $400,000.00 
  • Monitoring Wild Trout Populations in the Unassessed Waters of the Delaware River - $119,840.00 
  • Removal of the Spring Garden Dam on Neshaminy Creek in Bucks County, Pennsylvania - $750,000.00 
  • Living Shoreline Design and Permitting along an Urban Delaware Riverfront - $96,824.29 

The 36 projects funded by the Delaware River Watershed Conservation Fund 2023 grant slate include:

  • Community Rewilding on the Brandywine: Urban Flood Resistance in Wilmington Neighborhoods (DE) - $94,500 
  • Enhancing the City of Wilmington’s Urban Pollinator Corridor and Food Resilience Efforts (DE) - $202,100 
  • Habitat Enhancement and Water Quality Improvement in Banning Regional Park (DE) - $230,200 
  • Habitat Restoration and Outdoor Education in the Red Clay Consolidated School District (DE) - $228,300 
  • Implementation of Kalmar Nyckel Living Shoreline and Riparian Habitat Restoration (DE) - $227,900 
  • Assessment of the Ironcolor Shiner and co-occurring Species to Inform Conservation Planning (NJ) - $274,900 
  • Building Technical Capacity for the Delivery of Voluntary Conservation Programs and Outreach (NJ) - $415,900 
  • Closson Site Restoration in the Delaware River Basin (NJ) - $322,200 
  • Creating Accessible Pinelands Communities (NJ) - $207,800 
  • Developing a Water Trail and Recreational Programming in Camden – Phase II (NJ) - $688,700 
  • Ecological Uplift of the Former Culver Lake Golf Course in the Upper Paulins Kill Watershed (NJ) - $274,800 
  • Restoring Suitability for Spawning Horseshoe Crabs and Critical Habitat for Red Knots (NJ) - $1,000,000 
  • Strategic Planning for Equitable Access and Resilient Habitat on New Jersey Audubon’s Sanctuaries (NJ) - $398,700 
  • Creating a Recreation and Open Space Plan for the Town of Tusten (NY) - $75,000 
  • Building Capacity for Cobbs Creek Watershed Coalition Efforts (PA) - $266,500 
  • Building Capacity for Expanding Pennsylvania’s Woods and Meadows (PA) - $1,200,000 
  • Designing and Planning for the South Philadelphia Wetlands Park (PA) - $150,000 
  • Developing an Engaging Plum Run Trail at the Plum Run Preserve (PA) - $250,000 
  • Developing a Public Trail and Link to the Lehigh River through Penn Haven (PA) - $1,500,000 
  • Engaging Community Stakeholders to Reduce Road Salt Burden to Local Streams (PA) - $186,500 
  • Improving Public Access and Recreation in the Pennsylvania Portion of the Delaware River – III (PA) - $1,000,000 
  • Pachella Gully Restoration and Public Access Improvements (PA) - $569,100 
  • Planning and Design for the Ecological Restoration of the Riparian Corridor of the French Creek (PA) - $162,100 
  • Planning and Design for the Fairmount Water Works Floating Water Workshop (PA) - $225,000 
  • Reforestation of Stonehurst Hills (PA) - $118,100 
  • Restoring Dynamic Forest Structure for Priority Birds in the Delaware River Watershed: Phase 7 (PA) – 685,700 
  • Shedbrook Creek Restoration and Sedge Meadow Improvement to Create a Climate-Resilient FDR Park (PA) - $1,500,000 
  • Stream Restoration at East Branch Red Clay Creek Headwaters (PA) - $126,500 
  • West Wayne Preserve Wooded Wetlands Restoration and Habitat Enhancement (PA) - $461,500 
  • Youth Workforce Development Pilot in Ecosystems Management on the Tidal Schuylkill River (PA) - $251,300 
  • Assessing the Factors that Impact Water Quality in the Upper Delaware (DE, NJ, NY, PA) - $498,200 
  • Circuit Trails Community Grant Program: Local-led Efforts to Improve Access to the Outdoors (NJ, PA) - $212,000 
  • Creating a Management Plan of the Invasive Chinese Pond Mussel in the Delaware Watershed - $191,500 
  • Evaluation of the Endangered Dwarf Wedgemussel Population in the Delaware River (NY, PA) - $86,200 
  • Informing Coastal Restoration Efforts to Support At-Risk Shorebird Species (DE, NJ) 
  • Transforming Recreational Engagement through Innovative and Inclusive Approaches (DE, NJ, NY, PA) - $500,000