National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces Second Round of Grants to Restore Delaware River

Part of a $35 Million Initiative to Protect Drinking Water for 15 Million People

Washington, D.C. - July 14, 2015 — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $2.1 million in grant awards from the Delaware River Restoration Fund, the second round of grants made from the fund to improve waters that contribute to the overall health of the Delaware River. The grants announced today are part of a five-year, $35 million multistate investment by the William Penn Foundation.

This year, 15 projects have been selected to receive funding that will improve the water quality and habitats of the Delaware River watershed. The projects announced today are expected to restore 49 acres of wetlands and 18 miles of riparian habitats, install agriculture conservation practices on more than 2,000 acres, install 11 miles of fencing to keep livestock out of streams, and prevent 3.8 million gallons of stormwater from entering waterways each year.

The Delaware River is the longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, flowing freely for 330 miles. It provides clean drinking water to more than 15 million people, many in major cities including Philadelphia; New York; Camden, N.J.; and Wilmington, Del. The watershed covers 13,539 square miles of land and water and is home to native brook trout, river herring, oysters and threatened plants and other wildlife.

“The 2015 slate of Delaware River Restoration Fund grants represents a strong commitment to restoring water quality and habitats in this iconic watershed,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO at NFWF. “With an investment of $2.1 million this year, NFWF’s grantees are able to leverage nearly twice that amount for on-the-ground conservation and restoration. NFWF is thrilled to further advance the great work made possible by the William Penn Foundation investment and this impressive group of partners.”

In recent years, deforestation and stormwater runoff from farms and urban centers have severely threatened the health of the Delaware River.

Delaware River Restoration Fund grants are multistate investments to restore habitats and deliver practices that ultimately improve and protect critical sources of drinking water. The 2015 grant recipients are:

  • Pennsylvania:  
    • The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership
    • Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
    • Upper Gwynned Township
    • Brandywine Valley Association
    • Stroud Water Research Center
    • Pennsylvania Environmental Council
    • Berks County Conservancy
  • New Jersey:
    • American Littoral Society
    • Burlington County Soil Conservation District
    • Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissioners
    • New Jersey Audubon Society
    • Pinelands Preservation Alliance
  • New York:
    • Friends of the Upper Delaware River

Last year, the William Penn Foundation dedicated $7 million to fund restoration projects in the Delaware River watershed as part of a $35 million Delaware River Watershed Initiative. On-the-ground work resulting from this investment is driven by more than 50 leading conservation organizations and will permanently protect more than 30,000 acres, implement more than 40 restoration projects, pilot new incentives for landowners and businesses, provide replicable models, and develop long-term water quality data for the watershed at an unprecedented scale.

“We are excited to see the next steps of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative move forward,” said Andrew Johnson, Program Director of Watershed Protection at the William Penn Foundation. “This second round of NFWF grants will continue last year’s momentum and initiate important new work. We're pleased that these NFWF grants will further align efforts to restore streams, advance implementation of green infrastructure, deliver robust conservation on working lands and improve water quality in our region.”

The success of the Delaware River Restoration Fund hinges on effective collaboration and engagement at multiple scales. NFWF and its grantees work with a number of partners, including key municipal, state and federal agencies, to align work, leverage resources and implement successful restoration projects.

"Conservation is truly a partnership effort," said Denise Coleman, NRCS State Conservationist for Pennsylvania. "These projects will be playing an important role in helping deliver conservation practices for farmers and forestry landowners, who desire to improve water quality. NRCS is looking forward to expanding our conservation efforts within the Delaware River Watershed."

“These awards will go a long way toward implementing important agriculture conservation practices in New Jersey,” said Carrie Mosley, NRCS State Conservationist for New Jersey. “This presents a great opportunity for grantees to help our farmers to optimize BMP installation for the benefit of water quality in the Delaware River watershed, and NRCS looks forward to further collaboration with these partners.”

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is pleased to see so many local organizations receive critical funding through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support conservation work in the Delaware River watershed," said Wendi Weber, regional director for the northeast region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "The Service has a large presence in the watershed, and we look forward to supporting these important projects."

​Media Contact: ​NFWF Contact:
​Mike Smith, PR for NFWF
​Rachel Dawson, Senior Manager, Delaware River Restoration Fund

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation:

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores our nation’s wildlife and habitats. Chartered by Congress in 1984, NFWF directs public conservation dollars to the most pressing environmental needs and matches those investments with private contributions. NFWF works with government, nonprofit and corporate partners to find solutions for the most intractable conservation challenges. Over the last three decades, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.9 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at Learn more about NFWF’s Delaware River Restoration Fund at

About the William Penn Foundation:

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance opportunity, ensure sustainability, and enable effective solutions.