The William Penn Foundation has announced an investment of more than $4.6 million in a joint initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of the Delaware River watershed.
Launched in September 2016 and comprising twenty-three environmental education centers in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River is developing shared programming with the goal of protecting the watershed — a 13,500-square-mile ecosystem that provides drinking water for fifteen million people. To that end, the centers are offering opportunities to visitors to explore, enjoy, and engage in activities on their local waterways. In addition, each of the centers — all of which connected by the Circuit Trails, a 750-mile regional trail network — will employ a summer fellow between the ages of 18 and 24 to manage community outreach and programs and will host a second month-long series of River Days events in September.
Members of the alliance include the Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey; the DuPont Environmental Education Center in Hockessin, Delaware; and the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center in Philadelphia.
"We're excited about the potential for the Alliance for Watershed Education to enable each of these twenty-three environmental centers to even more effectively reach the thousands of people who already participate in their excellent local programs," said Andrew Johnson, watershed protection program director for the William Penn Foundation. "In addition, because of their location on the Circuit Trails, these centers also have an opportunity to engage thousands of people who use the trails along many of our rivers and streams in programming, building a new constituency for protection of clean water among these outdoor enthusiasts."