Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River
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 Committee, in cooperation with the NPS, 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 resources
- 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 (Operation River Bright), 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.