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Urban Waters Partnership

Urban Waters and the Greater Philadelphia Area/Delaware River Watershed (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware)

Greater Philadelphia Area

Delaware River Urban Waters: The Power of Partnership

The Delaware is the longest un-dammed river in the United States east of the Mississippi, extending 330 miles from Upstate New York to the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Over 15 million people (roughly 5 percent of the nation's population) rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking, agricultural and industrial use.

The Greater Philadelphia Area/Delaware River Watershed Urban Waters Federal Partnership encompasses several major urban areas – from Philadelphia, PA to Wilmington, DE and, including Camden, NJ and Chester, PA – as well as the surrounding suburban and even rural landscape.

The area along the Delaware River throughout the region has historically experienced a significant loss of economic benefits and environmental services provided by the river. Numerous local and regional initiatives are underway to reduce the negative impacts of urbanization on the quality of the river while reclaiming and restoring impacted riverfronts and economically revitalizing depressed areas.

Challenges include:

  • stormwater management
  • erosion and flooding control
  • source water protection
  • restoring lost habitat
  • enhancing overall waterway health
  • protecting community investments
  • pursuing environmental justice
  • promoting public access

Due to the geographic extent of the Delaware River Watershed and the diverse set of environmental and social issues at hand, restoration requires a larger scale focus while advancing small-scale on-the-ground implementation.

List of Partners

Federal Government

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
  • U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of Interior (DOI)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • U.S Coast Guard (USCG)
  • US Commercial Service (Dept of Commerce)
  • U.S Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2)
  • Federal Interagency Executive Board (FEB)

State Government

  • PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA-DCNR)
  • PA Dept of Environmental Protection (PADEP)
  • NJ Dept of Environmental Protection (NJDEP)
  • DE Dept of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
  • DE Dept of Transportation (DelDOT)

Local Government


  • City of Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp (PIDC)
  • Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department
  • Philadelphia Water Department (PWD)
  • Philadelphia City Planning Commission
  • Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Sustainability
  • Philadelphia Center City District
  • City of Chester
  • Chester Planning Department
  • Chester Parks & Recreation Department
  • Chester Economic Development Authority
  • Chester Shade Tree Commission
  • Chester Strong Cities, Strong Communities
  • Bucks County (PA) Conservation District
  • Bucks County (PA) Planning Commission
  • Delaware County (PA) Planning Commission
  • Delaware County (PA) Conservation District
  • Montgomery County (PA) Conservation District
  • Montgomery County (PA) Planning Commission

New Jersey

  • City of Camden
  • Camden County
  • Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA)
  • Gloucester County (NJ) Planning Division
  • Gloucester County (NJ) Public Works


  • City of Wilmington
  • Wilmington Department of Public Works
  • Wilmington Department of Parks & Recreation
  • Wilmington Tree Commission

Multi-State / Regional

  • Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC)
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)

Community Stakeholders:


  • American Rivers
  • Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Audubon
  • Beaver Valley Conservancy
  • Brandywine Conservancy
  • Center for Environmental Transformation
  • Center in the Park
  • Chester Environmental Partnership
  • City Parks Association of Philadelphia
  • Clean Air Council
  • Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed
  • Cooper's Ferry Partnership
  • Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH)
  • Delaware Greenways
  • Delaware Nature Society
  • Delaware River City Corporation (DRCC)
  • Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC)
  • Delaware Riverkeeper Network
  • DE Sea Grant
  • East Coast Greenway
  • Eastern Delco Stormwater Collaborative
  • Fairmount Park Conservancy
  • Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
  • Friends of Chester Arthur Elementary School
  • Friends of Heinz Refuge
  • GreenTreks
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
  • Let's Go Outdoors
  • Lower Merion Conservancy
  • Manayunk Development Corporation (Destination Schuylkill)
  • National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Natural Lands Trust
  • New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation
  • New Jersey Future
  • New Jersey Tree Foundation
  • Old Brandywine Village
  • Open Space Institute
  • Outward Bound, Philadelphia Center
  • Parkside Business and Community in Partnership (Camden)
  • Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE)
  • PA Sea Grant
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC)
  • Penn Future
  • Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS)
  • Pennsylvania Humanities Council
  • Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC)
  • Schuylkill Action Network (SAN)
  • Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
  • Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC)
  • Schuylkill River Heritage Area
  • Sustainable Business Network (SBN)
  • Stroud Water Research Center
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • The Trust for Public Land (TPL)
  • Tookany/Tacony-Frankford (TTF) Partnership
  • Urban Blazers
  • Urban Promise - Urban Trekkers
  • Urban Waters Learning Network
  • William Penn Foundation
  • Wilmington Rowing Center
  • Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association
  • YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties
  • 10,000 Friends


  • AKRF Inc.
  • Asadi Enterprises, Inc.
  • Azavea Inc.
  • Biohabitats, Inc.
  • E4 Planning and Engineering
  • Greening Lea / West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools (WPCNS)
  • Masley Enterprises Inc. / Military Gloves
  • MRN Environmental
  • Venable LLP



  • Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Drexel University
  • Franklin Institute - Climate & Urban Systems Partnership
  • Penn State University
  • Philadelphia University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Villanova University
  • Widener University

New Jersey

  • NJ Institute of Technology - TA to Brownfields (NJIT-TAB)
  • Rutgers University (Camden)


  • Delaware State University
  • University of Delaware
  • Wilmington University