NJ Spotlight, a leading nonprofit news organization for the State and its neighbors, is hosting a “Roundtable” titled Health of the Delaware River: Where Are We Headed? on Thursday, March 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Cooper’s Riverview (50 Riverview Plaza, Trenton). Cooper’s is handicapped accessible and offers free parking on site. This event, which is sponsored by the William Penn Foundation, will be live-streamed by NJ Spotlights content partner, NJTV News.

From tip to toe, New Jersey is affected by the Delaware River

Jon Hurdle, the Environment Reporter for NJ Spotlight, will be the Moderator, and esteemed Panelists will be: Carol R. Collier, Senior Advisor, Watershed Management and Policy, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; Bruce Friedman, Director, Division of Water Monitoring and Standards, Water Resource Management, NJ Department of Environmental Protection; Dr. Alan Hunt, Executive Director, Musconetcong Watershed Association; Kathy Klein, Executive Director, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary; and, Doug O’Malley, Director, Environment New Jersey.

The health of the Delaware River is a ongoing process. It is much cleaner than it was in the mid-20th century when discharges from wastewater treatment plants turned it into an “open sewer,” in the words of the Delaware River Basin Commission. Over the past few decades, stricter regulation on discharges has boosted oxygen levels in the river, allowing fish such as shad to return and breed in areas that previously supported little or no aquatic life, while improving water quality for drinking and recreation. These hard-won gains, however, are now threatened by the EPA’s administration’s final rollback of the “Waters of the U.S. Rule” that protects smaller wetlands and seasonal streams from pollution or development. Because those water sources feed larger waterways like the Delaware River, the rollback measure could jeopardize years of progress, environmentalists say.