We are a think tank

Our efforts revolve around finding new solutions to old problems. Delaware Canal 21 takes as its starting point that the state parks budget will never be able to provide the high levels of planning and maintenance that it needs. We believe that there are many opportunities to bring new resources to the Canal and towpath. Other Canal groups focus their valuable work within the limitations imposed by the state parks budget.

We are a catalyst.

Sustainable Funding

We believe it is both possible and imperative to find new, additional funding that would enable the Canal to be restored to and maintained in top-notch condition. We want to explore such ideas as partial self-sufficiency for the Canal through sale of water or electric generation, appropriate concessions, corporate sponsorships, incentives, neighborhood improvement districts, voluntary hospitality contributions.  


We believe it is crucial for the Canal to have well-planned and well-funded maintenance.  Because of budget constraints, almost all Canal maintenance now is reactive:  Something breaks, it may get fixed -- if enough money is available in this year's state budget.

A Predictive Maintenance Program

  • would predict breaks and other problems based on past history
  • would enable planning for anticipated problems before they actually arise
  • could reserve funding for repairing such problems

With adequate funding, the Canal could have an ongoing preventative maintenance program that would prevent things from breaking in the first place. 

We are laser-focused

Our top priorities are getting and keeping a reliable flow of water in the Delaware Canal; keeping the wonderful 60-mile-long recreational path in first-class shape for bikers, hikers, dog-walkers,and cross-country skiers; and improving public access to this beautiful natural, recreational, and historic resource.  It is a regional treasure, a National Historic Landmark, and much more. We are solely focused on this park and these priorities.  Some other non-profit groups have a much wider geographic focus or different priorities.  We partner with them on initiatives and grants where it makes sense to do so.


To help, please join our mailing list or make a tax-deductible donation to our 501(c)(3) organization. 

 Banner image courtesy of Ian Kindle