Delaware Canal 21 accomplishes results by working with a network of Canal stakeholders, including:
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR is the owner and manager of the Canal)
Delaware & Lehigh Canal State & National Heritage Corridor (DELE)
Friends of the Delaware Canal (FODC)
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Bucks County Conservation District
Northampton County Conservation District
Projects we have in progress with these organizations include:
William Penn Foundation Grant for Visioning Study. In March 2015 the William Penn Foundation agreed to invest $225,000 in a Visioning Study for the Delaware Canal. This is the first-stage of a long range planning project for the Canal. Delaware Canal 21 initiated the effort to secure this investment and partnered with the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor to make it a reality. The project — and a seres of public meetings — is now under way. Please see www.delawarecanalvision.org learn more.
Storm Water Grants from William Penn Foundation and DCNR. Delaware Canal 21, in partnership with Heritage Conservancy, has secured $150,000 in grant funds – half from the William Penn Foundation and half from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources -- to devise ways of mitigating storm water damage to the Canal. With nearly 30 small streams emptying directly into the Canal (draining 46,000 acres of land) the Canal is in reality its own watershed. This innovative project will conceptualize the Canal as a storm water management tool. In developing and implementing Best Management Practices to protect the Canal, the project will require the formation of new partnerships among PennDOT, municipalities adjacent to the Canal, and individual upstream landowners.
Successful Advocacy in Shaping DCNR’s June 2015 Planning Document for Delaware Canal State Park. Delaware Canal 21 advocated constructively and persistently with DCNR staff to shape the goals and objectives of the state’s recent planning document. At our suggestion, the document includes major goals relating to maintenance, preventive maintenance, long range planning, mitigation of river flooding and land-based storm water damage, and innovative ideas and partnerships to secure outside funding to make the Canal economically sustainable. At our urging, daylighting the buried sections in the southern part of the Canal has been restored to the radar screen.
Backup Pump Watering Plan. Delaware Canal 21 has taken a leading role in planning and implementing a system of backup pumps to keep water in as much of the Canal as possible during times that the natural flow of water is interrupted. Click here to learn more about our comprehensive backup pump watering plan and to see a map of proposed pump locations.
Army Corps of Engineers. Delaware Canal 21 has brought the DCNR staff together with the Army Corps of Engineers to explore whether the Army Corps could help with Canal maintenance in such ways as possibly taking responsibility for repairing and maintaining the stone river walls, and/or repairing and maintaining the two dams that are important in providing water to feed the Canal at Easton and New Hope. As a result, DCNR and the Army Corps are undertaking a survey of the stone river walls along the entire length of the Canal, and will assess the need for repairs.
Banner image courtesy of Carole Mebus