New Jersey Audubon staffs and facilitates two successful coalitions, the NJ Keep It Green Coalition and the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, which combined represent over 300 organizations committed to protecting the natural resources of this region. Through coalition-building around “big tent” ideas and identifying partners in federal, state, and local government, we ensure that conservation is given greater consideration by our decision makers.
About the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed
The Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed (CDRW) is a network of more than 160 non-governmental, non-partisan organizations working to protect and restore the land and waters in the Delaware River Basin. The Coalition amplifies the collective power of member organizations to advocate for sustainable watershed-wide planning, federal and state policy, and restoration funding all with a lens for equity. The vision of the Coalition is a watershed recognized as one of America’s Great Waters, providing clean water, healthy habitat, and accessible outdoor recreation.
Since its inception in 2012, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed has brought partners together to advocate for federal funding and comprehensive, watershed-wide planning. The Coalition successfully advocated for the passage of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act in 2016 and secured historic federal funds for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program to restore and conserve the watershed. Federal investments through the Program have doubled in two short years, leading to the establishment of a grant program to support critical on-the-ground restoration projects.
The Delaware River watershed supports a world-class trout fishery and is home to striped bass, the endangered Shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon, bald eagles, horseshoe crabs, and much more. The watershed is diverse in biodiversity, landscape, and issues of concern, including flow management, habitat protection, stormwater management, and environmental justice.
While the headwaters up in the Catskills region of New York are clean and healthy, serious threats remain throughout the watershed, including polluted runoff, an aging drinking and wastewater infrastructure, and the pressing threats of climate change. The need for protection and restoration of the watershed is urgent and constant for the 13.3 million people and countless wildlife species that depend on clean water. To learn more, visit CDRW’s website at www.delriverwatershed.org
About NJ Keep It Green
NJ Keep It Green (KIG) is an active coalition of more than 150 statewide, local, and regional organizations committed to land conservation, agriculture, historic preservation, environmental protection, urban parks, hunting and fishing, and other forms of outdoor recreation, working together to sustain and properly guide funding for the preservation and stewardship of New Jersey’s waterways, wildlife habitat, natural areas, farmland, forests, parks, and historic sites for our quality of life and future generations. NJ KIG led efforts to pass statewide bond measures, such as those in 2009 and 2011, which together provided $600 million for the State Green Acres, Farmland Preservation and Historic Preservation programs.
Following these successes, NJ KIG led a campaign to secure a long-term, sustainable source of funding to ensure permanent protection of critical lands and waters throughout the state. In 2014, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to dedicate existing Corporate Business Tax funds to sustainably provide long-term open space, park, farmland, and historic preservation efforts. This measure will provide $1 billion dollars every 10 years for preservation and stewardship!
Following this tremendous victory, which provides a perpetual source of preservation funding, NJ KIG has subsequently led a successful campaign to pass legislation that will properly implement these funds and ensure they are dedicated to the preservation efforts voters intended. We continue to work toward additional legislation needed for proper fund implementation and to raise awareness for and appreciation of the open spaces, parks, preserved farms, and historic sites that provide NJ residents benefits such as the opportunity for recreation and relaxation, farm fresh foods, and a connection to our diverse and rich history. To learn more, visit NJ Keep It Green’s website at www.njkeepitgreen.org