The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is collaborating with organizations around the region, and the nation, to celebrate estuaries next week. The governors of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have all issued proclamations declaring Sept. 17 – 24 National Estuaries Week.
“It’s great to have recognition from our governors on the importance of estuaries,” said Jennifer Adkins, executive director of Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. “Many people don’t know what estuaries are or how important they are for o ur health, clean water, or jobs.”
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary seeks to change that, with education and outreach in all three states. The Delaware Estuary, or tidal Delaware River and Bay, provides billions of dollars of economic value and endless hours of enjoyment for people every year. Estuaries and the plants, fish, and wildlife that live in them provide people with clean water, food, recreation, and protection from storms. National Estuaries Week highlights these values and is a way for anyone to connect with estuaries, up close and personally.
Now in its 28th year, National Estuaries Week is the nation’s largest celebration of coasts and estuaries and the multitude of benefits they provide. Each year, dozens of organizations host restoration events, beach cleanups, education events, and more to get local communities out to enjoy and restore their local waterways. This year, National Estuaries Week takes place Sept. 17 – 24.
Events in and around the Delaware Estuary range from cleanups of rivers and coastlines to sails, paddles and festivals. The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is hosting a workshop on freshwater mussels at the Palmyra Cove Nature Park on Sept. 21. The same day, the Bayshore Center at Bivalve is hosting the grand opening of its new Fishermen and Farmers Market.
The weekends are busy with coastal activities in Delaware. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is hosting the Coastal Cleanup at sites all along the coast on Sept. 17, and events at both National Estuarine Research Reserves on Sept. 24.
The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is a nonprofit organization that brings together people, businesses and governments to restore and protect the Delaware River and Bay. From its headquarters in Wilmington, the PDE focuses programs and scientific research on the entire environment affecting the estuary — from Trenton to Cape May, New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware. We encourage collaboration among the estuary’s many stakeholders and seek practical solutions to help restore the natural vitality of the Delaware River and Bay on which plants, wildlife, people and businesses rely.
The week also wraps up with the Walnut 2 Walnut Challenge on Sept. 24 in Philadelphia. This paddle between the Delaware River and the Schuylkill River is hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum. There is also a Sept. 30 Delaware River Cleanup that didn’t quite make it into the official National Estuaries Week timeframe. Organized by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, volunteers will clean up debris from Little Tinicum Is land. “If you live in the tri-state area, you benefit from the Delaware Estuary every day,” notes Adkins. “National Estuaries Week is the time to give back, and have fun doing it.” For more information on these and other events, visit NationalEstuariesWeek.org or DelawareEstuary.org.