Clean Waters

Water quality and quantity are important issues in the Delaware Estuary and its watershed. Both quality and quantity of water are affected by demands for drinking water, industrial water power, and recreational and commercial fisheries. The Estuary’s living resources, such as mammals, birds, fish, and vegetation, require a reliable quantity of water of sufficient quality.

Goal 1: Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Its Impacts

HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS:

  • Continuing progress to increase dissolved oxygen levels in the Estuary
  • Progress to improve ecosystem health in the Estuary by addressing other nutrient-related impacts
  • Decreases in nutrients in the Estuary and its tributaries
  • Increased installation of non-point source nutrient BMP sites/projects throughout the Estuary

Goal 2: Reduce Other Pollutants and Their Impacts

HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS:

  • Reduce fish consumption advisories issued by states (DE, NJ, PA)
  • Reduce the discharge of contaminants
  • Reduce PCBs from point and non-point sources

Goal 3: Sustain Flow for Drinking Water and Ecosystems

HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS:

  • Achieve and maintain flow at key locations for the protection of downstream users
  • Develop and meet targets for flow/salinity for fish, shellfish, and wetlands
  • Improve water efficiency through water conservation projects/programs
Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Its Impacts

Strategy W1.1: Promote infrastructure-related improvements to reduce pollutants from point sources

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • New tools and techniques developed and demonstrated
  • Track number and results of innovative infrastructure and nature-based projects

Strategy W1.2: Support innovative planning and design practices to reduce nutrients from stormwater and agricultural runoff through promotion, education, and implementation

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Ability to measure nutrient reductions in at least two to three key locations
  • Track number and results of nature-based infrastructure projects, practices, and workshops on riparian buffers, stormwater, agriculture, and stream restoration
  • Produce and disseminate materials to promote nutrient-reducing BMPs in print and online

Strategy W1.3: Promote land use planning by local municipalities that prevents, reduces, and/or more efficiently manages stormwater runoff to prevent pollution

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Examples of successful outcomes from municipal assistance in DE, NJ, and PA
  • Tracking numbers and results of technical assistance projects on municipal outreach, stormwater, and planning/zoning
  • Producing and disseminating materials for MS4 outreach (in print and online) and educational signage for BMP demonstrations

Strategy W1.4: Provide outreach and information to property owners to assist in reducing non-point sources of nutrients

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Continuous increase in Estuary News and delawareestuary.org newsletter subscribership, website traffic, and press hits
  • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects on nutrients, including publication, newsletter, website, and social media content

Strategy W1.5: Conduct research and monitoring on nutrient impacts in the Estuary for biological and ecological endpoints

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Development of the Delaware Estuary eutrophication model
  • Track numbers and results of research projects on nutrients
Reduce Other Pollutants and Their Impacts

Strategy W2.1: Conduct outreach and technical assistance programs to reduce nonpoint sources of contaminants

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Continuous growth/improvement of cleanup activities throughout the Estuary (Schuylkill Valley, Upper Estuary,Lower Estuary, Bayshore)
  • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects on contaminants, including materials for stormdrain marking and pollution prevention on the part of households and businesses

Strategy W2.2: Promote the identification, cleanup, and revitalization of contaminated sites

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Examples of successful outcomes in each state (DE, NJ, PA) by tracking reductions
  • Track number and results of contaminated site cleanups

Strategy W2.3: Support adaptive management and reporting of pollution reductions

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Track PCB reductions and assessing current/emerging pollutants
  • Track management coordination projects and activities on toxics’ number and results, including reporting PMP, impaired waters, pollution load reductions as required

Strategy W2.4: Coordinate and promote research and monitoring efforts (chemical, physical, biological) associated with the causes of water quality impacts throughout the Delaware Estuary

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • New data/outcomes shared and considered in decision-making
  • Track number and results for research projects on toxics

Strategy W2.5: Conduct and coordinate (where appropriate) education, research, monitoring, and communication about fish and shellfish consumption to protect human health

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Evidence of reaching key audiences in each state and decreases in number/extent of advisories and closures
  • Track number and results for consumption advisories projects and programs, including issuing/re-issuing advisories

Strategy W2.6: Improve, sustain, and enhance spill communication and response with Delaware Estuary partners

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Develop inventories or other tools
  • Track number and results of spill communication response projects and tools
Sustain Flow for Drinking Water and Ecosystems

Strategy W3.1: Inform and collaborate with decision-makers and water resources managers to ensure that main-stem Delaware River flow meets the needs of the Delaware Estuary

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • New data/outcomes shared and continued improvement in flow management to meet the Estuary’s human and ecological needs
  • Track number and results of management coordination and research projects/activities to address flow needs

Strategy W3.2: Conduct research and monitoring on water quality and habitat requirements of estuary-dependent species

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Research priorities identified and outcomes produced/shared for two to three key species
  • Track number and results of research projects on flow/salinity needs of Estuary species

Strategy W3.3: Promote water conservation and water efficiency by utilities and industrial water users

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Examples of successful outcomes in each state, including information or materials to promote infrastructure investment and/or tools for utilities’ conservation efforts
  • Track number and results of water conservation projects/utilities

Strategy W3.4: Provide outreach and technical assistance to promote water conservation and infiltration by residential and commercial users and communities

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Examples of successful outcomes in each state
  • Track number and results of water conservation programs, including materials for homeowners, businesses, and/or farmers promoting water conservation

Strategy W3.5: Promote and assist in implementing regional sediment management

Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

  • Development of registry/inventory and 2-3 research/demonstration projects
  • Track number and results of RSM projects (demonstration, research, inventory)