Strong Communities

Strong communities value their natural resources and work to protect and enhance them both for economic and environmental health. Climate change and rising sea levels are intensifying storms and floods’ effects on waterfront communities. Planning for these changes now will help prepare for the future. To protect and support the Delaware Estuary’s resources and waterfront communities, and foster a sense of pride in these places, people need to be able to access them. Providing access and information will help the public create a special connection to the Delaware Estuary.

Goal 1: Increase Community Resilience and Access

HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS:

  • Improve working waterfronts by reducing brownfield areas, increasing wetland areas, and supporting more visitors
  • Increase access to the Delaware River; sustain and enhance access to the Bay
  • Increase protected land for community benefits

Goal 2: Improve Public Awareness and Stakeholder Engagement

HOW WE WILL MEASURE SUCCESS:

  • Improve access to information about the Estuary
  • Improve the engagement of citizens scientists, stewards, and key stakeholders
    • Increase Community Resilience and Access

      Strategy C1.1: Restore working waterfronts

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Improve resilience in at least 2-3 key locations
      • Improve access in at least 2-3 key locations
      • Track number and results of nature-based infrastructure projects/practices in waterfront communities

      Strategy C1.2: Provide tools and technical assistance to waterfront communities and partners to improve economic and environmental resilience

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Improve resilience and/or access in at least 5 communities
      • Convene practitioners conducting outreach on climate adaptation annually
      • Update or redesign climate adaptation outreach materials (Weather Change)
      • Track number and results of technical assistance projects on community access and resilience

      Strategy C1.3: Protect and enhance natural areas and public access

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Improved protection and access in at least 2-3 locations
      • Increased protection and access in at least 2-3 locations
      • Access points inventory development
      • Track number and results of land protection and improvement projects on natural areas and access

      Strategy C1.4: Connect people to natural areas and waterfronts in the Delaware Estuary

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Complete new/updated ecotourism website and increase visitor counts
      • Inventory/assess existing exhibits and signage and add new exhibits, displays, or materials on living shorelines and freshwater mussels
      • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects on ecotourism and recreation, including engagement of youth in green jobs programs
      Improve Public Awareness and Stakeholder Engagement

      Strategy C2.1: Through marketing and communications, build awareness and brand for the Delaware River and Bay

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Continuous improvement in distribution/exposure and examples of success in each state, with at least one major regional marketing campaign
      • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects (marketing and communications), including increased distribution of Estuary News (2-4 issues annually) and use of DelawareEstuary.org (refreshed weekly) and social media

      Strategy C2.2: Utilize events to increase stewardship and engage new people

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Continuous improvement in event attendance (# of people/events annually)
      • Examples of reaching key audiences in each state successfully, including hosting/supporting at least one major event annually
      • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects related to events

      Strategy C2.3: Develop and promote programs that engage teachers and schools in stewardship of the Estuary

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • At least one effective program for teachers/schools in each state and a growing community of teachers, schools, and students they reach
      • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects related to teachers and schools, including production and distribution of classroom materials and guides, and creation/use of internships and outdoor/floating classrooms

      Strategy C2.4: Develop and promote programs with local communities and partners that foster volunteer stewardship and experiential learning

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Assess and increase corps of volunteers and citizen scientists with new data/outcomes shared/used annually, including shell bags produced, storm drains marked, debris removed
      • Track number and results of outreach programs and projects related to volunteers and citizen scientists

      Strategy C2.5: Publish and share outreach materials and scientific results

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Continue hosting the Delaware Estuary Science & Environmental Summit biennially, and involve more stakeholders at each event (300 people or more, 100 presentations or more)
      • Distribute and share reports, publications, and other literature online at DelawareEstuary.org(4,500 annually)
      • Produce and distribute reports on accomplishments annually and reports assessing the state of the Estuary’s conditions and trends 3-5 years

      Strategy C2.6: Engage key stakeholders to coordinate science and management of the Estuary

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Sustain and improve leveraging (through involvement/coordination)
      • Continue to convene EIC, STAC and PDE Board of Directors’ meetings (at least quarterly) and SC (biannually) to coordinate the management conference
      • Track and expand additional meetings and other activities to engage new stakeholders and promote collaboration to address key issues in sub-watersheds

      Strategy C2.7: Monitor, develop, and promote opportunities to assess impacts of outreach

      Performance Measures & Key Deliverables:

      • Conduct focus groups and surveys
      • Identify and implement new performance measures for outreach
      • Track numbers and results of research projects on outreach