News Department

New Jersey to fully fund the Delaware River Basin Commission for the third consecutive year

NEW JERSEY – New Jersey’s fiscal year 2024 budget reaffirms its strong support for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), as the state honors its full “fair share” commitment of $893,000.

Advocating for New Jersey’s full contribution to the Delaware River Basin Commission has long been a priority of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, a network of more than 180 non-profit organizations, 40 in New Jersey, working to protect and restore the four-state region of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

The Coalition believes that funding the DRBC at the full amount is critical to protecting water quality, as well as our most vulnerable communities.

The Commission’s creation was the first time in our nation’s history that the federal government and a group of states joined together as equal partners on a regional body with the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries. The Commission monitors water quality, conducts comprehensive resource planning, and manages drinking water supplies for over 14.2 million people ― 3.1 million in New Jersey alone ― including the residents of Trenton and Camden among other communities in eastern New Jersey.

In 1988, the Commission members reached an agreement to appropriate funding contributions as follows:

  • Delaware: 12.5%, $447,000
  • Pennsylvania: 25%, $893,000
  • New Jersey: 25%, $893,000
  • New York: 17.5%, $626,000
  • Federal Government: 20%, $715,000

The Coalition commends New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for his leadership and acknowledges the legislature’s commitment to prioritizing the agency’s needs. While New York and Pennsylvania have consistently fallen short in providing adequate funding to the Commission, this continued lack of financial support poses a significant obstacle to the Commission’s efforts in conducting crucial climate change research and developing strategies to address its impacts. In contrast, the state of Delaware has admirably maintained its fiscal commitment to the Commission since 2010, showcasing their steadfast dedication to its success.

“New Jersey’s unwavering dedication to maintaining clean, well-managed waters across the Delaware River Basin is evident once again as they pledge full fair-share funding to the Delaware River Basin Commission for the third consecutive year,” said Kelly Knutson, director for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Since its establishment, the Commission has played a crucial role in conducting research to safeguard clean water, essential for recreation, agriculture, wildlife, and drinking purposes throughout the basin. We thank Governor Murphy and the NJ legislature for providing consistent support, setting a strong example for other states and showcasing their leadership in safeguarding clean water resources.”

“It’s important that we prioritize our water resources for current and future generations, and we are grateful to Governor Murphy and the legislature for providing full funding to the DBRC to protect and manage over 300 miles of critical watershed,” said Rebecca Hilbert, New Jersey LCV Senior Policy Manager and New Jersey State Lead for the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed. “Our health, economy, and wildlife all depend on clean water. That’s why we are glad to see that this much-needed funding for the DRBC remains a priority for the state.”

The Delaware River Watershed is a thriving hub for outdoor recreation, boasting a world-class wild trout fishery and picturesque kayaking and hiking opportunities. In New Jersey alone, the watershed contributes significantly to the economy, supporting 62,000 jobs and generating $1.3 billion in wages. The vitality of these jobs hinges on the availability of clean water, public access, thriving wildlife, and diverse recreational activities.

In a show of solidarity, Governor Murphy, former Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Governor John Carney of Delaware convened in Philadelphia in May 2019 to reaffirm their commitment to enhancing the Delaware River watershed — funding the Commission was cited as an immediate action step.

The proclamation recognized “the advantage of working together to make the Delaware River Basin the national model for sustainable economic development, drinkable clean water, healthy fish and wildlife populations, outdoor recreation, and nature-based climate resilience.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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