DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA – The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) announced new research showing Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area generated over $235 million for local businesses in 2021.
This update for 2021 shows an increase of millions of dollars in revenue for businesses and communities in Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, and Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties in Pennsylvania.
“Every year, visitors from around the country flock to this national park, and the towns and communities that support it. This new research makes it clear that the park is generating enormous economic opportunity for local businesses, helping support the unique character of the Delaware River Basin.” Said Ed Stierli, Senior Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for National Parks Conservation Association.
“We hope policymakers take note of the thriving local businesses that work every day to build this outdoor recreation and tourism industry and attract diverse visitors to this one-of-a-kind place.” Stierli said.
“Together, we must protect these communities, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and preserved lands along the Delaware River, from any incompatible industrial development that threatens them. The park clearly delivers revenue for local communities, but the beautiful rapids and other natural resources are what makes it priceless,” Stierli said.
Once touted as a scenic wonder of the world, the Delaware Water Gap is a mile-long stretch of the Middle Delaware River that slices through two mountains. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area includes the river and 67,000 pristine forested acres where visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing and water sports in one of the cleanest rivers in the country.
“The data proves that Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area continues to be an economic driver for the region,” said Leslie Gray, Vice President at Jon Stover and Associates. “A thriving outdoor recreation industry and federally preserved natural resources are a huge asset for surrounding local businesses and vibrant downtowns, supporting quality jobs and growing tax revenue.”
“This report demonstrates that ensuring visitors can access the scenic wonders and immense recreational opportunities offered by the Delaware River pays dividends for hardworking local businesses,” said Timothy Leonard, Northeast Outreach and Engagement Program Manager for National Parks Conservation Association.
“But we know from experience that people do not just come to our national parks for the one-of-a-kind views or the recreational opportunities. They come because park staff and local communities make them feel welcome,” Leonard said.
“That is why it is of paramount importance that policymakers work to provide adequate funding for a fully-staffed, thriving Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that serves visitors of all backgrounds. This park is proof that if you take a beautiful place and work hard to preserve its natural character for all, people will come,” Leonard said.
To view the report summary, click here.