Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Saving the Delaware River from Pollution

Delaware is rich in natural resources and it's one of the state assets. Its sandy soil is fertile and well-watered ideal for agricultural purposes. Some minerals that are found in the state are mainly sand and gravel. But as time goes by, we cannot ignore the fact that the state is eventually losing its resources. These are because of improper handling of these resources by irresponsible waste disposal and abusing its functionality. Right now, Delaware is facing a battle against pollution.

The Delaware River is the largest oil port in the mid-Atlantic. This contains five of the largest East Coast refineries. Ship and barge traffic to ports in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey creates a significant potential for oil spills which is dangerous to the river and its natural inhabitants. The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is part of the intercoastals waterway and many vessels transit this route up the eastern seaboard. This adds up to the contamination of the river.

Aside from this, improper disposal of waste remains a big factor of the contamination. Elevated levels of persistent contaminants from current and ongoing sources, including waste sites, impact freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, historically important rivers, and fisheries (recreational and commercial) in Delaware has also become a big concern. It is well researched and documented that there is more than enough water in the Upper Delaware River for all the Decree Parties and for healthy aquatic habitat for the trout species in the Neversink, East and West branches, and Main Stem of the river. With that being said, the Delaware River plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Significant habitat impacts have occurred in Delaware River which is the focus of restoration efforts. Restoration projects, including ecological restoration, are a critical component of revitalization efforts in Delaware River from both an economic and environmental concerns.

NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) acts as a trustee to protect the natural inhabitants on behalf of the public. DARRP collaborates with federal, state, and tribal entities and also works with cleanup agencies (such as EPA), local organizations, and the public. They are responsible for the incident to protect coastal and marine natural resources, respond to discharges of oil and hazardous substances, assess risks and injuries to natural resources and restore injured natural resources and related socioeconomic benefits.

DARRP work cooperatively with those responsible for the incident develop innovative approaches and techniques for remediation and restoration, work with the public to select restoration options to compensate for injuries to natural resources and design and implement or oversee natural inhabitant restoration projects and monitor their success.

DARRP Accomplishments so far includes the restoration and protection of 530 acres of marine habitats in Delaware. Right now, they are working for the immediate preservation of Delaware River. The cooperation of Delaware citizens will be a great help to expedite the process. Saving the Delaware River is not DARRP battle alone, its every Delaware's citizen's battle that is has to be won for the benefit of the future generations.

Richard Barthallo writes for homeowners. Additional information available at:

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