Caring for the River

One of the last large undammed rivers in the lower 48 states, the Delaware River flows freely 300 miles along its main stem from Hancock, New York to the Atlantic Ocean at Delaware Bay.

The Delaware River is many rivers in one. The Upper Delaware supports one of the country’s best cold-water trout fisheries. The Lower Delaware is broad, tidal, and active with commercial ship traffic. In between, the Middle Delaware leaves the Appalachian Plateau at Port Jervis, New York, and flows through a narrow valley surrounded by heavily forested hills and mountains.

The Scenic, Wild Delaware River encompasses much of the upper and middle portions of the river’s watershed, extending beyond the river banks to include forests, floodplains, waterfalls, marshes, beaches, and mountains. Here—where New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania meet—is where we live. In many ways, it’s the landscape that surrounds our communities that sets our home apart from other places. We’re proud of it, we want to share and promote it, and we are equally committed to sustaining it.

More than 8 million people rely on drinking water from the middle and upper Delaware, including New York City, which taps into reservoirs on the river’s headwaters streams. Special protections help maintain the exceptional purity of these waters.

When you visit the Scenic, Wild Delaware River, you are likely to be impressed by how forested it is. Our forests and open spaces are natural sponges, collecting and filtering rainfall and snowmelt, and releasing water slowly into streams. They help keep the river’s water so clean that it exceeds most water quality standards, reduce damage in this flood-prone region, recharge groundwater, and defend against drought. Around farms and populated areas, forests help filter runoff before it reaches lakes, streams, and the river.

For many decades, the Scenic, Wild Delaware River has hosted travelers seeking a natural respite from city life. As you stay and relax in our welcoming communities and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area, please remember that it’s up to all of us to help care for this place so that future visitors and residents can enjoy its delights.

This MapGuide offers many resources for helping you do your part.

Search for “environmental education” on the MapGuide to find out about opportunities to learn about our local ecology. Here, you’ll find organizations such as Apple Pond Farm and Renewable Education Center in New York, Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center in New Jersey, and Kettle Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, Lacawac Sanctuary and Field Station, and Pocono Environmental Education Center in Pennsylvania.

Go to “Places to Go > Natural Areas” to discover an amazing array of parks, sanctuaries, preserves, and other protected areas. Many of these offer interpretive programs, informative signage, and visitor centers where you can learn more.

Click on “Things to Do > Museum, Theater, Interpretive Center” to find places to learn about our area’s diverse history and take part in cultural activities. In the same menu, “Festivals and Events” points the way to more opportunities to dive into local community life and learn about ecology, history, arts and culture, agriculture, and more.

Look for the “Eco-Friendly Notes” to help you choose lodging and restaurant options that are taking steps to conserve our area’s natural resources and support local farmers, foragers, and producers. Some of the inns and hotels are part of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s Green Lodging Partnership, which contributes a portion of the rate you pay to local land conservation efforts.

Filter for “Farmers Market” in “Things to Do > Food or Drink” to help you find local produce at public markets and farm stores. Buying locally-produced food helps support the region’s rural character, and provides fresher, more delicious fare.

Chip In
Go to “Things to Do > Action Opportunity” to find an array of local organizations to support, and volunteer opportunities ranging from river clean-up days to trail maintenance. Join us! We’d love to have you be part of our efforts.