The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) is proud to announce continued funding through a $6.1 million grant from the William Penn Foundation in support of its ongoing commitment to building greater awareness of and appreciation for our region’s rivers and streams.
“The William Penn Foundation’s grant to support the Alliance for another three years is a great opportunity to reach even more people with experiential education programs that have real impact on participants’ attitudes and willingness to be involved in assuring the future of clean water in this region,” said Brian DuVall, President and CEO, Center For Aquatic Sciences, and member of the Alliance’s leadership committee. “The centers of the Alliance are dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of people who are informed about our water and committed to ensuring our region sustains its clean water and healthy habitats into the future.”
The 23 environmental centers that make up AWE will benefit from this new round of support and continue their collaborative efforts to promote environmental programming and clean water initiatives in the 13,500-square-mile Delaware River watershed. The watershed supplies drinking water to more than 13 million people in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
This funding allows environmental centers throughout the watershed to reach and impact their communities through family-friendly events, educational seminars and tours, group cleanup initiatives, and innovative installations.
AWE formed in 2017 and member centers benefit from shared resources and collaborative partnerships. Since its founding, AWE has:
- Reached more than 15,000 people through the expansion of its environmentally-focused “River Days” events
- Encouraged more than 10,000 people to hike, bike, or boat more than 15,000 collective miles as part of River Days 2018
- Employed more than 60 young adults interested in the environment as summer fellows
- Led six professional development workshops to improve knowledge and skills of environmental educators in the Alliance.
Looking to the future, the Alliance is focused on providing high-quality experiential education programs that will inspire people to protect the health of the Delaware River watershed, with a particular focus on engaging culturally diverse communities.
“At a time when much of the political discourse is racked with discord, the investment the William Penn Foundation made to help people engage in protecting wildlife and clean water in their communities helps show we all can make a difference,” said Grant La Rouche, Director of Conservation Partnerships at the National Wildlife Federation and manager of the WPF grant. “The 23 education centers that comprise the Alliance are uniquely positioned to help their communities act locally to create a better future for the Delaware.”
“The Delaware River system has improved dramatically over the past 40 years, but it is still under threat from increasing pollution,” said Andrew Johnson, Watershed Protection Program Director, William Penn Foundation. “To ensure our water is protected into the future, we’re focusing funding on growing environmental stewardship across the region, and are pleased to support the Alliance for Watershed Education for their continued work as part of this effort.”