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Upper Delaware Named “Most Endangered River”

Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River

National Park News

American Rivers, a national conservation group, has designated the Upper Delaware as the number one river on its annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers report.  Each year since 1986. American Rivers has used its report to spotlight the nation’s ten most threatened rivers. 

The Upper Delaware was listed as the most threatened river due to the threat from natural gas extraction.  In their report, American Rivers states “this clean water source is threatened by natural gas extraction activities in the Marcellus Shale, where chemicals injected into the ground create untreatable toxic wastewater.”

As part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system, the Upper Delaware River stretches 73.4 miles along the Pennsylvania-New York border.  The longest and one of the cleanest free-flowing rivers in the eastern United States, the Upper Delaware provides water for over 17 million people and is a popular destination for sightseeing, boating, fishing, and bird watching.

The news was announced at a ceremony in Narrowsburg, New York, attended by U.S. Congressman Maurice Hinchey. 

“Let's not have secrecy with what is being put in the ground," said Hinchey as he voiced his support for a "FRAC Act," which would compel energy companies to disclose the chemicals injected into the ground. 

“As superintendent of Upper Delaware, I am proud to lead a great group of National Park Service professionals who protect and preserve the Delaware River so that our grandchildren—and their grandchildren—can enjoy this special place forever,” said Superintendent Sean McGuinness.  “That’s the National Park Service idea.  You certainly have my personal commitment and that of the National Park Service, that we will work with everyone to do what’s right for the river.”

For a copy of the report, click on the link below.


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