EXPLAINER | Delaware Watershed
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Delaware Watershed

The crew on the Drillboat Apache brings in lines tied to explosives used to break up rocks at the bottom of the Delaware River near Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the final stages of a controversial project to deepen the river’s shipping channel.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

The crew on the Drillboat Apache brings in lines tied to explosives used to break up rocks at the bottom of the Delaware River near Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. It’s one of the final stages of a controversial project to deepen the river’s shipping channel.

StateImpact Pennsylvania, Newsworks.org, WHYY and NJ Spotlight are collaborating on a series of stories about the Delaware River Watershed.

The watershed stretches from upstate New York through Pennsylvania and New Jersey, emptying out in the Delaware Bay. It supplies water to more than 15 million people, or about 5% of the nation’s population. Its natural lands both protect clean water and provide a habitat of regional and hemispheric importance.

The story of the river includes stories of its people and wildlife that depend on it for survival; the threats to continued sources of clean water; and the river as an economic engine.

The project is funded by The William Penn Foundation. Below are contributions from StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Latest stories


Updated: April 14, 2021 | 8:29 pm

PUC judge orders Sunoco to improve its public safety guidance, and pipeline safety, on Mariner East project

A judge found Sunoco in violation of rules around public safety communication, and ordered the company to bury some lines deeper. She did not halt operation of the lines.

By Susan Phillips

Life along the Delaware: Valuing wetlands as places to keep intact, not build over

Leonard Stewart: “When you build on wetlands, the water doesn’t have anywhere to go. That’s when everything gets flooded.”

By Leonard Stewart

Life along the Delaware: Better access to Philly’s two rivers could open spaces on hidden shorelines

Stacy Levy: “What if the shorelines were lush with trees and birds and peaceful, shady places to walk and hang out?”

By Stacy Levy

Delaware River Basin Commission votes to ban fracking in the watershed

In voting to ban the practice, the four states that are part of the commission cited scientific evidence that fracking has polluted drinking water, surface water, and groundwater.

By Susan Phillips

U.S. Supreme Court to hear PennEast pipeline eminent domain case

PennEast wants the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling preventing the company from exercising eminent domain on NJ state lands.

By Susan Phillips



DEP approves changes to Mariner East construction methods at three troubled sites in Delaware, Chester counties

Mariner East construction at three sites that require drilling through porous limestone can shift from horizontal directional drilling to open trench.

By Susan Phillips

Paddle protest at Marsh Creek Lake calls for Mariner East shutdown

DEP: No fish-kills or known impacts to drinking water
By Susan Phillips

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