A 400-mile New York waterway that begins in the Catskill Mountains has been named 'River of the Year' for 2020 by American Rivers. The Delaware River was so polluted, 75 years ago people were sickened by the smell. That all changed in 1961 with the formation of the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Clean Water Act of 1972. From there the river began a dramatic comeback that continues today.

American Rivers has named the Delaware River 'River of the Year' because it is a prime example of what can be done through 'federal safeguards, state action, and local initiative'. Fish and wildlife have returned communities along the river are setting a positive example of taking care of the environment. The main stem of the Delaware River is the longest free-flowing river in the eastern United States.

While there are accomplishments to be celebrated, there remains work to be done. American Rivers sites aging water infrastructure, urban development and climate change as concerns to be addressed. An increase in storm severity can threaten drinking water supplies with sewage overflows and saltwater intakes. The organization advocates for increased funding on a number of initiatives to ensure the long term viability of the river.

The Delaware River runs through parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

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