National Park Service

Workshop to Define the Wild and Scenic River Values of the Delaware River Basin Held in Pennsylvania

Delaware River Basin Wild and Scenic River Values publication cover.

NPS Photo

Delaware River Basin Wild and Scenic River Values publication cover - click to view the publication. (pdf 5.01mb)

September 2012

As part of the ongoing efforts of the Denver Service Center (DSC) to offer planning services for NPS-managed wild and scenic river units, DSC Planning Division staff, in collaboration with the Northeast Regional Office and the NPS Wild and Scenic River program, brought together more than 30 subject matter experts from various federal and state agencies, NPS managers, and river partners in a workshop held in Matamoras, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the workshop was to define the outstandingly remarkable values of four wild and scenic river units along the Delaware River.

Totaling over 200 miles, the National Park Service manages the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River (within Delaware Water Gap), the Lower Delaware National Wild and Scenic River, and the Musconetcong National Wild and Scenic River. Considering the multiple reaches and tributaries of the Delaware River that have been designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the planning framework provided a platform from which to articulate the unique and exemplary values of the Delaware River, both for each individual reach and collectively as a whole system.

Outstandingly remarkable values are defined by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act as the characteristics that make a river worthy of special protection. Clearly defining these values is fundamental to wild and scenic river management, and the Denver Service Center has developed a reliable methodology that has helped ensure consistency across many of our agency's designated rivers.

“The Outstandingly Remarkable Values Workshop was a unique opportunity for the managers and staff from the four Delaware River designated National Wild and Scenic segments to come together to gain a common understanding of the values and resources associated with the Delaware River that NPS is charged with protecting,” said Chuck Barscz, NPS Northeast Regional Chief, National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. “We were able to bridge the gaps between the individual designated segments, and reach across the various natural, cultural and recreational resource disciplines and gain a common understanding of what makes the Delaware River unique and special. This information will be invaluable to both the public and NPS as we confront the complex and controversial resource protection issues facing the Delaware River in the 21st Century.”

After four days of intense work sessions, the collaboration and hard work of the participants paid off. The end result is a publication that is the first of its kind—an document that unifies the four wild and scenic rivers of the Delaware River Basin, while also setting them apart by describing their unique individual qualities.

“These clearly defined outstandingly remarkable values are important to the NPS Delaware River units as we face new challenges to the natural and cultural resources we aim to protect. These clearly defined values will help guide long-term management and articulate to stakeholders why the Delaware River and its precious clean water is so valuable to current and future generations,” said Sean McGuinness, superintendent, Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.

The Delaware River Basin Wild and Scenic River Values (pdf 5.01mb) publication will be used widely by NPS managers, not only to guide their long-term management, but also to communicate the national significance of these wild and scenic rivers to the American people.

News & Events Archives