Restoring Ecosystem Services to the Brandywine River
Two men posing for a photo outdoors.
OR&R’s Simeon Hahn and Governor John Carney of Delaware. Image credit: NOAA.

APRIL 21, 2017-- Simeon Hahn, representing NOAA, participated in a press event sponsored by EPA Region 3 to announce the Brownfields Area Wide Planning grant for Wilmington that will be used to cleanup, redevelop and promote productive reuse of Brownfield sites along the Brandywine River.

NOAA was acknowledged several times for its support and technical assistance that was considered instrumental to the City’s success in obtaining the grant.

NOAA is a federal sponsor of the Delaware River Urban Waters Federal Partnership location which includes Wilmington, DE, Philadelphia, Chester PA, and Camden NJ. OR&R (as part of the NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program) is the national contact for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership steering group and provides technical support to assess sources of hazardous materials including waste sites, develop protective clean up strategies, and restore habitat for trust resources.

The Brandywine River has historic significance as a habitat for American shad which fed the troops at Valley Forge in the Revolutionary War. American shad have been impacted by contaminants, habitat loss, and dams and fish passage obstructions. Currently, Wilmington faces many social, economic and environmental justice issues. This is a major step in changing that.

There are currently fish consumption advisories for PCBs on the Brandywine River and also potential impacts on ecological resources such as reproductive toxicity and/or toxicity to early life stages of fish. The goal is to restore the ecosystem services provided by the river to the community and attract visitors to fish, kayak, and recreate along the historic Brandywine River and spur economic recovery of an important coastal community of Delaware, where the state governor, John Carney, is known to fly fish for shad on the Brandywine River.

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