The Delaware River near Morrisville, Pa.: Could water quality see further gains under a DRBC proposal to boost fish populations?
Jon Hurdle reports for StateImpact:
Water quality in the Delaware River estuary has improved over the last few decades to the point where regulators are considering adding the breeding of fish to a list of designated “uses” for that section of the river.
The Delaware River Basin Commission will hold a public hearing on April 6 to discuss its proposal to include fish propagation in the official uses of a 38-mile tidal stretch of the river between Philadelphia and Trenton.
The river’s current uses, as defined by the commission in 1967, are limited to the “maintenance” or survival of resident fish, and the passage of migratory fish, both reflecting the low levels of dissolved oxygen and a heavy load of pollution that characterized the river in past decades.
Since then, pollution has declined from industry, sewers, and so-called non-point sources such as lawn runoff, allowing oxygen levels to rise, and helping fish populations recover.