DRBC Teaches about Healthy Water & Pollution Prevention at the Delaware River Festival

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DRBC Teaches about Healthy Water & Pollution Prevention at the Delaware River Festival


(From L to R) DRBC's Donna Woolf, Stacey Mulholland, and Denise McHugh talk with festival attendees about why aquatic creatures need clean water to live in. Photo courtesy of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. 
(From L to R) DRBC’s Donna Woolf, Stacey Mulholland, and
Denise 
McHugh talk with festival attendees about why
aquatic creatures 
need clean water to live in. Photo courtesy
of the Partnership for 
the Delaware Estuary. 

DRBC staff returned to Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, Pa. to participate in the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) and the Alliance for Watershed Education’s annual Delaware River Festival, a coast-to-coast celebration of the Delaware River region around Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. This area of the river is part of the Delaware River Estuary, the tidal part of the river where fresh and salt water mix.

The festival featured interactive, educational exhibits, water-related kids’ activities and crafts, guided boat tours, pedal boating and kayaking, and more. And, best of all, everything was offered for free, thanks to the event’s hosts and various sponsors.

DRBC staff brought a new activity to the Delaware River Festival this year that focused on clean water and the creatures that need it. Staff had two photos of the Delaware River around Philadelphia on display; one depicted a clean, healthy river and one was from the 1950s and showed the river dirty and polluted. Staff talked to kids who stopped by the table about how aquatic creatures need clean water to live in, just like we need clean water to drink. They were then given various images of bugs and other aquatic life and asked to place them on which photo they thought the creatures might prefer to live in. Those who guessed correctly got a sticker and stamp for completing the activity; kids got prizes from PDE depending on how several activities they completed.  

In addition to talking about how aquatic creatures need clean water to live in, staff also had on display a photo of the river with trash floating in it. This was used to educate them about how it is important to never litter, because that trash on the street, in the park, or on the school playground eventually makes its way into the river. This is an important lesson to reinforce whenever we can, especially in urban areas where trash pollution, particularly plastics, in our waterways is an epidemic.

 

Staff also talked to attendees about the DRBC and relayed fun facts about the watershed and about horseshoe crabs and bald eagles, two interesting and unique creatures that call the Delaware River Basin home. Staff also shared stories about the region’s connection to baseball and about how the Delaware River played a role in why Philadelphians call their sandwiches hoagies. Major Macro was also in attendance, and adults and kids alike got to become this science superhero, complete with waders, snorkel, and net, everything you need to study aquatic life in the river!  

The Delaware River Festival highlights Philadelphia and Camden’s connection to the tidal Delaware River. In this urban region, the river is a vital natural resource and important for commerce and trade. It is a source of drinking water and also a means of recreation.

This year was the second year holding the Delaware River Festival. The two waterfronts were easily accessible for attendees via free ferry rides on the RiverLink Ferry! 

DRBC staff thoroughly enjoyed participating in this event that focuses attention on the Delaware River and its estuarine environment around Philadelphia and Camden.





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