Clean Water:

Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign is a statewide education and outreach effort.

The goal is to secure additional state funding to improve Delaware’s waterways and drinking water sources.

Now more than ever clean water is essential to everyone. Contaminated water doesn’t just affect fish and wildlife living in our local waters, it impacts our everyday lives through the food we eat, the streams, rivers, lakes, and bays near our homes, our health, and our economy.

90% of Delaware’s waterways are polluted, 100 miles of Delaware’s waters have fish consumption advisories, and Delaware faces an annual deficit of $100 million to address our water quality needs, according to the Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force.

Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force

Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 was passed creating the Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force in 2015 chaired by Senator Brian Townsend and Representative Michael Mulrooney (now retired). Two years later, their findings and recommendations were published, highlighting the funding mechanisms the Task Force explored and proposing the mechanism that became the first Clean Water for Delaware Act, House Bill 270.

Though HB 270 did not pass, there were still great clean water achievements to celebrate that year! In the Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019), $10 million was dedicated for clean water along with full funding for the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Programs. That’s $30 million for clean water and conservation!

COVID-19 Impacts on Clean Water Funding

January 2020 was witness to exciting promises for clean water funding and legislation. House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Senator David McBride were championing House Substitute 1 for House Bill 200, The Clean Water for Delaware Act, and Governor Carney had announced a $50 million clean water investment in his Bond Bill proposal. Unfortunately, both proposals stalled due to the pandemic, a shortened legislative session, and significant state financial challenges. 

Despite closures and a large state revenue loss, the Clean Water Alliance was still able to secure $13 million for clean water in FY2021, along with a total of $10 million for open space and farmland preservation. 

Related Links:

Clean Water for Delaware Act: Back in 2021

The start of the 151st General Assembly had us working to get back to where we were before the pandemic. House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst remains our steadfast clean water champion, and was successful in passing the newest version of the Clean Water for Delaware Act, House Bill 200. The Clean Water Alliance supported this legislation because it provides a mechanism for additional funding for improvements to wastewater systems, flood reduction initiatives, innovative toxic removal technologies, and investments in drinking water quality.
 
Additionally, Governor Carney renewed his promise to invest $50M for clean water in FY2022, and the investment was secured in the FY2022 Bond Bill! This means that HB200 has the funding it needs to start making an impact right away. Including farmland preservation and other investments, that’s over $65 million for conservation!

Clean Water Work Beyond HB200

Dedicated, sustainable clean water funding is the mission of the Clean Water Campaign, but we also work on any legislation that might have an impact on water quality and/or quantity. Forest conservation, open space preservation, septic system bans, buffer ordinances, and wetland protections are just a few of the topics we’ve been involved in over the years. 

Governor Carney’s $50M investment in clean water is a great starting point, but the fight for clean water is far from over. We’ll continue advocating for smart environmental policies and regulations so that all Delawareans have rivers and streams they can  live near, play in, and eat from. 

Our clean water community and Campaign is driven by the Clean Water Alliance (a coalition of diverse stakeholder groups including non-profit organizations, academia, and businesses) and our Water Warriors (citizen advocates) that care about water quality for current and future generations

Meet The Team

Steering Committee

Delaware Center for the Island Bays

Delaware Center for the
Inland Bays

The Center for the Inland Bays is a private non-profit organization established in 1994 by the State of Delaware General Assembly to oversee and facilitate the implementation of a long-term approach for the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays’ Watershed. The Center is also 1 of 28 National Estuary Programs established by the federal Clean Water Act to improve the environmental health of estuaries of national significance. It’s mission is to “preserve, protect, and restore Delaware’s Inland Bays and their watershed” which is achieved through education, outreach, science & research, restoration, and public policy. 

Delaware Nature Society (DelNature)

Delaware Nature Society’s (DelNature) mission is to connect people with the natural world and improve our environment through education, advocacy, and conservation. Founded in 1964, DelNature is a state affiliate for the National Wildlife FederationWe provide the tools for communities to take action and promote the health of the environment through land preservation, wildlife protection, watershed stewardship, and more. We manage over 2,000 acres of land and operate four educational sites: Ashland Nature CenterAbbott’s Mill Nature CenterDuPont Environmental Education Center, and Coverdale Farm Preserve.

University of Delaware
Water Resources Center

The University of Delaware Water Resources Center (DWRC), established in 1965, is one of the 54 National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWRs). DWRC has a two-fold mission:

To support research, education, & public outreach programs that focus on water supply, water management, & water quality –important issues to Delaware citizens who are concerned about the future of our water resources.


To foster & support training and education programs for the future water scientists, engineers, managers, & policy-makers who will lead the water resources research, planning, & management efforts in our state in the future.

Our Staff

Environmental Advocate

Ellie has been a part of the Campaign since Fall 2018. As an Environmental Advocate, Ellie works to pass local ordinances and resolutions to help protect or improve water quality. Ellie is a 2017 graduate of Franklin & Marshall College with a major in Animal Behavior and a minor in Environmental Studies. She is local to the Brandywine Valley region and is passionate about improving local land use to address the threat of climate change and habitat fragmentation on biodiversity. Fun fact about Ellie: She’s an avid reader who embarks on a 52-book challenge each year.

DEIJ Education & Grassroots Organizer

Marissa joined the team in fall 2020. She is currently an undergraduate student (Class of 2022) at the University of Delaware majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Humanities and a passion for Environmental Justice. She loves nature and can probably be found obsessing over turtles and frogs!

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Jhaney is new to the Delaware Nature Society team taking on the role as Outreach and Communications Coordinator. Jhaney is a recent graduate of Delaware State University where she majored in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Advertising. Jhaney has had a long passion for wanting to make spaces more diverse, give people from underserved backgrounds more opportunities, and protecting the environment to create a safe, healthy community. Jhaney also likes traveling to see what people from different places value and how they live. She has been to Ghana, Puerto Rico, and most recently Kailua-Kona in Hawaii where she enjoyed learning about the volcanoes, how they keep their reefs safe, and protecting the turtles. Next on her travel bucket list is Japan.

Join Us

Clean Water Alliance

Clean water is not a privilege; it is a right. The Delaware Clean Water Alliance is a broad coalition of organizations and stakeholders across the state working together to secure funding for clean water initiatives.

We have launched a campaign to improve the quality of Delaware’s water by educating people about the importance of clean water and advocating for better policies on the local, state, and federal levels. Dedicated funding for clean water is essential for a cleaner environment, healthier crops and food sources, an improved economy, and increased tourism. Additional clean water funding could be used for upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities and stormwater systems; environmentally sound solutions to remove contaminants from our water; and protection of wetlands and open space. Increased funding for statewide clean water initiatives ensures a better, stronger Delaware. Clean water is truly Delaware’s clear choice – together we can make a difference.

Join the

Clean Water Alliance

Alliance Members

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Water Warriors

Your voice matters. The Clean Water Campaign is always looking for more Water Warriors – the advocates, volunteers, and supporters of our work. Whether you are new to water issues and advocacy or have years of experience, we’d love to have you join us!
We are ready and willing to help everyone start out on their advocacy journey. Want to learn more? Email us at advocacy@delnature.org and join our e-newsletter list for important alerts and where to take action.
"I volunteer as a Water Warrior through the Delaware Nature Society. I feel like it is a great opportunity to have my voice heard about water quality issues that affect my world now and the world we pass on to our children. I volunteer as a Water Warrior through the Delaware Nature Society. It is a great opportunity to have my voice heard about water quality issues that affect my world now and the world we pass on to our children. The expertise that the Campaign lends to the issues of the day increases my awareness of how I can make a difference.”
Matt B.
Delaware Resident