Local, State, and Federal Policy

Delaware faces several challenges related to water quality and flooding and we can improve our environment, economy, and public health by supporting environmentally focused policies. Low income and historically underserved populations are less likely to have access to clean water.  Along with our environmental focus, we are also committed to doing our part to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within our work. Commonly referred to by the acronym ‘DEIJ’ — this work is pertinent to addressing the reality that environmental injustices are disproportionately affecting communities of color or low socioeconomic status. Learn more and find resources here.

If you are interested in the priorities of our regional coalitions, please visit:

Delaware’s waters need help from contaminated streams to varying quality of drinking water to increasing flooding, and we must do more.  Clean water is a public health, economic and environmental issue.  We must have environmentally focused policies at the local, state, and federal levels.


New Castle County:



Kent County:

Clean Water Funding


Sussex County:

Sussex Resource Buffer Ordinance

Local Government

Comprehensive Clean Water Policies

Support updating local drainage codes, protecting community open space and waterways, and increasing forest conservation. Learn more about GreeNCC Land Use Initiatives

Protecting Wetlands and Waterways

Increase Sussex buffer requirements to protect wetlands and water ways. To learn more and how you can help, visit Campaign Steering Committee member Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Website

Clean Water Education

Offer clean water education and outreach to help localities meet their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit (MS4 permits) requirements.

State Government

Dedicated & Sustainable Clean Water Funding

Advocate for $50 million in annual dedicated state clean water funding to support flood reduction initiatives, innovative toxic removal technologies, improve our wastewater systems, and make investments in drinking water quality. This funding should prioritize low income and underserved communities and utilize natural solutions (green infrastructure) to resolve water quality and flooding problems.

Open Space & Farmland Preservation

$10 million in annual state financial assistance to preserve open spaces and farmland. Providing financial assistance for the preservation of land, protection of wildlife and habitat, and conservation of natural resources is critical to protecting water bodies.

Mitigating Climate Change

Prioritize fighting climate change. Delaware needs a comprehensive plan to address rising waters and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Make your voice heard at DNREC Climate Change Action Plan.

Eliminating Plastics

The Delaware Plastic Bag ban went into effect in July of 2022. Click the icon to see our page dedicated to action items around reducing and eliminating plastics in Delaware!

MS4 Permit Review

Help update and strengthen municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits.

Federal Government

Opposing EPA Rollbacks

The EPA did not enforce environmental laws and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We opposed this move that further put the health of Americans at risk during the pandemic.
Since 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rolled back environmental protections on our water quality, such as the Clean Water Rule of 2015. We oppose such rollbacks and will advocate for their reversal.

Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds

Provides States' low-cost financing for projects that improve water quality and drinking water sources.

Delaware River Basin Conservation Act

Work with the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed to prioritize restoration and protection projects in the Delaware River Watershed, through grants including water quality improvement, flood mitigation, resiliency, and public access initiatives.

Environmental Justice for All Act

Seeks to achieve environmental justice, health equity, and climate justice for all underserved communities. This legislation incorporates extensive feedback from communities impacted by environmental racism and oppression.

Chesapeake Bay Program

Provides States' low-cost financing for projects that improve water quality and drinking water sources.

Land and Water Conservation Fund

Thanks to the hard work of environmental advocates around the country, full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund is now law! The LWCF is part of the Great American Outdoors Act and provides funding to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and our cultural heritage. It ensures that revenues from depletion of our natural resources goes towards conservation of national parks, wildlife refuges, and other national protected areas.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

The Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign is committed to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in our work. The reality is that today, environmental injustices disproportionately affect communities of color or low-socioeconomic status.  Our goal is to work with these communities to ensure all Delaware communities’ voices are heard.

We are committed to

  • Elevating the stories and needs of communities overburdened by poor water quality and flooding.
  • Ensuring that clean water funding not only supports overburdened communities but is available as grants rather than loans.
  • Encouraging and enabling our Clean Water Alliance and Water Warriors to support equity and inclusion in their environmental movements.


Our regional coalitions, Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed and the Choose Clean Water Coalition for the Chesapeake Bay, have equity workgroups and DEIJ toolkits available. If you are interested in having your organization join either coalition, please contact us.

If your community is heavily impacted by poor water quality or flooding and want help raising awareness about your story, please reach out and we will do our best to support you.

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