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Chester County Press

Conference to highlight the state of the Brandywine-Christina watershed

04/26/2018 01:27PM ● By J. Chambless

The state of the area's watershed will be discussed on May 3 at the Clean Water Conference.

The Brandywine-Christina Watershed Partners, a group of six nonprofit organizations funded by the William Penn Foundation through its Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI), will host a Clean Water Conference on May 3 to share their work and findings with conservationists and policy makers.

During the conference, the partners will unveil the “Brandywine-Christina State of the Watershed Report,” highlighting projects they have implemented throughout the watershed. National and regional experts, Delaware and Pennsylvania legislators and dignitaries, and watershed stakeholders are encouraged to attend.

In addition to hearing from each of the six partner organizations, the conference will feature speakers from the William Penn Foundation, the National Wildlife Foundation, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, local municipal officials, and others. Following lunch, conference attendees are invited to attend a field tour to get a first-hand look at a local farm where agricultural best management practices are implemented, and a visit to the Hoopes Reservoir for an on-site discussion about water supply options and strategies for protecting source water in the watershed. The day will wrap up back at the Mendenhall Inn with a reception and networking event.

Tasked with leading one of the eight targeted areas identified by the DRWI as priority zones – where interventions could significantly safeguard or improve clean water – the Brandywine-Christina Watershed Partners consist of the Brandywine Conservancy, Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, Natural Lands, Stroud Water Research Center, The Nature Conservancy in Delaware and the University of Delaware Water Resources Center.

The Brandywine-Christina watershed supplies drinking water to more than half a million residents in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and supports $1.6 billion in annual economic activity and more than 100,000 jobs.

The Clean Water Conference will be held at the Mendenhall Inn on May 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person ($10 for students with ID). Registration is available by visiting or by calling 610-388-8340.

The conference schedule is:

8:30 a.m. -- Registration/Breakfast

9 a.m. -- Welcoming Remarks

David Shields, Associate Director, Brandywine Conservancy

9:10 a.m. -- The Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI)

Andrew Johnson, Program Director, The William Penn Foundation

9:20 a.m. -- “Two States Joined by a Common Watershed: Delaware and Pennsylvania “

Secretary Shawn Garvin, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

10 a.m. -- “Brandywine-Christina: America’s Most Historic Small Watershed”

Gerald Kauffman, Director, Water Resources Center, University of Delaware

10:15 a.m. -- “The Brandywine-Christina State of the Watershed Report” (The Brandywine, Red Clay and White Clay Creeks and the Christina River). Moderator: Martha Narvaez, Policy Scientist, Water Resources Center, University of Delaware.

11:15 a.m. -- “Collaborative Work in the Watershed”

Moderator: Janet Bowers, Executive Director, Chester County Water Resources Authority

noon to 2 p.m. – “Going Forward”

David Shields, Associate Director, Brandywine Conservancy

12:30 p.m. – Lunch/Keynote

Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation

1:45 p.m. -- Formal Meeting Adjourn

2 p.m. -- Optional Field Tour (via bus) to Simpers Farm and Hoopes Reservoir

4:30 p.m. -- Networking and Reception