Signage unveiling and cleanup promotes boating and stewardship on the Tidal Delaware Water Trail

Philadelphians have a new resource for boating along the Tidal Delaware River. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council unveiled a new Tidal Delaware Water Trail sign Saturday at the Frankford Arsenal Boat Launch, managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The sign is the first of six signs that will be installed along the river from Trenton to Marcus Hook.

“Boaters were excited about the Tidal Delaware Water Trail map and web site that PEC released last year, and these trail signs are part of our continuing efforts to make the trail a more engaging, user-friendly experience,” said Patrick Starr, Senior Vice President of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

The signs are designed to orient motor boaters, sailors and kayakers to their surroundings, and provide interpretive elements such as unique species and historic attractions nearby.

“The Tidal Delaware Water Trail map and signs will promote the boating opportunities that the Tidal Delaware offers, as well as provide boaters with information on how they can enjoy themselves out on the water.” said Ryan Walt, Region Outreach & Education Coordinator from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

In conjunction with the sign unveiling ceremony, students from Franklin Towne Charter School cleaned up the boat launch area, removing debris that accumulates as the tide rises and gets trapped along the shoreline. Seniors Stephanie Ahearn and Kelsie Snyder spoke on Saturday during the unveiling about the importance of the water trail to the Franklin Towne Community.

The students, organized by the senior members of the school’s National Honor Society (NHS), expressed their enthusiasm at participating in the clean up because it gave them an opportunity to care for an important area in their neighborhood.

“One way by which we’ve chosen to serve our community is becoming involved in today’s environmental action project,” said Brandi-Lee Croft, NHS President. “This project is important to us not only because the Delaware River is an important part of our region’s history, but also because its fields are a home to our sports teams.”

The Delaware River City Corporation, which leads implementation of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway, helped coordinate the day’s events. Eleven miles of the greenway will begin construction in the spring, providing a new way for residents to access the Delaware River.

“It is so interesting to see this spot become an even bigger hub of recreation activity. The trail will bring new users, and perhaps inspire new boaters,” said Bob Borski, Chair & CEO, of the Delaware River City Corporation.

“This event signifies an important connection for Philadelphians to gain access to the river through the greenway trail, enjoy the region from the river, and become environmental stewards of the river,” said Starr.

The signs and cleanup event were funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and DuPont’s Clear into the Future program. The Tidal Delaware Water Trail is a 56-mile water trail for boating and fishing from Trenton/Morrisville to Marcus Hook. It is one of about 20 water trails statewide designated by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council released the water trail map and web site last year, and continues to provide programming and education to increase recreation and stewardship of the Tidal Delaware River.

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The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians through education, advocacy, partnerships, and innovative public policy. Since 1970, the Council’s Southeast Regional Office has advocated for greening the region’s landscapes and promoting access to riverfronts, trails and parks.

The mission of the nonprofit organization, Delaware River City Corporation, is to revitalize
a sustainable riverfront corridor in Northeast Philadelphia by reconnecting the people, places, businesses, and neighborhoods of the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region to the Delaware River while simultaneously promoting a diversity of uses through implementation of the North Delaware Riverfront Greenway Plan.

Franklin Towne Charter High School is located in the historic Frankford Arsenal; the school educates over a thousand students from the Bridesburg, Tacony, and Mayfair neighborhoods each year. Franklin Towne Charter School has been an enthusiastic participant in local community service events since 1999. The school looks forward to future projects with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council during the up coming year.