Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) announced today that the Assembly and the Senate have agreed to increase funding to the Delaware River Basin Commission by $123,000 – continuing to support the commission’s efforts to manage the Delaware River system.
“This vital increase in funding will allow the commission to continue to provide water quality protection, water supply allocation, drought management and flood control for New York State residents,” Gunther said. I urge the DRBC to concentrate this funding on programs focused on flood control and prevention.”
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is an interstate compact between Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and the federal government. The DRBC is responsible for overseeing a unified approach to managing the Delaware River system.
The DRBC protects the state’s world class trout fisheries by maintaining flow targets for west and east branches of the Delaware River. It also protects the quality of water of the river – generating roughly $60 million in revenue from recreational activities along the river for local economies in New York. Additionally, the commission has coordinated funding for flood control projects along the Delaware River and acts as a worldwide model for water resource management.
Gunther noted that over the last five years, New York State’s contribution of $485,000 to support the DRBC’s activities has remained stagnant. Despite this, the governor only allotted the DRBC $485,000 in his 2006-2007 budget proposal – falling short of the DRBC’s request for more funding. In contrast, the 2006-2007 budget submitted by both the Assembly and Senate will contribute $608,000 in funding to the DRBC – which helps meet New York’s obligation and helps the commission maintain its high level of service.
Assemblywoman Gunther has been working closely with the DRBC and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to find ways to prevent the reoccurrence of catastrophic flooding. She recently worked with the DEP and the DRBC to institute a new spill reduction program at the Neversink reservoir to reduce water levels based on anticipated runoff from rainfall in an effort to prevent flooding.
“The Assembly and Senate recognize the importance of the DRBC and its water resource management,” Gunther said. “I urge the governor to agree to include this new funding in the final budget so the DRBC has the resources it needs to better protect the residents in my district who desperately need relief from flooding.”