PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Environmentalists would say the Delaware River and Bay are priceless natural resources, But a new study attaches a price tag to them anyway.

“No matter how you count it, the value of the Delaware Estuary is at least $10 billion,” researcher Gerald Kauffman from the University of Delaware authored the study that says the Delaware River and Bay fuel an economic engine responsible for half a million jobs from the port to farming to recreation.

READ MORE: How The New COVID-19 Variant Impacts Your Travel Plans

Jennifer Adkins, executive director of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary says that’s why it’s important to fund projects maintaining the health of the river.

“So many of the different uses that we looked at that have economic values really were reliant on good water quality. So anything that we can do to keep our water quality high and improve it, is going to have good economic benefits.”

READ MORE: What We Know And Don't Know About The Omicron Variant

Adkins says restoring the riverfront in Bridesburg, and repopulating oysters in the Delaware bay are among the Partnership’s priority projects.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

MORE NEWS: Shopping Online This Holiday Season? Why You Need To Protect Yourself