By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation today announced a $35-million project to protect the water most of us drink.

This is a watershed moment — for the 13,500-square-mile Delaware River watershed, that is.

Although it provides water to fully five percent of the US population, the Delaware River has its challenges:  “Challenges of urban storm water runoff, agricultural runoff, loss of forests in some really essential headwaters, and depletion of a very important aquifer in the region,” according to Laura Sparks, chief philanthropy officer at the William Penn Foundation.

Sparks says these grants allow the enlistment of allies for the river’s future:

“We have experts from the Academy of Natural Sciences who will be working to collect baseline information, to collect water samples, and to be monitoring those samples over time to understand the impact that these projects are having over time” — all with an eye toward protective policies.


John Ostapkovich