LightHawk worked with NJAudubon and watershed partners to engage key officials who can influence the future of the watershed.

LightHawk worked with New Jersey Audubon and the organizers of the 2018 Coalition to Restore the Delaware River Watershed annual Forum to engage a few key decision makers with the potential to influence decisions in the watershed. The forum, held in Cape May, New Jersey in September of 2018, is an opportunity for coalition members and elected officials working in the watershed to share information, learn from one another, and foster collaboration to restore degraded resources, safeguard vulnerable assets, and educate their communities.

Tidal creeks and marshes in Delaware Bay. Credit: Jonathan Milne

The flight was designed to engage two key decision makers that were scheduled to attend the event, Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Shawn M. Garvin, who joined Governor John Carney’s cabinet in March 2017, and Michael Slattery, Delaware River Watershed Coordinator, USFWS. The former is the leading agency tasked with protecting and managing Delaware’s natural resources, protecting public health, providing outdoor recreational opportunities and educating Delawareans about the environment. The flight with LightHawk volunteer pilot Mike McNamara in his Beechcraft Bonanza took the group around the Cape and into Delaware Bay to observe the extent and importance of the Delaware Bay estuary, as well as a better understanding of the threats and opportunities the collaborative faces in trying to restore the ecological integrity of this system.

“It was such a pleasure and a privilege to have an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of such a treasured landscape from the air. And I must admit that despite my familiarity with the region, I have a far different perspective of the extent and importance of Delaware Bay marshes than I had prior to the flight! It made quite an impression and contribution to my level of understanding the value of the Delaware Bay ecosystem, and the threats/opportunities we face as we work to conserve and restore its ecological integrity.” – Mike Slatterly, Delaware River Watershed Coordinator, USFWS.

From Left: Mike Slatterly, Shawn Garvin and LightHawk Volunteer Pilot Mike McNamara. Credit: Jonathan Milne

Lead support is provided by the William Penn Foundation