The Open Space Institute's Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI) Catalyst grants help bring watershed science to bear on county and municipal planning to ensure scarce conservation dollars effectively protect water quality in the Delaware River Watershed.
These planning grants complement OSI’s capital grants, which help land trusts conserve the forested lands that keep water clean; restoration grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; and the work of 50+ nonprofit organizations that are part of the broader Delaware River Watershed Initiative.
In 2016, OSI awarded a grant to the Land Conservancy of New Jersey that resulted in Sussex County, NJ, identifying watershed priorities for the county’s land acquisition program, the subject of a New Jersey PBS story. The plan identified 10% of the region that needs protection to ensure the most important water resources are conserved. By directing the acquisition dollars languishing unspent, the analysis is already leading to increased demand for funding for land protection projects that will help keep water clean for Sussex residents.