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Kauffman elected to Partnership for Delaware Estuary advisory committee

Kauffman elected to Partnership for Delaware Estuary advisory committee

Gerald Kauffman, director of the Water Resources Agency (WRA), a unit of the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration (IPA), has been elected to the Scientific Technical Advisory Committee of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

Kauffman was one of two new committee members to be elected by a panel of their peers. This is a significant recognition of his contributions and stature in the water resources scientific community. For many years he had served in an advisory role to but was not on the elected committee.

The committee provides the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and collaborating entities with objective, expert advice and peer review for scientific and technical matters related to the National Estuary Program's activities and goals. It comprises experienced scientists and resource-management experts who represent a broad cross-section of environmental expertise and diverse backgrounds.

IPA associate policy scientist Andrew Homsey said of Kauffman's election, “The focus on collaboration, cross-political boundary coordination, and the building of partnerships among diverse groups unites WRA and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. An emphasis on science-based policy recommendations and practical, on-the-ground solutions to watershed protection issues further cements the bonds between them.”

Kauffman added, “Having a seat at that table allows the University of Delaware to be a strong voice in the science and policy that will drive management decisions well into the future.”

Through WRA, Kauffman has worked with the partnership in several capacities. Along with the Delaware River Basin Commission, WRA was one of the co-sponsors of the 2008 State of the Basin Report, authoring the technical summary of the report. WRA is also part of the now-decade-old Christina Basin Clean Water Partnership and has collaborated on several grant submissions toward cleaning up the Delaware Estuary/Basin and meeting pollution standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and involved states.

The mission of the partnership is to lead collaborative and creative efforts to protect and enhance the Delaware Estuary and its tributaries for current and future generations. Established in 1996, the partnership is part of the federal system of estuary programs -- such as Delaware's Center for the Inland Bays -- that was created in 1987 by an act of Congress, following amendments to the Clean Water Act. Its jurisdiction includes the watersheds surrounding the Delaware Bay and portions of the Delaware River, including the entire Schuylkill Watershed.

Water quality, issues related to land use and green infrastructure, habitat protection and enhancement, and other key environmental goals figure greatly in the missions of the partnership and WRA and will have a direct, important, and long-lasting positive impact on the 13,000-square-mile Delaware River Basin.

Kauffman says, “WRA's work is all about the 'bluing' of the environment. Efforts here at the University can become models for environmental efforts in other river basins, both nationally and internationally.”

Article by Mark Deshon