Down by the Riverside
by Tom Damm
One of the ways I intend to work off my Thanksgiving excess is to bike along the Delaware River.
If it’s like the past few weekends, I’ll be carefully riding by families, couples and individuals enjoying nature on a crisp fall day beside one of the nation’s most iconic waterbodies.
On these riverside jaunts, I’ve been able to take in a little history at Washington Crossing Historic Park and window shop in New Hope, Pennsylvania, swigging from a reusable bottle filled with water that originated in the Delaware itself. I’ve seen hearty kayakers navigating river rapids and bird watchers scanning the skies.
My neighbors have finally packed away their jet skis, but they had been out on the Delaware regularly this fall, riding the waves with wetsuits protecting them against the chilly river waters.
There are a host of recreational opportunities along the Delaware. They’re not just great fun, they’re big business. In fact, a University of Delaware professor estimated that recreation provides $1.2 billion in annual economic activity in the Delaware Basin.
That’s one of the reasons EPA and fellow federal, state and interstate agencies are working with non-profit groups, utilities and others to build on efforts to restore the Delaware River and counter threats from stormwater, wastewater, PCBs and other forms of pollution.
So if you’re feeling the weight of the holidays, take a stroll or a bike ride along a stream or river near you. It may not fully compensate for that piece of pie, but it will give you some peace of mind.
About the Author: Tom Damm has been with EPA since 2002 and now serves as communications coordinator for the region’s Water Protection Division.
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