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American Rivers Rings Warning Bell Re Gas Drilling Threat to Delaware River

June 2, 2010

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release:  June 1, 2010

Contact: Amy Kober, American Rivers, 206-898-3864

Patrick Carullo, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, 570-685-8774

Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 215-369-1188 x 104

cell 215-692-2329

Iris Marie Bloom, Protecting Our Waters, 215-840-6489

While the catastrophic consequences from extractive industries’ hubris continue to unfold, a tapestry of voices urges caution when it comes to putting the Delaware River, 330 miles long with a 13,000 square mile watershed, at risk.

On Wednesday, June 2, American Rivers, a national environmental organization based in Washington, D.C., will launch a campaign to protect the Upper Delaware River.  This river system provides drinking water for 17 million people, and is valued for its biodiversity and beauty.  Three events this week will highlight the threat to the Upper Delaware River, now at risk due to imminent gas drilling.  Drilling companies plan to hydrofrack thousands of wells within the watershed.

The Philadelphia press conference takes place at 12 noon Wednesday at City Hall, Fourth Floor Caucus Room.

It is preceded by an event in Narrowsburg, NY at 11 AM.  American Rivers will also hold an event in Washington, D.C. on June 4th regarding the state of the nation’s rivers.

In Philadelphia, City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, who earlier introduced a successful City Council resolution calling for a ban on gas drilling in the watershed until an Environmental Impact Statement is assessed, will speak.  Albert F. Appleton, internationally respected water systems expert, former Commissioner of New York City DEP and former director of NYC Water and Sewer systems, will speak, along with PA State Rep. Gregory S. Vitali of the 166th Legislative District Delaware County, Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown of the 190th Legislative District, Philadelphia County, and Howard Neukrug, Director, Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watersheds.  Community and faith-based leaders, including Reverend Nate Walker and Reverend Jesse Brown, join environmental groups including Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Protecting Our Waters, Clean Air Council, Damascus Citizens, Clean Water Action, and PennEnvironment, to urge policymakers to protect the Delaware River.

In Narrowsburg at 11 AM on June 2nd, at the town Gazebo overlooking the Upper Delaware River, the following speakers will focus attention on the threatened river: Congressman Maurice Hinchey, representing the 22nd District of New York; Marcia Nehemiah, representing Damascus Citizens for Sustainability; Ramsay Adams, Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeepers; Sean McGuinness National Park Superintendent of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River; and Bruce Ferguson of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.

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American Rivers is the leading national organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. American Rivers protects and restores America’s rivers for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters, with offices in Washington, DC and nationwide. Visit www.AmericanRivers.org

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