2023 Mini-Grant Applications are due on July 7th, 2023!

PDE is offering up to $10,000 in financial assistance for local partners working on greening and environmental projects in urban environmental justice communities. We received 47 applications totaling $436,216.32 in funding requests. Projects are currently under review. Applicants will be notified at the end of August with funding decisions, and media announcements are planned for September.

What is the Urban Waters Federal Partnership?


The goal of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) is to restore and reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, to waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and partners. There are 22 different Designated Urban Waters Locations in this national environmental justice program. Each Urban Waters location collaborates with local community-led revitalization efforts to improve water systems and promote their economic, environmental, and social benefits.

You can learn more about  Urban Waters at the federal level here. You can view the federal Urban Waters Progress Report here.

The Urban Waters Delaware River Location


A map showing the four cities of the Urban Waters Delaware River location, including Philadelphia and Chester in Pennsylvania, Camden in New Jersey, and Wilmington in Delaware.

The Greater Philadelphia Area/Delaware River Watershed Urban Waters Federal Partnership Location encompasses four major cities and their surrounding urban areas draining to the Lower Delaware River:

  • Camden, NJ
  • Chester, PA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Wilmington, DE

Over 15 million people (roughly 5 percent of the nation’s population) rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin for drinking, agricultural and industrial use, most of which are concentrated in urban areas.

View our flyer with info about UWFP and the Delaware River Location HERE.

Goals and Initiatives

The Delaware River Location strives to, alongside community members, revitalize and remedy aging infrastructure, a history of environmental pollution, and the brunt of increasing climate change impacts on already-vulnerable communities. Priorities for the Delaware River Location include:

  • Stormwater management
  • Erosion and flooding control
  • Source water protection
  • Restoring lost habitat
  • Enhancing overall waterway health
  • Protecting community investments
  • Promoting public access, health, sustainability, and safety
  • Pursuing environmental, socioeconomic, and climate justice
  • Transforming Brownfields Sites into community assets
  • Building local capacity by empowering communities to become leaders of environmental stewardship
  • Equipping communities to be resilient and adaptable to climate change impacts

View our 2023 Workplan HERE for more information about the goals and initiatives of this location.

How do I get involved?

There are many ways to be involved as an Urban Waters partner! Do you need additional resources, letters of support, or funds for a project? Do you want to get involved in our monthly meetings?


Our workgroup meetings are made up of federal, inter-state, state, and regional non-profit organizations with a goal of sharing resources for cohesive environmental justice efforts in the region. Our next workgroup meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, 2023 from 11am-12pm Eastern Time on Zoom.


If you are community group working on a project, the UWFP Ambassador is more than happy to write you a Letter of Support from this Urban Waters location! Click HERE to download the guidelines are email the UWFP Ambassador with your letter of support request.


The Delaware River Location also has a Community Funding Program to assist with local restoration  projects such as community greening and open space revitalization. The current round of applications for awards up to $10,000 is currently closed and under review.

Please reach out to this location’s Urban Waters Ambassador, Erica Rossetti, at ERossetti@DelawareEstuary.org.

Additional resources from past meetings and from our past webinar series can be found below.

Urban Waters Meeting Resources

Meeting DateAgenda / MinutesOther Meeting Materials
August 15, 2023Minutes
July 18, 2023Minutes
June 20, 2023Minutes
May 16, 2023MinutesBlog Post: Our Shared Waters
Article: NJDEP Expanding Brownfields Partnership with Municipalities
Website: The Water Table Project
April 18, 2023Minutes
March 21, 2023Agenda
February 21, 2023Minutes
January 17, 2023Minutes
December 20, 2022Minutes
November 15, 2022Minutes2022 Community Fund Project Results
Disadvantaged Communities Definitions of the Delaware Estuary
US FWS Book Club
2023 Draft Workplan
October 18, 2022MinutesDRBC Aquatic Life Designated Use Study
NASA Develop
September 20, 2022Minutes
August 16, 2022Minutes
June 21, 2022Minutes
May 17, 2022Minutes
April 19, 2022MinutesUrban Waters in the CDRW Blog!
EPA Water Equity Mapping Pilot Project
March 15, 2022Minutes
February 15, 2022MinutesRiver Network Article: "Integrating Equity Into Integrated Water Management Planning"
December 8, 2021This meeting was dedicated to finalizing the 2022 Workplan
November 10, 2021MinutesCramer Hill Park Article
EPA Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Fact Sheet
NFWF 5 Star and Urban Waters Grants 2022 RFP
October 13, 2021Minutes
September 8, 2021Minutes
August 11, 2021Minutes
Urban Waters grant info
March 10, 2021Draft Workplan Online Feedback Form
Final Webinar Agenda
February 10, 2021MinutesDraft Workplan Online Feedback Form
Brownfields and EJ Communities of Practice Draft Webinar Series Agenda
January 13, 2021Minutes
Draft Workplan Revised Feb2021
December 2, 2020Minutes
Workplan Draft Ideas
Example Urban Waters Location Goals
November 4, 2020Minutes
October 5, 2020Minutes
September 2, 2020MinutesUrban Waters Partners Survey Feedback
July 23, 2020Agenda
Urban Youth Waterways Webinar Contacts
USFWS Urban Bird Treaty Program Guidebook
June 16, 2020Agenda

Urban Waters Futures Strategy
May 6, 2020Agenda

Webinar Series 1: Connecting Youth to Urban Waterways

Webinar #1 – Learning from from Philadelphia, and Connecting to Youth through Shad (11/2/2020)

  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum – Philadelphia, PA
    • View the presentation slides HERE
  • Discovery Center – Philadelphia, PA
    • View the presentation slides HERE
  • Brandywine River Shad Project
    • View the presentation slides HERE

Webinar #2 -Voices from Camden, New Jersey: Urban Promise and the Center for Aquatic Sciences (11/10/2020)


Webinar #3- Connecting with the Delaware Natural History Museum and the Alliance for Watershed Education (11/17/2020)


Webinar Series 2: Brownfields & Environmental Justice Communities of Practice

This virtual series provided information on environmental justice policies, present Brownfield project updates in the Urban Waters cities, and focus on community activities related to environmental justice. Click here for the detailed agenda.

Webinar #1: Environmental Justice and Urban Waters (3/25/2021)

    • Urban Waters Overview and Updates
    • Defining Environmental Justice – Delaware Community Benefits Agreement Coalition
    • Federal Perspectives on Environmental Justice (US Senator Chris Coons of Delaware Office, US EPA, US Department of the Interior, NOAA)
    • Overview of New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Legislation


Webinar #2: Urban Waters Cities Brownfields Updates (4/1/2021)

    • Philadelphia Updates from Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (South Wetlands Park, Graffiti Pier Park)
    • Camden Updates from New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Phoenix Park)
    • Wilmington Updates from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Brightfields, Inc (South Wilmington Wetlands)

Webinar #3: Environmental Justice Community Initiatives (4/8/2021)

    • Port of Wilmington Expansion / DuPont Edgemoor Brownfield Property – Delaware Community Benefits Agreement Coalition
    • Equitability of Access for Oysters – Delaware Sea Grant and Ocean Food Systems, University of New England
    • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
    • Environmental Justice on the Elizabeth River
    • Reconnecting Camden Residents to Their Historic Waterfront


Webinar Series 3: Envisioning Equitable & Sustainable Housing

This virtual series explored the state of equitable and resilient housing today, showcased local success stories, and provided a platform to bridge the gaps between communities and federal agencies so that our resources are maximized. The goal of this series was to emphasize the inclusion of collaboration and green solutions in equitably revitalizing our cities. The future can be full of green infrastructure, climate resilience, equitable accessibility, clean energy and transportation, and thriving ecosystems and economies if we connect the dots on these intersectional issues together. Click on the presentation titles under each webinar for access to the slides.

Webinar #1: Framework (1/11/2022)

Webinar #2: Local Stories (1/18/2022)

Webinar #3: Federal Response (1/25/2022)

Additional resources: