S. 654 would reauthorize the Delaware River Basin Conservation Program through fiscal year 2030. The bill also would add portions of Maryland to the definition of the Delaware River Basin and increase the federal cost-share for matching grants for small, rural, and disadvantaged communities that participate in the program.
Under the program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provides grants to state agencies and nonprofit partners for fish and wildlife habitat restoration and conservation, water quality and flow management projects, and recreational access to the Delaware River Basin. Under current law, areas defined as a part of the river basin include portions of the states of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The program’s most recent authorization expired at the end of fiscal year 2023. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act appropriated about $5 million annually through 2026 for the program.