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DLNHC Launches 'Take Action' Campaign, Encourages Advocacy to Improve D&L Trail | WDIY Local News

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Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor

A newly-launched action campaign seeks to encourage advocacy and engagement along a major trail running through the Lehigh Valley.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor launched its new “Take Action” campaign on Monday.

According to a release, the campaign will provide resources for D&L Trail users to advocate for closing trail gaps and improving water quality within the National Heritage Area.

It also aims to “cultivate heightened levels of activity, engagement and ownership among individuals affected by the remarkable natural, historical, and cultural resources of the DLNHC.”

The initiative’s webpage provides an overview of the different topics and issues the Take Action campaign seeks to address, as well as additional background information.

It notes that there are 30 miles of gaps along the D&L Trail, which would take an estimated $42 million to close.

Regarding water quality, the DLNHC said that 22% of streams in the Lehigh Watershed – one of five watersheds in the corridor – are impaired.

It also noted that the Lehigh River was also recently named as one of the nation’s most “endangered” rivers by the conservation organization American Rivers.

The corridor includes parts of the Lehigh River, Chesapeake, Upper Susquehanna-Lackawanna, and Schuylkill River watersheds, as well as the Delaware River Basin. It is home to over 3,000 total stream miles, and 132 miles of canal.

“The D&L Trail is visited over a quarter million times a year, and almost 60% (83 miles) of D&L Trail is within 100 feet of a stream or river,” Brit Kondravy, DLNHC Conservation Coordinator and External Lead for the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape, said in a statement.

“Our past research has shown that these visitors are willing to do more than visit. They are willing to become a participating member of an organization that supports trails and/or water quality. They just need someone to help make those connections."

As part of its advocacy goal, the campaign provides letter templates, information on how to contact legislators or attend public meetings, as well as ways to get involved with local watershed associations or the DLNHC, among other resources.

“The Take Action website highlights local watershed associations, riparian buffer planting opportunities, land conservation efforts, and Master Watershed Steward trainings through partners such as Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, Wildlands Conservancy, and Penn State Extension,” Kondravy said.

“In this way the LVG Partnership reinforces the DLNHC’s call to take action and amplifies trail users’ ability to do so.”

The D&L Trail currently stretches for over 140 miles, and spans across five counties, from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol.

(Original air-date: 7/20/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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