Supporting the Natural and Cultural Resources along the Delaware River and Its Tributaries

Our Shared Waters – A History of Improving Water Quality though Partnership

Our Shared Waters – A History of Improving Water Quality though Partnership

A Virtual Lecture by Elizabeth Koniers Brown

A Delaware River Heritage Lecture Sponsored by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP)

Free Preregistration Required.

Pollution in the Delaware River, particularly in the tidal reaches of its urban centers, was recognized as a problem as early as the 1700s. Sewage was dumped into the rivers and streams, breeding bacteria and consuming oxygen in the water. This caused waterborne illnesses and fish kills. Pollution continued to be a serious issue over the next 200 years, due to rapid population growth, increased industrial activity, and other factors.

JFKsignToday we know the Delaware River is cleaner than ever. In fact, its cleanup is hailed as one of the world's top water quality success stories. But what’s the backstory? The history of the Delaware River Basin Commission is a story of shared water resource management, the benefits of which we enjoy today. President John F. Kennedy and the four Basin state governors created the Country’s First Federal/Interstate Water Resources Agency, the DRBC, in 1961 with the passage of the Delaware River Basin Compact. The Compact is both federal law and state law in each of our basin states. President Kennedy called it a “bold venture,” while recognizing the “task set for the Commission will not be easy to achieve…”

The river still faces challenges to its sustainability, and today the DRBC works to ensure water security for over 13 million people in four states by: improving and protecting water quality; ensuring water availability for all the diverse water users in the Basin; planning and adapting to ensure resiliency and address the challenges of extreme weather, extreme flows (droughts and floods) and climate change; and addressing water equity for the diverse communities that rely on the waters of the Basin.

shadseiningPhilipsburgNJDRBCThe lecture will highlight the Delaware River Basin Commission’s work managing and improving our shared water resources today, the state of our basin, and the many stakeholder groups and partners who support its continued sustainability now and for future generations.


Elizabeth "Beth" Koniers Brown is the Director, External Affairs and Communications for the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a federal-interstate agency created in 1961 by compact legislation signed into law by President Kennedy and the governors of the four basin states with land draining to the Delaware River. She is responsible for developing, maintaining, and leveraging DRBC relationships with key stakeholders, as well as development and implementation of the Commission’s external and internal communications and outreach strategy and objectives.

Beth brings over 15 years of experience and deep knowledge of the Delaware River Basin and the environmental field to her role at the Commission. Most recently, Beth led the National Audubon Society’s Delaware River Watershed program, driving its significant growth and impact. Based in Philadelphia and working throughout the Basin, the program brings together public policy, on-the-ground conservation projects, and community engagement.

EKBDuring her time at Audubon, Beth served on the DRBC's Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Monitoring Advisory and Coordination Committee, advised Drexel University’s Climate Research Agenda, drove the creation of a Delaware River Watershed Congressional Caucus, led the growth of Audubon’s Brewers for the Delaware River and lent a key voice to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s new Delaware River Watershed Conservation Collaborative.
Beth was a former managing editor with Thomson Reuters. During her tenure she oversaw a suite of products for environmental and energy law practitioners and worked with partners at CQ Roll Call, Reuters Legal, and more.
She began her career in private law practice focused on complex environmental and commercial issues, in-house at an environmental nonprofit and as an adjunct professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law.
Beth holds a B.S. in biology from Muhlenberg College and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.
Outside of work, Beth is an avid runner and hiker. She loves reading and serves on the board of her local public library.


This talk, one in a series, open to the public and free of charge, is sponsored by the Delaware River Greenway Partnership (DRGP) about different aspects of the cultural, recreational, and natural heritage of the Delaware River. An environmental nonprofit, DRGP supports the Delaware River Scenic Byway, the Lower Delaware Wild & Scenic River, the Delaware River Water Trail, and the Delaware River Heritage Trail.

Registration Link:
After registering, meeting link information will appear below the lecture description. Registrants will also be emailed a confirmation and lecture reminders.



Event Date 01-18-2023 7:00 pm
Location Virtual/Online
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