Preserving natural resources for future generationsWe must be careful stewards of our precious natural resources, ensuring that we can leave clean air, clean water, and healthy, vibrant ecosystems to our children. We are blessed in Delaware with lands, waterways, and wildlife that continue to be a source of pride, including our coastal ecosystems and those of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Senator Coons is working with the rest of our state’s Congressional delegation to ensure that Delaware’s open spaces, waterways, and wildlife are protected so that they may be enjoyed by future generations.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senator Coons’ environmental priorities include:
- Advancing the Michael N. Castle Trail at the C&D Canal. The Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal is bordered by a stretch of flat, uninterrupted land, creating a unique and safe environment for recreationists. In 2004, former Congressman Mike Castle saw these assets as an ideal opportunity to enhance the canal’s existing resources by adding a recreational trail. Senator Coons has worked tirelessly since he came to the Senate to make Congressman Castle’s vision a reality. With the support of the delegation, the state, and the Federal Highway Administration, in July 2012, Senator Coons was there as the Delaware Department of Transportation broke ground on Phase I of the trail. In honor of Congressman Castle’s long-time support of trails in Delaware, Senator Coons and the delegation dedicated the trail to him, naming it the “Michael N. Castle Trail at the C&D Canal."
- Promoting conservation and our sportsmen’s heritage. Senator Coons is a leading advocate for conservation programs that help protect wildlife and habitat, water quality, and open space on agricultural lands. Additionally, he is a cosponsor of the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, which would secure permanent funding to protect land and waterways of state and national importance. Senator Coons is a co-sponsor of the Migratory Bird Habitat Investment and Enhancement Act, which allows for an increase in the price of the Duck Stamp and subsequently greater revenue for conservation programs that protect wildlife habitat across the country. He is also a cosponsor of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, which supports partnership efforts to protect habitat for waterfowl, fish, and wildlife.
- Creating the First State National Historic Park. Delaware remains the only state in the nation without a national park. With our rich history and contributions to American life, Senator Coons believes Delaware should host the First State National Historic Park. He is supportive of Senator Carper’s tireless efforts to bring a national park to Delaware, and has cosponsored of legislation to do so. Senator Coons is also excited about the opportunity to include the 1,100-acre Woodlawn property along the historic Brandywine River in the national park proposal. He will continue to work with Senator Carper, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service, the Conservation Fund, and others to establish the first national park in Delaware.
- Restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay and its watershed sustain millions of lives and jobs in our region. Yet the Chesapeake Bay is in decline, and Senator Coons knows we need to take significant action to restore its ecological health and sustain its vital role in our regional economy. We must ensure that the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including Delaware, can benefit from this natural resource for generations to come. This will require cooperation and efforts from everyone in the watershed, including cities, suburbs, towns, and rural communities, as well as sustained investment from the federal government to ensure we can meet our goals.
- Supporting alternative energy solutions. Senator Coons believes we must invest in an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes clean energy solutions such as wind, solar, and biofuels that do not put the environment at risk. As we invest in growing a 21st century advanced manufacturing economy, we must focus as well on incentivizing clean energy manufacturing, of which Delaware is already an early leader.