The National Audubon Society and Audubon Pennsylvania launched, on Jan. 31, the Brewers for the Delaware River Association, a coalition of craft brewers in the Delaware River Watershed united to promote the protection of the watershed as a reliable, clean water source that benefits the people, birds and communities of the region.

“Birds, people and brewers all rely on clean water to survive,” said Julie Hill-Gabriel, vice president of water conservation at the National Audubon Society. “Teaming up with local brewers throughout the Delaware River Watershed will not only bolster Audubon’s efforts to preserve the home of more than 400 bird species — like red-headed woodpeckers, sanderlings and red knots; but it also inspires economic growth for local businesses and industries that depend on the health of the watershed and its water.”

Making up at least 90 percent of beer, water is an essential ingredient that gives each brew a uniqueness that depends on the quality of the water in each local community. The newly formed coalition joined forces under a shared concern of preserving a steady supply of clean water from Delaware River Watershed, which provides drinking water for more than 15 million Americans across four Atlantic states: Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

In addition to providing reliable, clean water for birds, people and the brewing industry in the region, the watershed encompasses more than 13,500 square miles of land across Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, including various forests, 400 miles of designated National Wild and Scenic Rivers and 700,000 acres of wetland habitat. Economically, it is a driver of more than $25 billion in annual activity, $21 billion in ecosystem goods and services each year and contributes 600,000 jobs and $10 billion in annual wages to the economy.

In January, the National Audubon Society delivered a joint letter signed by 12 breweries from the Delaware River Watershed to the 116th U.S. Congress, urging members to support the watershed and the small businesses that rely on it for economic success. The signees called for congressional members’ support by providing robust funding for the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program in years to come.

To date, members of the Brewers of the Delaware River Association include 2SP Brewing Co., Baba’s Brew, Bangor Trust Brewing, Bonn Place Brewing Co., Flying Fish Brewing Co., Goose Island Brewhouse Philadelphia, Newtown Brewing Co., Shrewd Fox Brewery, Tannery Run Brew Works, Tuned Up Brewing Co. and Zed’s Beer Bado Brewing.

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