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Public Health and Safety Considerations for Recreation in the Urban Delaware River

  • 12 Jan 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • 12


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed
Public Health and Safety Considerations for Recreation in the Urban Delaware River

Presented by: Jay Cruz and Kelly Anderson
Philadelphia Water Department


Increased public interest in outdoor activities has been one of the side effects of measures put in place to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past three years, various groups have advocated for increased aquatic recreation use within the urban Delaware River, not only to provide increased recreation opportunities, but also to address environmental justice concerns. However, this area is affected by frequent discharges of combined sewage and untreated stormwater, which present risks to public health. Moreover, as a busy working port with large tidal oscillations and strong currents, the Delaware River has numerous physical and marine activity-related hazards which constitute serious safety concerns for activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. 

Since 2019, Regulatory agencies and PWD have increased monitoring efforts to better characterize the spatial and temporal patterns of fecal indicator bacteria. This presentation will include an overview of the science, preliminary results, and public health implications of recent water quality monitoring activities in the urban Delaware River. PWD has also been gathering safety-related information from the Maritime community, as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to better understand the factors that affect public safety.  An overview of PWD's ongoing safety study will also be presented.


Kelly Anderson is the Program Manager of the Water Resources Planning & Protection Programs at Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). Climate Change Adaptation, Water Quality Compliance Modeling, Source Water Protection, and Watershed Field Services are all under her supervision. PWD has an extensive water resources protection program that focuses on using sound, actionable science and advanced technical planning tools to actively monitor, manage and coordinate the necessary programs that best protect the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, the sources of the City of Philadelphia's drinking water supply. Kelly’s team is also responsible for managing and assessing risks to the watershed, developing watershed assessments, informing capital infrastructure projects, working closely with watershed and regional stakeholders, and evaluating water policies and their implications on PWD’s watersheds. Kelly started with PWD in 2005, after graduating from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and is currently a program fellow at Duke University’s Water Innovation and Leadership Development Program.

Jay Cruz is an environmental scientist in PWD's Office of Watersheds. He has more than 20 years of experience collecting and analyzing water quality and stormwater BMP performance data. His primary research interest is finding cost-effective solutions to water pollution problems and restoring ecological conditions in urban rivers and streams. He represents the municipal sector on DRBC's Water Quality and Toxics Advisory Committees, and is an active member of the Delaware Estuary PCB TMDL Coalition. Jay received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology from Bridgewater State University and West Chester University.   


This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate).  

Please note: Presentation is to be given through Zoom at the link below. PDH's will be issued through PDFs. Please allow extra time to register through Zoom and get software set up. Presentation will start at noon. Early participants will be in a Waiting Room until noon. Participants must email to request PDH Certificate after the event.

Presentation at

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