Report Confirms Delaware Water Hole Nationwide Recreation Space Is Financial Powerhouse for NJ, PA Communities · Nationwide Parks Conservation Affiliation

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New research commissioned by the NPCA reveals that the park creates tremendous economic opportunity for local businesses and helps support the unique character of the Delaware River Basin.

Today, the National Parks Conservation Association is proud to announce new research showing that the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area generated over $235 million for local businesses in 2021.

This new tax impact analysis report was developed by NPCA in collaboration with economic development consultants Jon Stover and Associates. It follows a 2015 study using the same methodology. This 2021 update shows millions of dollars in revenue growth for businesses and communities in Sussex and Warren counties in New Jersey, and Monroe, Northampton and Pike counties in Pennsylvania.

“Every year, visitors from across the country flock to this national park and the cities and communities that support it. This new study demonstrates that the park creates tremendous economic opportunity for local businesses and helps support the unique character of the Delaware River Basin.” Said Ed Stierli, Senior Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association.

“We hope policymakers will take note of the thriving local businesses that work every day to build this outdoor leisure and tourism industry and attract diverse visitors to this unique place.” Stierli continued.

“Together we must protect these communities, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and protected areas along the Delaware River from any disparate industrial development that threatens them. The park clearly provides revenue for the local communities, but the beautiful rapids and other natural resources make it priceless.”

Once touted as a scenic wonder of the world, the Delaware Water Gap is a mile-long stretch of the Middle Delaware River that bisects two mountains. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area encompasses the river and 67,000 acres of pristine forested acres where visitors can hike, camp, fish and enjoy water sports on one of the cleanest rivers in the country.

“The data proves that the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area continues to be an economic engine for the region.” Said Leslie Gray, vice president at Jon Stover and Associates. “A thriving outdoor recreation industry and federally protected natural resources are a major benefit to surrounding local businesses and vibrant downtown areas that support quality jobs and growing tax revenues.”

“This report demonstrates that ensuring that visitors have access to the scenic wonders and immense recreational opportunities that the Delaware River offers pays well to hard-working local businesses.” Said Timothy Leonard, Northeast Outreach and Engagement Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association.

“But we know from experience that people don’t just come to our national parks because of the unique views or the leisure opportunities. They come because park staff and local communities make them feel welcome.” Leonhard continued.

“Therefore, it is paramount that policymakers work to provide adequate funding for a fully populated, thriving Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area that serves visitors of all backgrounds. This park is proof that if you take a beautiful place and work hard to preserve its natural character for all, people will come.”

View a summary of the report here.

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About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the non-partisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in protecting our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspiring places for future generations. For more information visit www.npca.org