Non-profit

Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Website:

www.delawareriverkeeper.org

Location:

BRISTOL, PA

Tax ID:

74-3255972

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $3,378,236
Expenses: $2,507,052
Assets: $2,157,785

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN) is an environmentalist nonprofit organization that promotes legislative protection of the Delaware River watershed. The organization advocates that “environmental rights” should be granted the same level of protection as the right to free speech and freedom of religion, supporting amendments to the U.S. Constitution and to state constitutions. [1]

The organization was established in 1988 and is a member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance[2] led by controversial activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. [3] The organization works in four states with the Delaware River watershed: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. [4]

The organization is known for both getting government grants and for suing government agencies. [5]

Leadership

Maya K. van Rossum is the CEO of the organization. She is the author of The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment, a manifesto supporting the Delaware Riverkeeper campaign to add “environmental rights” amendments to state constitutions and the U.S. Constitution. [6] Van Rossum has been with the organization since 1996. [7]

Chari Towne is the Delaware Riverkeeper executive director. Tracey Carluccio is the deputy director. Mary Ellen Noble is the associate director. Tim White is the chief innovation officer. Deanna Tanner is a senior attorney. Faith Zerbe is the Water Watch director. Erik Silldorff is the restoration director. [8]

Policy Agenda

Delaware Riverkeeper Network campaigns for so-called “Green Amendments” for “inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, a stable climate and healthy environments.” The organization also seeks, “self-executing, environmental rights amendments in the Bill of Rights section of every state constitution across the U.S. and ultimately at the federal level.” It runs the Green Amendments for the Generation campaign to promote their adoption. [9]

The organization opposes natural gas development in the Delaware River. [10]

Although the organization claims to limit its focus to issues affecting the Delaware River watershed, it has expanded into other environmental matters. In the Middlesex Township, 200 miles outside the Delaware River Basin, the organization opposed a natural gas project that reportedly had no clear connection to the river. [11]

Revenue Sources

In 2014 the organization reportedly got $104,834 in government grants. [12]

Among the donors to the organization are the environmentalist-aligned Claneil Foundation, which gave a three-year $45,000 grant from 2017 to 2020. [13]

The Berks County Community Foundation in Pennsylvania also contributed to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. [14]

Other major donors to the organization included the left-leaning William Penn Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Wallace Research Foundation, and the Woodtiger Fund. [15]

Delaware Riverkeeper’s 2014 tax documents show that more than half of the group’s expenses, $1.18 million, were spent on salaries. [16]

Litigation

Delaware Riverkeeper has an active litigation program and has sued numerous federal agencies. The organization sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2014, 2016 and 2017, losing each case. FERC approves energy projects, such as drilling and pipeline applications, and DRN sued to stop the projects. Among the arguments used in the lawsuits allege that FERC has a conflict of interest because it if funded in part through fees paid by the energy companies. [17]

The DRN has sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for approving a liquified natural gas project. [18] The group has also sued the Environmental Protection Agency to try to push the agency to take action. [19]

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network lost a 2017 case to Soil Safe, a soil recycling company. U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb seemed to question the motivations of the lawsuit in her 80 page opinion. DRN claimed Soil Safe was contaminating the river. In the course of the case, the defendants argued a consultant with a competitor company, Clean Earth, played a role in the genesis of lawsuit. An anonymous gift of $205,000 was made to the DRN at about the time the litigation began. Though not the crux of the ruling, Judge Bumb reportedly took it seriously enough to mention in the opinion. [20]

References

  1. “Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum Honored With ‘Woman of Delaware Watershed’ Award.” Bucks Local News. April 19, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.buckslocalnews.com/lifestyle/delaware-riverkeeper-maya-van-rossum-honored-with-woman-of-the-delaware-watershed-award/article_9eb7ddb6-e497-5eb7-920b-cb3a1095eee8.html#:~:text=BRISTOL%20BOROUGH%20%3E%3E%20Maya%20van%20Rossum,and%20work%20protecting%20the%20watershed. ^
  2. “Delaware Riverkeeper.” Waterkeeper. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://waterkeeper.org/waterkeeper/?title=delaware-riverkeeper. ^
  3. “Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,” Waterkeeper Alliance, July 29, 2019. https://waterkeeper.org/staff/robert-f-kennedy-jr/. ^
  4. Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Charity Navigator. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=17339 ^
  5. Mundahl, Erin. “Taxpayer-Backed Delaware Riverkeeper Network Sues FERC Again, Faces Rebuke From Judge Again.” Inside Sources. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.insidesources.com/who-is-the-delaware-riverkeeper-network-and-why-did-they-sue-ferc/ ^
  6. Maya K. Van Rossum. Accessed July 24, 2020. http://www.mayavanrossum.green/ ^
  7. “Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum Honored With ‘Woman of Delaware Watershed’ Award.” Bucks Local News. April 19, 2018. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.buckslocalnews.com/lifestyle/delaware-riverkeeper-maya-van-rossum-honored-with-woman-of-the-delaware-watershed-award/article_9eb7ddb6-e497-5eb7-920b-cb3a1095eee8.html#:~:text=BRISTOL%20BOROUGH%20%3E%3E%20Maya%20van%20Rossum,and%20work%20protecting%20the%20watershed. ^
  8. Staff Directory. Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Accessed July 24, 2020. ^
  9. About. For the Generations. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://forthegenerations.org/about-for-the-generations/ ^
  10. Delaware Riverkeeper Network. LinkedIn. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/company/delaware-riverkeeper-network/about/ ^
  11. “Who Else Finances The Delaware Riverkeeper And Why?” Wayne-Pike News. September 19, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. http://waynepikenews.com/who-else-finances-the-delaware-riverkeeper-and-why-p116-166.htm ^
  12. Mundahl, Erin. “Taxpayer-Backed Delaware Riverkeeper Network Sues FERC Again, Faces Rebuke From Judge Again.” Inside Sources. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.insidesources.com/who-is-the-delaware-riverkeeper-network-and-why-did-they-sue-ferc/ ^
  13. Delaware Riverkeeper Network. Claneil Foundation. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.claneilfoundation.org/grantees/delaware-riverkeeper-network ^
  14. Mekeel, David. “3 Environmental Efforts Receive Grants Through Berks Country Community Foundation.” Reading Eagle. June 11, 2020. https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/3-environmental-efforts-receive-grants-through-berks-county-community-foundation/article_b97e662e-ac09-11ea-b03b-d3218360bb10.html ^
  15. Mundahl, Erin. “Taxpayer-Backed Delaware Riverkeeper Network Sues FERC Again, Faces Rebuke From Judge Again.” Inside Sources. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.insidesources.com/who-is-the-delaware-riverkeeper-network-and-why-did-they-sue-ferc/ ^
  16. Mundahl, Erin. “Taxpayer-Backed Delaware Riverkeeper Network Sues FERC Again, Faces Rebuke From Judge Again.” Inside Sources. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.insidesources.com/who-is-the-delaware-riverkeeper-network-and-why-did-they-sue-ferc/ ^
  17. Mundahl, Erin. “Taxpayer-Backed Delaware Riverkeeper Network Sues FERC Again, Faces Rebuke From Judge Again.” Inside Sources. March 24, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.insidesources.com/who-is-the-delaware-riverkeeper-network-and-why-did-they-sue-ferc/ ^
  18. “Del. Riverkeeper Says Corps’ LNG Plant Approval Was Flawed.” Law360. April 23, 2020. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.law360.com/articles/1266589/del-riverkeeper-says-corps-lng-plant-approval-was-flawed ^
  19. “Green Group Challenges EPA Water Permit Limitations.” Law360. July 14, 2020. Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.law360.com/articles/1291797/green-group-challenges-epa-water-permit-limitations ^
  20. “Who Else Finances The Delaware Riverkeeper And Why?” Wayne-Pike News. September 19, 2017. Accessed July 24, 2020. http://waynepikenews.com/who-else-finances-the-delaware-riverkeeper-and-why-p116-166.htm ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. Protect NEPA

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2009

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $3,378,236 $2,507,052 $2,157,785 $144,512 N $3,322,225 $55,458 $2,372 $87,854 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,062,448 $2,931,825 $1,404,174 $262,085 N $1,909,450 $154,521 $2,900 $87,865
    2015 Dec Form 990 $3,645,837 $2,570,212 $2,182,566 $171,100 N $3,577,848 $75,056 $1,267 $87,119 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,142,787 $2,383,028 $1,115,659 $179,818 N $2,070,752 $72,908 $2,867 $84,966 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $2,048,435 $1,775,437 $1,266,797 $624,686 N $1,967,526 $43,645 $1,730 $75,155 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,030,693 $1,995,266 $974,786 $728,357 N $1,953,569 $27,001 $2,292 $73,801 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,294,439 $1,491,440 $1,106,341 $895,339 N $1,257,534 $29,068 $2,848 $122,057 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Delaware Riverkeeper Network

    925 CANAL ST STE 3701
    BRISTOL, PA 19007-3949