↑ Return to About Us

Mission, Vision & Goals

Mission

The mission of the Christina Conservancy is to promote the preservation, restoration, and conservation of the historic and natural resources of the Christina River watershed.The Conservancy seeks to achieve this mission by providing financial support, advocacy support, communication, education, and vision and leadership in partnership with state and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, businesses, residents, homeowners, landowners, and user groups to:

  • Provide appropriate and responsible access to the river and associated natural areas;
  • Reduce water pollution to the Christina River and its tributaries;
  • Protect and enhance important natural and heritage areas in the watershed; and
  • Engage and involve people in stewardship of the watershed

Vision

The Christina Conservancy envisions a Christina River and watershed with clean waters and healthy natural areas to support abundant fish and wildlife and ample opportunities for recreation and enjoyment by people, thanks to the good stewardship of residents and landowners, and effective regulation and management by agencies. The Christina Conservancy recognizes the importance of partnerships and appropriate land use to achieving this vision.

The Christina Conservancy envisions itself as a healthy, vibrant, grass-roots organization with the capacity to facilitate and support the actions needed by state and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, residents, homeowners, landowners, and user groups to make its vision for the watershed a reality.

Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

Water Quality Goal:  Improved water quality in the Christina River and its tributaries with a focus on the main stem.

Objectives:

  1. A measurable reduction in water pollution in the main stem Christina River between 2010 and 2015 based on best available data/information.
  2. Achievement of the fishable and swimmable standards in the main stem of the Christina River by 2100.

Strategies:

  1. Establish a baseline of water quality in the Christina River using existing information from other groups (including the University of Delaware Water Resources Agency).
  2. Develop partnerships with the entities working on TMDLs (nitrogen, phosphorous, bacteria) to identify and pursue opportunities for filling funding gaps, providing advocacy support, and collaborating on education and outreach about water quality.
  3. Meet with the entities working on point sources/PCBs (EPA, States, County, City, DRBC) and identify ways to support their reduction through advocacy, funding, education.
  4. Provide annual water quality information/education to key audiences (such as landowners, the press, volunteers) through the web (linking to existing partner websites), materials (including the newsletter), and one-on-one.
  5. Where opportunities arise, support/promote priority projects and partners’ efforts to reduce water pollution in the watershed.

Natural Areas Goal: To facilitate increased protection, ecological restoration, and/or enhancement of natural areas within the watershed.

 Objectives:

  1. Measurable increases in the amount, quality, and protection of priority natural areas in the watershed (especially wetlands and riparian forests.)

 Strategies:

  1. Establish a baseline of priority natural areas in the watershed using existing information from other groups (including DNS, NCC, and DNREC)
  2. Plan and utilize the Christina Cleanup sites (present and future) to explore the idea of performing bio-blitzes along the riparian corridor that would engage volunteers and experts to assess conditions, opportunities and challenges (with a focus on invasive species.)
  3. Establish and maintain partnerships with one or more of the primary groups that do land protection and management ( such as DNS, Brandywine Conservancy, TNC, TCF, NCC, and other public agencies) to find ways to assist/support them in their work in the Christina Basin.
  4. Identify and contact priority landowners about ways they can help improve the health of the watershed (land protection, removing junk, removing invasives) and who can help, using the newsletter, landowner fact sheets, and the annual meeting where feasible and appropriate for this purpose.
  5. Advocate at the state/local level for land preservation funding and natural area protection/enhancement (including setback/buffers) and adoption/enforcement of associated laws/regulations.
  6. Promote/assist in the protection/enhancement of natural areas at Dayett Mills as a model/demonstration.

Community Engagement Goal: To engage residents and landowners in the stewardship of watershed resources.

Objectives:

  1. Increase participation in the Christina River Cleanup and/or other Christina Conservancy events.
  2. Increase Christina Conservancy donorship and membership.
  3. Increase understanding using a variety of outreach tools.

Strategies:

  1. Establish a stronger online presence for the Christina Conservancy:
    1. Explore the opportunity to use the Christina Cleanup website to establish a full-time online presence with accountability for maintenance.
    2. Develop web communications/content based on assessment of capacity and needs, including links to water quality information and information on invasives where appropriate and feasible.
    3. Redesign the Christina Conservancy brochure and develop a plan for using it (and other tools?) to recruit new members/donors.
    4. Utilize annual meetings to help relay key messages and engage members/donors, primarily by using expert speakers on topics related to water quality, land stewardship, and responsible access.
    5. Continue and grow the Christina Cleanup as a means for engaging people and improving natural areas.
    6. Develop and implement a plan for managing/growing the Edward W. Cooch, Jr. Scholarship fund for environmental education.
    7. Explore ways to utilize Dayett Mills and DEEC to engage key audiences (donors, collaborators, and other key audiences).
    8. Re-think/design annual newsletter to address key needs and audiences (including those identified in this strategic plan) and consider new materials where needed.

Community Access Goal: To promote responsible access to and connectivity between river corridors and associated lands.

Objectives:

  1. Increase opportunities for river access.
  2. Discourage levels/types of recreational activities that are harmful to water quality, natural areas and/or wildlife.

Strategies:

  1. Plan and utilize the Christina Cleanup sites (present and future) to explore the idea of performing bio-blitzes along the riparian corridor that would engage volunteers and experts to assess conditions, opportunities and challenges (with a focus on access.)
  2. Establish a baseline for access using existing information from other groups (including New Castle County) to identify and map where access is existing/desirable/undesirable.
  3. Utilize plan/process/result to invite participation, get press, and increase awareness, using the website, newsletter, and other materials/tools where appropriate and feasible.
  4. Utilize plan/process/results to promote/advocate/support increase appropriate access.
  5. Where opportunities arise, support/promote priority projects and partners’ efforts to increase appropriate access in the watershed.
  6. Work with the Conservation District to develop and maintain an accessible canoe trail.