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Petty’s Island Saved from Development

In 2009, after many years of advocacy, citizen action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network community leadership, and debate, we marked as a victory the preservation of Petty’s Island. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network and its partners in the Save Petty’s Island Coalition were able to convince the decision-makers at the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust to vote at their January meeting to accept the donation of the island from CITGO Petroleum, the island’s owner. The beneficiaries of this action include the River, wildlife – including nesting bald eagles – and everyone in the Greater Philadelphia region.  Now, Petty’s Island will be preserved as open space, a 392-acre refuge located between Philadelphia and Camden. With the exception of a small office building that will be used for educational programs, all the tanks, piping, parking lots that now exist on Petty’s island will be removed. Contamination will be cleaned up and restored to healthy forest and meadow ecosystems. 

DRN has come out in early 2010 supporting DEP Commissioner Martin’s strong postion in the state’s litigation against the developer’s avian consultant who is accused of harassing the island’s resident Bald eagle chick resulting in the death of the bird.  DRN continues to follow this important case in that it sets a precedence for threatened and endangered species protection in the state.