Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

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Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, preserves almost of land along the Delaware River's New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores, stretching from the Delaware Water Gap northward almost to the New York state line. Middle Delaware National Scenic River is a designated section of the river entirely within the recreation area.

The park was originally conceived as part of a plan to build a dam on the Delaware River at Tocks Island, just north of the Water Gap. This dam would control water levels for flood control and hydroelectric power generation and create a 37 mile lake in the center of present park for use as a reservoir. Starting in 1960, the present day area of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area was acquired for the Army Corps of Engineers through eminent domain. Between 3,000 and 5,000 dwellings were demolished, including historical sites, and about 15,000 people were displaced by the project. Because of massive environmental opposition, dwindling funds, and an unacceptable geological assessment of the dam's safety, the government transferred the property to the National Park Service in 1978. The National Park Service found itself as the caretaker of the previously endangered territory, and with the help of the federal government and surrounding communities, developed recreational facilities and worked to preserve the remaining historical structures.Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (p....
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