Tidal Delaware River Ambassador

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What is a River Ambassador?
Ambassadors are leaders who care about the Delaware River and want to share their enthusiasm, experiences and knowledge with others. The ambassador program is similar to a docent program used by museums, zoos and historical societies. By sharing their expertise, they help improve the public’s experience of the Delaware River.

What does a River Ambassador do?
River Ambassadors will help educate people about the Tidal Delaware River (Morrisville/Trenton to Marcus Hook), and will help plan/lead trips, tours, and other activities along the river. Ambassadors show their friends, colleagues and the community the importance of the Delaware River as a natural and historic resource, encourage recreational use of the Delaware River, and help steward the River.

River Ambassadors will be asked to organize and plan 3-5 activities per year.

What qualifications does a River Ambassador need to have?

The most important qualification is a desire to share knowledge and experiences on the Delaware River. Desired skills differ depending on how you want to be involved. For example, someone who wants to participate by giving presentations or tabling at events should have some public speaking skills. Someone who wants to organize outings should have some event planning or organizational experience.

River Ambassadors do NOT need to experts on anything.  River Ambassadors will go through a training program where they will learn from guest speakers and local experts. Topics will include history, ecological restoration, recreation opportunities, waterfront redevelopment, wildlife and others.


River Ambassadors will be asked to organize and plan 3-5 activities per year.  Potential activities could include:

  • Organizing clean ups at a riverfront boat launch or park
  • Making presentations about the river’s ecology, history or recreation to a boat club, community organization, school, church, etc.
  • Organizing walking or birding tours along the riverfront; or organizing a boating outing or fishing trip.
  • Tabling (setting up display and handing out info) for the Tidal Delaware River at community events such as the Delaware County Riverfront Ramble, Delaware River Day, Coast Day, Go Green Expo, Philadelphia Boat Show, Outdoors Sports Expo, etc.
  • Volunteering at Paddle Penn's Landing
  • Organizing training session for people who want to learn more about outdoor photography, geocaching, navigation skills, or other boating/paddling skills
  • Training future River Ambassadors!

Ambassador graduation aboard the Philadelphia Belle

How do I become a River Ambassador?

  1. Complete the online registration form noting your contact info, experience, interest in the Delaware River.
  2. Participate in a telephone interview so we can learn a little more about you and how you’d like to participate. 
  3. Register by Sept. 30th for this year's River Ambassador training sessions. Applicants will be notified if they have been selected by Oct. 19th.
  4. Selected applicants will:
  • Pay a $75 registration fee
  • Attend a 6-8 week training session (1-2 absences allowed). Sessions will be about 2 hours bi-weekly.
  • Take the “final exam,” which involves scheduling and hosting your first presentation, tour or other “in the field” activity.
What are the training topics?
Ambassador training will include presentations by local experts on topics such as history, ecology/wildlife, recreation, human impacts (watersheds, invasives, green infrastructure), and policies/planning as it relates to the Tidal Delaware River. The training features guest presenters who are leaders in their fields, and each training session is conducted at a unique point of interest along the river (Pennsbury Manor, Palmyra Cove, Heinz National Wildlife Refuge).

Ambassadors tour Fort Mifflin during a training session

Whatare the benefits of being a River Ambassador?
Ambassadors have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the Delaware River and pass their insight and enthusiasm on to others. River Ambassadors who successfully complete the program will be recognized as leaders and have the opportunity to share their expertise with others. Additionally, Ambassadors who complete the training program may participate for free on one day of the Delaware River Sojourn.

What is PEC and why are they doing this?
For more than 40 years, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council has been one of the state’s most respected voices for environmental policy and a sought-after partner for on-the-ground projects. Our mission is to protect and restore the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy. PEC believes in the value of partnerships with the private sector, government, communities and individuals to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.

Part of PEC’s work involves connecting people to their environment through recreation. PEC created the Tidal Delaware River Water Trail map (www.tidaltrail.org), a guide to boat launches, amenities and things to do and see on the Delaware River from Trenton/Morrisville to Marcus Hook.  PEC also created the Paddle Penn’s Landing program, which provides and introductory kayaking opportunity for Philadelphia residents and visitors.  PEC believes that people who use and enjoy our natural resources will become better environmental stewards.

How does PEC support the River Ambassador Program?
PEC runs this program to help increase recreational use and stewardship of the Tidal Delaware River. PEC is recruiting ambassadors, establishing the curriculum, and managing the volunteers.

PEC will provide training and educational materials to Ambassadors (presentations, handouts, videos, etc.). PEC will also provide on-going support to Ambassadors as they organize activities. Funding from this program is provided by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, CIGNA, DuPont Clear Into the Future and the William Penn Foundation.