Maya K. van Rossum is a veteran environmentalist who joined the Delaware
Riverkeeper Network in 1994 as executive director and since 1996 has served
as the Delaware Riverkeeper, championing the rights of over 17 million
people to a freeflowing, clean, and healthy Delaware River and its
In her role as the Delaware Riverkeeper, Maya has dedicated her life to
being the “voice of the Delaware River.” She has taken on industry,
government, and even the U.S. Army; preventing harm to the River,
communities, and environments she bravely champions. Maya and her
organization were the only environmental petitioners in the landmark
Robinson Township, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et al. v. Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania case. The case, decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in
2013, breathed life into the state’s Environmental Rights Amendment for
protecting the right to pure water, clean air, and a healthy environment.
She is a licensed attorney in three states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
the District of Columbia. Since 2002, Maya has served as an adjunct
professor and director of the Environmental Law Clinic, which she founded,
at Temple’s Beasley School of Law. In 2013, Maya testified before the U.S.
House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee opposing a bill that
would make it easier to approve fracked gas pipeline projects cutting
through creeks, rivers, communities, wetlands, forests, and farmlands. In
2000, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on
Resources regarding wild and scenic designation for the lower Delaware
In addition to her own book, The Green Amendment, Maya has authored
forewords for Damming the Delaware: The Rise and Fall of Tocks Island Dam
by Richard Albert, and A Paddler’s Guide to the Delaware River by Gary
Letcher. Maya grew up in the Delaware River watershed, playing in Ithan
Creek, a tributary to the Darby, which is a tributary to the Delaware.
After law school she returned to the Delaware River watershed to take on
the role of fighting to protect it, along with each and every tributary
stream including her beloved Ithan Creek.
Gay Nicholson, Ph.D.
309 N. Aurora St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-533-7312 (home office)
607-272-1720 (ST office)
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