The health of the river basin affects both beer and birds.
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What do beers and birds have in common? Though we could probably brainstorm plenty of silly answers like “they both give you a headache when they wake you up in the morning,” here’s a practical answer: water. Beer is over 90 percent water, making a steady stream of potable water a necessity in any brewery. And speaking of streams, watersheds serve as the habitat for all sorts of species of birds. So in a sensible but somewhat unexpected partnership, the National Audubon Society has launched a group called Brewers for the Delaware River Association to protect a mutual interest of birds and beers — the health of the Delaware River Watershed.

Over a dozen brewers in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have joined the group to help petition Congress “to continue to support restoration and conservation efforts in the Delaware River Basin.” The Shrewd Fox, Flying Fish, Crooked Eye, Braeloch, Bangor Trust, Bonn Place, Tuned Up, Newtown, EARTH-Bread+Brewery, Tannery Run, Lost Tavern, and Conshohocken breweries all signed the letter, according to Craft Beer & Brewing. A press release from Audubon says that other breweries have also joined the group — 2SP, Baba’s, Goose Island Brewhouse Philadelphia, and Zed’s Beer Bado — and they hope more will follow.

“Birds, people and brewers all rely on clean water to survive,” Julie Hill-Gabriel, vice president of water conservation at the National Audubon Society, said in a statement. “Teaming up with local brewers throughout the Delaware River Watershed will not only bolster Audubon’s efforts to preserve the home of more than 400 bird species — like Red-headed Woodpeckers, Sanderlings and Red Knots; but it also inspires economic growth for local businesses and industries that depend on the health of the watershed and its water.”

“The health of the Delaware River Watershed directly impacts me and my business because we need clean water to live and the better the water quality, the better our beer,” added Sam Masotto, owner of Bonn Place Brewing Company. Now we just have to wait patiently for the inevitable Audubon collaboration beer.