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Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone

The Delaware River Basin Commission is saddened to report the recent passing of our friend and former colleague, Jeff Featherstone. He was 68 years old.

Jeff worked for the commission for 19 years serving in various positions. Jeff led a campaign to establish an ambitious water conservation program that earned the commission both national and international acclaim. He served as the first chair of the American Water Works Association’s Water Conservation Division, a group he was instrumental in establishing. In 1995, Jeff represented the DRBC as a member of the U.S. Water Resources delegation to China, delivering a paper in Beijing and traveling outside the city to advise government officials on water conservation and sustainability issues. Dr. Featherstone also helped author “American Waters: A New Era of Sustainability” in 1992, which served as a starting point for the Clinton Administration’s water policy agenda. As the DRBC’s first deputy executive director (1998-2001), Jeff used his leadership skills in deftly managing the commission’s planning and regulatory programs.

Dr. Featherstone retired from the DRBC in 2001 and left government service to pursue a second career as director of Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities. Jeff continued to build an impressive list of accomplishments at Temple over the past 15 years. In 2003, he played a pivotal role in the creation of Temple-Ambler’s EarthFest event, an outdoor, educational celebration of Earth Day that has welcomed a total of nearly 100,000 students, teachers, parents, and community members since its inaugural year. DRBC has been a regular exhibitor at this annual event that Jeff shepherded and championed.

Those of us who knew Jeff valued his interpersonal and management skills, his enthusiasm, his intellect, his sense of humor, and his friendship. This is only a partial list of the many strengths and qualities that made him special. The title of a tribute appearing on the Temple University web site describes Jeff’s life quite well: “Dr. Jeffrey Featherstone – Leaving The World A Better Place.”

The DRBC commissioners, staff, and retirees offer our heartfelt condolences to Jeff’s wife Nancy and daughters Lia and Lin.

A Memorial and Life Celebration of Jeff Featherstone will be held Saturday, June 4, 2016, at 2 p.m. at the Learning Center Auditorium and Commons, Temple University Ambler, 580 Meetinghouse Road in Ambler, Pa. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., to be followed by a 3 p.m. reception. Details are available on Temple University’s web site.