Who We Are

Our Mission

The Central Delaware Advocacy Group (CDAG) works to advance implementation of the values and principles outlined in the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware.  As stewards for the central Delaware, CDAG advocates to government, engages the development community and encourages the participation of the public.

The Central Delaware Advocacy Group is a volunteer based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization composed of a coalition of civic and nonprofit organizations.  CDAG is committed to advancing implementation of Philadelphia’s Civic Vision for the Central Delaware, using the Action Plan for the Central Delaware as a ten-year strategy to achieve a world-class riverfront.

CDAG works with other stakeholders for waterfront development that ensures public access to the river, builds on economic assets and connects the city to the river. Our board represents both residents and businesses that inhabit the 7-mile Central Delaware riverfront area from Allegheny Avenue to Oregon Avenue, and citizens of the larger region.  This powerful civic voice is informed and amplified by the professional expertise of our dedicated nonprofit partners.

How did CDAG come into existence?

Subsequent to Mayor Michael Nutter’s endorsement of the Civic Vision, we formalized the Central Delaware Advocacy Group, as it is today, a volunteer based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Many of the current CDAG Board members were appointed by former Mayor Street’s Executive Order of 2006 to appoint 46 public, private and civic seats to an Advisory Board to oversee an acclaimed citywide visioning process for the Central Delaware riverfront led by Penn Praxis.  Approximately 4,000 citizens attended work sessions to create the Civic Vision.  Community representatives on the Advisory Board recognized the importance of civic stewardship during the long-term riverfront development process and created CDAG.

What is CDAG’s purpose and goal?

We advocate for the 10 objectives in the Action Plan – a ten-step blueprint of achievable goals that will establish the framework for world-class riverfront development on the Delaware, in just ten years.

We advocate for implementation of the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware – Philadelphia’s articulated vision informing planning and development of the Central Delaware riverfront over the next 30 years.

We offer a forum for meaningful dialogue among the riverfront communities, the public sector, private land owners, and developers to achieve appropriate, effective, land-use planning approaches consistent with the principles of the Civic Vision.

Our goal of a first-class Philadelphia riverfront will benefit all stakeholders.


  • In 2007, CDAG, as the Central Delaware Advisory Group, participated in the civic engagement process and oversaw the creation of the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware.
  • In 2008, CDAG, as the Central Delaware Advisory Group, initiated and advanced the 10-point Action Plan for the Central Delaware: 2008-2018, for policymakers, investors and the general public.
  • In 2009, CDAG established itself as an independent advocacy organization with a Board of Directors.  CDAG successfully advocated for Mayor Nutter’s acceptance of the Action Plan and its first objective: the establishment of an accountable waterfront manager, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
  • In 2009, CDAG successfully advocated for an interim waterfront zoning overlay, the Central Delaware Zoning Overlay, created and forwarded by Councilman Frank DiCicco, to protect the riverfront from development that might prevent realization of the Civic Vision.
  • In 2010, CDAG continues to work closely with city and state agencies and officials on actions key to achieving the Civic Vision, such as: the Master Plan for the Central Delaware, City of Philadelphia Zoning Code reformation, reconstruction process of Interstate 95 and numerous early action projects, such as Race Street Pier Park and Pier 53 Park.

In addition:

  • CDAG board members regularly attend DRWC meetings to ensure that the interests of the public are represented in all riverfront development and land management issues.
  • CDAG board members regularly participate in City Council and Planning Commission hearings to promote and protect key elements of the Civic Vision and Action Plan.
  • CDAG representatives engage in public outreach and education of the Civic Vision and Action Plan in local communities and at public events such as the annual Shad Fest and River City Festival.
  • CDAG created the Action Plan Progress Report to regularly inform the public of the city’s progress toward achieving the goals of the 10-point Action Plan.


The CDAG Board of Directors is currently comprised of the following community-based and nonprofit member organizations:

Delaware River City Corporation, Dickinson Square West Civic Association, Fishtown Neighbors Association, Franklin Bridge North, Neighbors Allied for the Best Riverfront, New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, Olde Richmond Civic Association, Old Swedes Court Homeowners Association, Penn Future, Pennsport Civic Association, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Port Richmond on Patrol & Civic Association, Queen Village Neighbors Association, River’s Edge Community Association, Society Hill Civic Association, Society Hill Towers Homeowners Association, South Street Head House District, and Whitman Council.