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In Memory of William P. Clark (1931-2013)

William P. Clark, the 44th Secretary of the Interior who served as federal member to the DRBC during the Reagan Administration, died August 10, 2013 at his ranch home in California after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 81 years old.

Secretary Clark was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the federal member to the DRBC on February 24, 1984 and immediately became commission chair until June 30, 1984. He served as the U.S. member until his resignation as Interior Secretary on February 7, 1985.

The DRBC's 1984 annual report notes that much of the commission's attention during the year when Secretary Clark served as the federal member was focused on drought preparedness and associated issues of conservation, salinity intrusion, and groundwater management. As described in the 1984 report's introduction, "Indeed, in its more than 23 years of service, the Delaware River Basin Commission has engaged in the full range of water management activities -- some, at times, more heavily than others. But since 1980, uncontrollable changes in weather patterns have imposed a seeming preoccupation with drought, and more drought." 

Prior to his appointment as Interior Secretary, William Clark served as President Reagan's national security adviser and was described by Time magazine in a 1983 cover story as "the second most powerful man in the White House."

The DRBC commissioners and staff offer our condolences to the Clark Family.


Did You Know?
From 1961 until 1997, every President appointed the Secretary of the Interior as the DRBC’s federal member. In 1997, over the objections of the Clinton Administration, Congressional language required that the U.S. members and alternate members to the DRBC appointed by the President “… shall be officers of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who hold Presidential appointments as Regular Army officers with Senate confirmation, and who shall serve without additional compensation” [P.L. 105-18; Section 3001(a)]. Most recently the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-114) further stipulated that the Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, Corps of Engineers, shall be the ex officio U.S. member on the DRBC.