Despite challenges at the federal level, our team at Mass Rivers has just pulled off tremendous victories to protect our waterways, improve public health and safety, and increase climate resiliency. As the Massachusetts 2017-2018 legislative session comes to a close, we wanted to share some of our biggest successes with you. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Significantly increased funding for Massachusetts environmental agencies in the state annual operating budget for the first time in over a decade. These funds will translate to more removals of outdated and dangerous dams, culvert replacements that improve fish passage, expanded water quality monitoring programming, new state water program staff, and increased flood, drought and climate change resiliency planning.
- We stood up to polluters and stopped Governor Baker’s bill to transfer a Clean Water Act program from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to state environmental authorities. Proposed funding for this program was unstable and insufficient, program design was inadequate, and this change could harm water quality – permanently – in our state.
- Doubled funding for Massachusetts environmental agencies responsible for restoring our waterways and increasing climate resilience in the state’s five-year capital budget. This increased funding will enable improved management and removal of aquatic invasive plants, more urban river restoration projects, increased cranberry bog restoration initiatives, expanded water quality monitoring and research, and removal of more failing dams and culverts.
We are delighted that legislators are recognizing the value of our water resources. We are grateful to you for helping us secure these victories for the environment and public health, and supporting our work to organize environmental constituencies to speak up for our rivers.
Because of supporters like you, we were able to advocate for our rivers with unprecedented success. Thank you!