NepRWA recently partnered with members of the Watershed Action Alliance of Southeastern Massachusetts to plan a legislative breakfast at the State House, but unfortunately had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While it makes sense that public health and economic issues should be a priority now, it does not mean that environmental programs should be left out. In fact, their close relationship requires they also be prioritized.
Climate change represents a significant public health threat and adequate funding for environmental programs is essential to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather, flooding, high heat, drought, and all of the related problems each of these impacts exacerbates.
Here’s how you can help!
Please call, email, or send letters to your legislators to let them know how important state environmental programs are. It is vital that they hear from you!
In light of declining state revenue projections as a result of Covid-19, we are advocating for level funding for each of the Green Budget priority line items, rather than for any increased funding. Specifically, we are asking legislators to:
- Prioritize Dept. of Environmental Protection Administration funding (line item 2200-0100). Adequate staff and resources are essential for watershed planning and permitting, safe management of toxics, enforcing environmental laws, hazardous waste cleanup, and preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.
- Prioritize Dept. of Conservation and Recreation Watershed Management Office funding (line item 2810-0100). The work of this office is essential to support research to safeguard our rivers, lakes, and water supplies and provide public access for recreation.
- Prioritize Div. of Ecological Restoration funding (item 2300-0101). DER oversees dam removals, culvert replacements, streamflow restoration, saltmarsh restoration, and urban river revitalization across Massachusetts. These facilitate the movement of fish, wildlife, and water. By helping towns improve infrastructure with larger, safer structures and configurations, DER increases resilience to increased precipitation and more intense storms due to climate change.
We are also asking legislators to:
- Support S.490/H.2139, An Act promoting awareness of sewage pollution in public waters, to institute a statewide sewage discharge notification system to alert residents when sewage spills make waters unsafe for recreation or work.
- Support H. 3997, An Act relative to GreenWorks, which includes funding for climate resiliency efforts, including upgrading municipal stormwater infrastructure that filters water before it enters the natural environment reducing negative development impacts, improving aquifer recharge, decreasing erosion, fortifying wetlands, and preventing damage to roads.
Please feel free to use the Watershed Action Alliance materials and share them with legislators. However, your personal story is more important to effective advocacy—for example, why is the Neponset River important to you? Why is a safe and healthy environment a priority for you?
If you need any additional information or have any questions, please contact our Advocacy Director Kerry Malloy Snyder.