Recently, the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released their proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020. Mass Rivers prioritizes and advocates for funding for three state environmental agencies that are tasked with improving and protecting rivers in the Commonwealth. These agencies include the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, and the Department of Conservation and Recreation Office of Water Resources (Watershed Management).
House Ways and Means proposed increased funding for all three of these agencies for the coming fiscal year. With additional funding, these agencies would be able to hire back staff that are responsible for conducting water quality assessments, providing technical assistance to communities working on drought and flood mapping, removing obsolete dams and culverts that impede fish passage, and more!
This is our second year in a row seeing significant increases for our top funding priorities. We’ve been working with a great coalition of partners on this issue at the State House throughout the session, including the Appalachian Mountain Club, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Nature Conservancy, Mass Audubon, and Massachusetts Organization of State Engineers and Scientists. While the budget still needs to move through the Senate and receive approval from the Governor, the proposed increases from House Ways and Means put us in a great starting point for the process.
Below are the proposed funding increases for these three agencies:
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental
- $31.5M ($2.37M increase over FY19 funding)
- Division of Ecological Restoration
- $1.84M ($593K increase over FY19 funding)
- DCR Watershed Management (Office of Water
- $1.5M ($412K increase over FY19 funding)
Please take a moment to call and thank one or more of the below House Ways and Means Committee leaders for supporting increased funding for our environmental agencies:
- Chair Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (617-722-2990)
- Vice Chair Rep. Denise Garlick (617-722-2380)
- Assistant Vice Chair Rep. Liz Malia (617-722-2380)
“Hello, my name is ________________ and I live in _______________, Massachusetts. I am calling to thank (insert Representative’s name) for proposing increased funding in the House Ways and Means FY20 budget for environmental agencies that are tasked with protecting our rivers. I am particularly grateful for the proposed increases for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Ecological Restoration, and DCR Watershed Management. Thank you so much for your support.”