View this email in your browser
From Massachusetts Rivers Alliance-logo
MA. Environmental Protection Needs YOU

Hi.  Mass Rivers has been working closely with ELM to craft the water items in this year's Green Budget.  Several legislators have agreed to sponsor budget amendments to increase support for important programs that affect rivers and the general health of our waters, including ponds, lakes, wetlands, and coastal waters.  Now we need your help.  We need you to ask your legislator to make one or more of these areas a budget priority and and "ask" of leadership.  The three top priorities for the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance are:
1. MassDEP Environmental Compliance (recommendation: $35,425,000; Line item: 2200-0100) - amendment sponsor Rep. Dave Rogers - please thank him if you are in his district.
- MassDEP is responsible for water quality around the state, including rivers, lakes, coastal waters, and safe and sustainable drinking water.
- MassDEP has lost a third of its staff in the past few years (including 108 last year to early retirement) at the same time as its dealing with major new programs in drinking water and stormwater. In addition, the challenge of creating climate resiliency against droughts and floods requires additional expertise at MassDEP.
- MassDEP has large backlogs in water quality monitoring and assessment, and inadequate staff for enforcement and compliance work.   Several programs, such as water supply permitting and Total Maximum Daily Load assessments of water pollution, have now ground to a halt.  The agency's IT system is old and outdated, difficult for the public to access, and unable to accept volunteer water quality data (much of which meets state quality-assurance standards). MassDEP has some excellent staff, but they can't do their jobs without enough people.
- Because MassDEP is unable to assess water quality or enforce compliance with state water rules, the health of our rivers and the safety and sustainability of our water supplies is at risk.
2. Division of Ecological Restoration (recommendation: $711,000; Line item: 2300-0101) - amendment sponsor Rep. Gail Cariddi - please thank her if you are in her district.
- DER is an agency that does a lot with a little.  They work around the state removing hazardous dams and replacing failing culverts.  The river restoration work they do benefits the environment, public safety, and saves municipalities money in the long term.
- Every dollar invested in DER leverages $7 in non-state (usually) federal money.
- Every $1M spent by DER creates or maintains 12.5 full-time equivalent jobs
- This work improves stream flow and water quality, reduces flooding, protects drinking water, restores habitat, and creates healthier, more resilient ecosystems.
3. Department of Conservation and Recreation Watershed Management Program ($1,344,000; Line item: 2800-0101) - amendment sponsor Rep. Carolyn Dykema - please thank her if you are in her district.
- This program monitors and assesses water flow (surface and groundwater) in Massachusetts and provides policy and guidance to protect Massachusetts residents from the impacts of floods and droughts.  They provide top-notch scientific support to the state's water management program - MassDEP relies on them for science-based water allocation permits, but the public is largely unaware of the important role they play in keeping our rivers flowing sustainably.
- They are responsible for ensuring ensuring access to rivers, lakes, and ponds that are free of invasive species.
- They also manage and protect drinking water supply for approximately 2.5 residents of Massachusetts
- As the impacts of climate change increase, this program has become increasingly important.
- Because they are somewhat under the radar, the governor's budget has proposed a large cut. 

Urgent - please contact your Rep this week to support the Green Budget


Environmental League of Massachusetts
Will Your State Representative Support the Green Budget?
Right now your State Representative is waiting to hear whether funding for environmental programs is important to you.  
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is in the midst of making funding decisions for state programs.  Your State Rep can make a difference by prioritizing one of our Green Budget recommendations in his/her requests to House Leadership.  Our funding recommendations focus on state programs that are essential to fostering healthy communities, great parks, and clean, abundant water. 
Will you call your State Rep to ask him/her to select a Green Budget line-item (see below) to include as a budget ask to House Leadership? We encourage you to place the call by Friday, February 12.  Please write to Erica Mattison to let ELM know what response you receive.
Every State Representative has received the Green Budget.  It can also be viewed at . 
What To Say: 
Hello.  I live in your district and I'm calling to ask you to support the Environmental League's Green Budget funding recommendations. I urge you to select a Green Budget line-item to include in your budget request to House Leadership.  Thank you!
Green Budget Funding Recommendations
Environmental League of Massachusetts | 
Forward this email


Environmental League of Massachusetts | 14 Beacon Street | Suite 714 | Boston | MA | 02108
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Alewife Reservation, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Alewife Reservation, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp