LOBBY FOR THE RIVERS DAY 2021
Co-hosted by Senator Anne Gobi and Representative Smitty Pignatelli
This was our third and largest Lobby for the Rivers Day, with 170 participants!
We held 71 legislator meetings, and even more of you reached out to your legislators by phone or email to discuss our priority bills and provide a voice for rivers.
We started the day with an Opening Session, featuring remarks from the Chairs of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture (ENRA), Representative Carolyn Dykema and Senator Rebecca Rausch.
We also heard from ENRA Vice Chair Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Lenny Mirra, Senator Anne Gobi, Representative Smitty Pignatelli, and were joined by Representative Erika Uyterhoeven, Representative Steve Owens, and Representative Rob Consalvo.
ENRA Chair Dykema setting the tone for Lobby for the Rivers Day 2021 during Opening Session.
ENRA Chair Rausch addressing over 100 river advocates during the Opening Session of Lobby for the Rivers Day 2021.
We discussed bills on invasive species and drought management, and four budget priorities to fund state agencies who do critical environmental work for the Commonwealth. Learn more about our legislative and budget priorities >>
Since our legislator meetings, we've already seen legislators sign-on to these bills as co-sponsors.
Lobby for the Rivers Day 2021 Details
Lobby Day Schedule
- 9:00-9:30 - Lobby for the Rivers Day began with opening remarks by Mass Rivers, our legislative co-hosts, Senator Gobi and Representative Pignatelli, and the Chairs of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee, Representative Dykema and Senator Rausch.
9:30-10:30 - Participants connected with other advocates from their region to plan, strategize, get excited for a day of great conversations!
10:30-5:00 - In small teams of advocates, we met with legislators and/or their staff for 15-30 minutes (some conversations went as long as an hour!) We discussed our top concerns regarding rivers, our environment, and natural resources.
5:00-6:00 - Happy Hour debrief! We shared the day's highlights and planned for future advocacy opportunities.
No Experience Necessary!
Whether you're a seasoned advocate or just getting started, we're so glad you joined us to be the voice for rivers.
Making an Impact
Lobby for the Rivers Day is a group effort to demonstrate to policymakers how much the public cares about river protection - and that we'll hold them accountable when they fall short. In 2019, we had 100 participants. In 2021, it was 170. Our community is growing, and so is our presence in the legislature.
Legislative & Budget Priorities
Here's what talked about with our state legislators:
The Drought Bill - HD.1635/SD.1317 : An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management. This is Mass Rivers' priority bill this session. In 2016, and again in 2020, rivers across our state experienced record low flows, and a few even went dry. Water conservation measures during drought are set by municipalities, leading to an inconsistent patchwork of water savings which have limited impact on water supply. This bill would allow uniform water conservation measures of non-essential outdoor watering across a drought region in order to protect our ecosystems, water supply, and public safety. Learn more >>
The Invasive Species Bill - HD.3475/SD.1661: An Act responding tot the threat of invasive species. Eradicating an invasive species outbreak is expensive and difficult, but if left untreated, the outbreak will choke out native species and devastate an ecosystem. This bill would provided state guidance and funding to help municipalities and conservation organizations protect their environmental health.
Funding State Environmental Agencies - It's critical that the Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Ecological Restoration, and Department of Conservation and Recreation are adequately funded so they can continue protecting and restoring our state's natural resources. Learn more >>