A blanket of invasive water chestnut, courtesy of Ron Chick
Together, we spoke up for rivers during public hearings in support of stronger drought management and funding for invasive species.
This week, we need your help with the next step! The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture has until Wednesday February 2 to report bills out favorably - otherwise they don't advance, and we have to start over again next session. Mass Rivers' two priority bills are sitting before this committee: the drought bill (H.898/S.530) and the invasive species bill (H.999/S.563). The committee needs to hear support from their fellow legislators and from the public - that's where you come in! Here's how you can help: Call or email your state legislators this week and encourage them to talk to their ENRA colleagues about advancing these two bills. If your legislator is on the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, we especially need you to contact them directly:
Here's a sample email:
“Dear Representative/Senator ______, My name is ___________ and I am a resident of ___________. I am writing to request that you urge your colleagues in ENRA to report two bills favorably out of committee: H. 898/S.530, An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management (sponsored by Chair Dykema and Vice Chair Eldridge) and H.999/S.563, An Act responding to the threat of invasive species (sponsored by Senator Jehlen and Representative D. Rogers) These bills strengthen protections for water quality and quantity statewide:
Climate change is bringing more frequent and severe droughts to Massachusetts, and our current management is falling short. The drought bill would give the State the authority to require water conservation during drought. Scaling up our response to drought will give our waterways and the people and wildlife that depend on them the best chance at a healthy future. [Insert local challenges with low flow and drought]
Current assistance and funding for municipalities trying to manage invasive species is seriously lacking. The invasive species management bill centralizes resources, making it easier for municipalities to access the guidance they need, and sets up a grant program to help fund prevention, eradication, and outreach work. [Insert local challenges with invasive species management]
I hope you will encourage your colleagues in ENRA to report these bills out favorably. Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, _____________”
Let us know if you hear from your legislators. Thank you for your advocacy to protect rivers!