Thursday, June 8, 2017

Environmental Initiatives Advance

My office shared this press release today.

Senator Tarr Advances Environmental Initiatives

Tarr Budget Amendments Fund Important Programs

Boston– Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) succeeded in securing several budget provisions that help restore, protect, or advance natural resources in the recent Senate version of the state’s 2018 budget.

Among the amendments Tarr was able to secure in the spending plan are those which provide:

• $75,000 for Coastal and Marsh Revitalization- for coastal and marsh restoration and revitalization- including the treatment of phragmites and other invasive species,

• $12,000 to Protect Local Ponds - for treatment of invasive species at Rock Pond in Georgetown,

• $38,000 for Non-Native Weed Removal- at Johnson's Pond in Groveland,

• $50,000 in State Park Staffing and Operations – at Halibut Point State Park in Rockport,

• $50,000 for staffing and operations - at Berry Pond in the Harold Parker State Forest,

• $50,000 for Green Crab Trapping - for a green crab trapping program to mitigate impacts of this invasive non-native species,

• Revitalization of Natural Resources - requires state environmental agencies to include in their climate change adaptation strategies an effort to improve resiliency by strengthening and revitalizing natural resources such as marshes and wetlands,

• Ensuring Beneficial Reuse of Dredged Sand - requires the office of Coastal Zone Management to identify and seek opportunities to re-use sand from federal and state dredging projects for beach and dune nourishment,

• $20,000 for Groveland’s Veasey Park - for renovations, infrastructure improvements and enhancements to waterway access and recreational areas,

• $50,000 for Pollinator Hive Loss Prevention and Stewardship - to support local commercial farmers and beekeepers through the University of Massachusetts Extension program research on preventing hive loss, and promoting pollinator stewardship efforts.

“These modest targeted investments can make a big difference in strengthening and protecting our natural resources, and making them more friendly to interactions with people,” said Senator Tarr. “Environmental stewardship is a continuing process, and these amendments represent important steps in the process. These steps, in turn, reflect tremendous collaboration between stakeholders ranging from “friends” groups to property owners to municipalities.”

The Senate debated more than 1,000 amendments to the proposed $40.8 billion state funding plan. In April, the House of Representative adopted its version of the budget. Before reaching Governor Baker’s desk, the budget bills will move to a conference committee of House and Senate members who will meet to iron out differences between the two branches. Senator Tarr has appointed one of the three Senate conferees.