Thanks to everyone who signed our petition asking Governor Baker to reinstate the funding needed to maintain the operations for the Scenic and Recreational Protective Order for the North River. More than 2,500 people signed the petition and it already has made a difference in protecting our waters!
Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito and Secretary for the Environment Kathleen Theoharides committed to reinstating the funding level to last year’s $30,000 and meeting with our legislators and the North River Commissioners to determine a long term funding solution. We thank our region’s legislators, including Senator Bradley, Representatives Josh Cutler, Patrick Kearney, and Joan Meschino, and notably Representative David DeCoste and Senator Patrick O’Connor for their leadership and support on this issue.
This partial reinstatement of funding needed is indeed a step forward since the Department of Conservation and Recreation had eliminated the budget as of June 30, 2020. However, as the saying goes, we may have won the battle but not yet the war. To fully fund the Protective Order, the North River Commission is requesting $50,000 to support a dedicated patrol boat on the North River next summer. For two summers now, the budget has not been adequate to keep the boat patrol. No single town has jurisdiction over the North River’s 12-mile length since it runs through 6 different communities. The only way to enforce the Protective Order is to increase the budget to support having a dedicated patrol boat. We may need your help again as we navigate the discussions with the state but know that you made a difference! Thank you!
Photo by Jim McIntyre.