Blog - Charles River Watershed Association

Green Budget: Massachusetts needs 1% for the environment

Posted by Alexandra Ash

4/18/17 1:31 PM

Currently only 0.5% of the state operating budget supports environmental agencies, agencies that are asked to do more with less—including responding to the drought, reducing emissions, ensuring clean water and preparing for the impacts of climate change.CRWA, as a member of the Green Budget Coalition, advocates for allocating 1% of the state budget for the environment. The Green Budget recommendations include increased spending for climate change adaptation, improving water quality, protecting wetlands, restoring habitat and maintaining parks.



The budget begins with the Governor's budget and ends with a final budget. Follow the budget

As the fiscal year 2018 budget travels through the Massachusetts House and Senate, we need your help advocating for adequate funding for the environment. Learn more about the budget process and follow the bill here.


Update: Governor Baker signs budget passed by Legislature

On July 7, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a compromise $40.2 billion state budgetOn Monday, July 17, Governor Baker signed the budget while vetoing $320 million from the plan.

The environmental agencies were hard hit this year despite the legislature’s increases to the governor’s proposed budget. The budget passed by the Legislature allocates only $218.6 million to state environmental agencies—about half a penny for every dollar of governmental spending. This provides insufficient funding for state environmental agencies to carry out their responsibilities—including reducing emissions, maintaining public parks and recreational facilities, ensuring clean air and water, and preparing for the impacts of climate change.


Update: House Debates Budget

This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives begins debate on the budget. House members are currently making their pitches for environmental funding. The House will adopt a consolidated amendment tonight or tomorrow.


Take Action Now


The Massachusetts House of Representatives is currently considering amendments to the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. State agencies need adequate funding to prevent pollution, ensure clean water and make MA more resilient to climate change. Urge your State Representative to co-sponsor the Green Budget amendments. The House takes up the budget next week, so please call and/or email by Monday, April 24th. CRWA's priority green budget amendments include: 

  • DEP Administration, line-Item 2200-0100 (Amendment 1196) filed by Rep. Rogers
    Increases funding to $30,000,000 for the Department of Environmental Protection which prevents pollution, issues permits and enforces state laws to protect the environment
  • DCR State Parks & Recreation, line-Item: 2810-0100 (Amendment 839) filed by Rep. Schmid 
    Increases funding to $42,000,000 for the Department of Conservation and Recreation which is responsible for maintaining and staffing state parks, parkways, beaches, forests, and recreational facilities. 
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Control, line-item 2810-0100 (Amendment 898) filed by Kay Khan
    Proposes funding in the amount of $350,000 for invasive aquatic weed removal throughout the Commonwealth by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) including removal of the invasive water chestnut which plagues the Charles River in Newton and Waltham.
  • Climate Adaptation & Preparedness, line-item 2000-0101 (Amendment 830) filed by Rep. Smizik
    Increases funding to $200,000 for establishing a climate change strategy for Massachusetts. 
  • DCR Watershed Management, line-Item 2800-0101 (Amendment 1073) filed by Rep. Dykema
    Increases funding to $1,100,000 for DCR watershed management. This program conducts and helps fund critical research on water resources in Massachusetts, ensuring the protection of the drinking water supply for approximately 2.5 million residents in the Commonwealth and assists communities with floodplain management. 

Call or email your representative directly or send them a message with though the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund website . Let your voice be heard!  

Contact Your Representative and Senator




Topics: Fish and Wildlife, Charles River, Pollution, Dam Removal

Subscribe to the CRWA Blog:

About Charles River Watershed Association:

One of the country's oldest watershed organizations, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last fifty years have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management.