The Trustees is excited to report that the Massachusetts Legislature is enacting its Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Operating Budget, which includes significant increases for state environmental agencies. As a core member of the Green Budget Coalition, we celebrate these investments as we urged lawmakers to increase support for the following budgets this year:
- Department of Environmental Protection – $40,000,000
($7,920,000 more than FY20)
- Division of Ecological Restoration – $2,600,000
($500,000 more than FY20)
- MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program – $500,000
($345,779 more than FY20)
- Department of Conservation and Recreation State Parks – $50,000,000
($2,750,000 more than FY20)
Agency experts are critical to help Massachusetts adapt to climate change, providing recreational opportunities, stewarding parks, beaches and trails, protecting and restoring habitat for endangered animals and plants, and maintaining clean air and water. The Trustees partners with agency staff on a variety of initiatives including acquisition and restoration projects of statewide significance.
Spending time outdoors is vital to the health and well-being of Massachusetts residents, as evidenced by a 300 percent visitation increase to our public spaces during the current health crises. The pandemic is a reminder of just how important nature is to our health, wellbeing, and economy. Legislators’ support for agency professionals reflect this importance.
The Trustees is grateful to our coalition partners and the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives for their hard work and support of our environmental agency staff and programs. The FY21 Budget is headed for the Governor’s desk.
Green Budget Coalition members advocate for “1% for the environment” as in the past, only 0.6% of the state operating budget supports environmental agencies and programs. For more on our work and priorities, please see the coalition’s page.