CORONAVIRUS update from The Trustees. Learn More

Advocacy & Policy

The Great American Outdoors Act

The Great American Outdoors Act is now law! 

The Great American Outdoors Act is now law!  The law includes long-awaited permanent funding for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to protect critical natural resources from coast to coast and create new outdoor recreational opportunities closer to home. 

The new law dedicates $900 million in permanent, dedicated LWCF funds every year, and provides $9.5 billion in deferred maintenance on federally owned lands and historic and cultural assets. 

LWCF has helped to protect cherished places across Massachusetts since 1965, from the Cape Cod National Seashore to the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge.  To see all the places protected under the fund see this great map

LWCF is funded by a small portion of offshore drilling leases. Over the 55 years of the program, LWCF was subject to congressional appropriations, and billions of dollars were diverted for non-conservation purposes. Since the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, LWCF will no longer be subject to congressional approval and will automatically receive full funding year-to-year.   

The Great American Outdoors Act passed the U.S. Senate (73-25) and the U.S. House of Representatives (310-107) with strong bipartisan support. Please join in celebrating the most significant national conservation measure in a generation.  

Robin standing on rock wall

Allen C. Haskell Public Garden, New Bedford

About the Land and Water Conservation Fund The Land and Water Conservation Fund is the bedrock of conservation funding in the U.S., 

  • Supporting the acquisition of lands and waters by federal agencies to conserve habitat, wetlands, and forests. 
  • Preserving cultural and historic sites. 
  • Creating new urban parks, trails, and facilities.  
  • Providing direct funding to state and local governments – Massachusetts is expected to receive $15-$17 million every year. 

The benefits of LWCF conserved lands and waters are wide-ranging and include improved access for sportsmen and recreationists boosting local economies through jobs while supporting the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Working forests, wetlands, and watersheds will be preserved, ensuring clean water supplies for future generations.  

LWCF will assist The Trustees as we acquire new preserves, restore coastal resources, and create new parks and gardens, especially on Boston’s Waterfront. 

 

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