IMG_2253Two important amendments to the State Budget have been filed that will bring great benefit to Mystic River communities. There is strong support among Mystic River House and Senate Caucus for these amendments. The first step is to get these amendments included in the House Budget. Now is the time to insure that your State Representative signs onto these amendments as a co-sponsor. Your State Rep must act NOW as co-sponsors must be filed by the end of this week (Friday April 19th!) The Mystic River Watershed Association encourages you to contact your State Representative to ask them to support and co-sponsor House Budget Amendment 126, Water Chestnut Removal on the Mystic River filed by Representative Paul Donato and House Budget Amendment 187 Mystic River Master Plan filed by Representative Jason Lewis.

We have included information below and a Fact Sheet to support your efforts. Be sure to use the Amendment number as reference when you contact your Representative! Both these additions to the FY 2014 House budget will help restore the natural resources of the Mystic River Watershed. Please call or email now! (You can easily look up contact information for your Representative or Senator here.)

1. House Budget Amendment 126, Water Chestnut Removal on the Mystic River – A $75,000 line item in the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Budget specifically targeted for water chestnut removal in the Mystic River. Large portions of the Mystic River are almost entirely blanketed with water chestnuts, resulting in significant impairment of navigation and a harmful impact on native habitat. The plants are spreading rapidly; since 2001, the population has expanded from 1 to 30 acres. Water chestnuts form mats over the water surface, which in turn impede boating, fishing, and swimming, and crowd out native plants. If serious efforts are not made to remove the plants, recreational use of much of the river will become impossible in just a few short years. This amendment will provide important funding to remove water chestnut in the Mystic River.

Mountain Biking on Forest Trail2. House Budget Amendment 187, Mystic River Master Plan (including bike path studies for Medford; A $500,000 line item added to the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Budget specifically targeted for the implementation of the Mystic River Master Plan (http://www.mass.gov/dcr/pe/MysticRiverMasterPlann-Final.11-09.pdf). The Mystic River Master Plan completed in 2010 outlined comprehensive improvements to more than 370 acres of the Mystic River park system which, when complete, will transform the park and the lives of more than 800,000 Massachusetts residents within easy reach of the park’s amenities. The Department of Conservation and Recreation requires funding ($500,000) to complete design development plans and construction specifications for the park improvements that are delineated in detail in the Master Planning document. Once these plans and specifications are complete, DCR can apply for various State and Federal funds to construct these park improvements.

If you have any questions, please contact Beth MacBlane (Beth[at]Mysticriver.org) or EkOngKar Singh Khalsa (EK[at]MysticRiver.org) at the Mystic River offices at 781.316.3438.

 

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