Beacon Hill Roundup

In This Issue:

Action You Can Take This Week

Beacon Hill Updates

Climate Change & Energy News

Programs, Events & Workshops

Quotation of the Week

You will see, I believe, the type of activism around this issue that this building has not seen in many years. That is my prediction. You will see people taking to the streets and coming to the State House and being in the corridors of the State House and demanding that we move forward because it is urgent that we do so.

- Mass Senate President pro tempore and chairperson of the Committee on Global Warming Senator Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), at a State House press conference announcing the release of his new energy bill; State House News Service, Feb. 12, 2018

Mass Audubon Advocacy

Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations
Karen Heymann, Legislative Director
Christina Wiseman, Advocacy Associate
Heidi Ricci, Assistant Director of Advocacy
Stefanie Covino, Coordinator, Shaping the Future of Your Community
Dan Brown, Climate Change Education and Outreach Coordinator


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The Beacon Hill Weekly Roundup tracks the legislative priorities of Mass Audubon, focusing on the protection of the nature of Massachusetts.

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February 20, 2018


Action You Can Take This Week

 No actions for our readers to take this week, but we’re staying busy on both Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill. Stay tuned!

Beacon Hill Updates 

  leaf close-up
  © Daniel Schwen
Green Budget Launch
Mass Audubon attended the release event for the FY19 Green Budget, organized by our friends at the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM) and the Green Budget Coalition, of which we are members.

The Green Budget is produced by ELM and the Coalition to bring awareness on the importance of adequately funding our environmental agencies.

Climate Change & Energy News 

  MVP program photo2

Supporting MVP Communities
Along with other local partners, Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future of Your Community program has worked with the towns of Natick and Mendon to complete their Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) workshops. The state MVP program helps support cities and towns in developing climate resiliency plans. 

We were encouraged to see Mendon highlight the importance of implementing Low Impact Development practices, which mitigate flooding and allow for future growth while preserving the community’s natural assets. Learn more in this feature in the Milford Daily News.

New Studies Show More Action Needed
Two recent studies show that we still need to ramp up our efforts on climate change mitigation. In the annual Worldwide Threat Assessment, US intelligence agencies warn that global instability could result if climate change continues unabated. This messaging is in contrast to recent policy papers from the Department of Defense, which did not mention climate change. 

And according to a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and not so surprising to those of us in the Bay State, sea levels have been rising since 1993. The study was done using satellite data, and predicts accelerated sea level rise in the future.

Both warnings show that the need for climate change mitigation is more urgent than ever. Here are some ways you can help in your own life.

Upcoming Programs, Events & Workshops 

Oil & Gas Drilling Meeting
Mass Audubon will be attending the US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) public listening session in Boston on offshore oil and gas drilling. The sessions will focus on DOI’s five-year drilling expansion plan, which includes two areas off the New England Coast. The Boston session will take place on February 27 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. *Please note the location change*: the meeting will now be held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel (39 Dalton Street, Boston, MA 02199).

Mass Audubon will be submitting comments to DOI expressing our strong disagreement with their plan following the Boston listening session.

Mass Audubon Birders Meeting
Sign up is now open for the 2018 Birders Meeting: Highlands and Islands of New England: A Bird’s-Eye-View. This year’s fun-filled day will start with a keynote presentation from Victor Emanuel called “Birds & Life.” The day will continue with presentations that address the importance of coastal islands and high elevation “sky” islands to both breeding and migrating birds. The meeting takes place on Sunday, March 11 at UMass Boston - check out the website for more details and to register.

Spring Conferences with Shaping the Future
Mass Audubon’s Shaping the Future program will be speaking and tabling at several conferences this spring. We hope you can join us to learn about sustainable land use, Low Impact Development, land conservation, climate adaptation, and more. Save the dates for March 3, 17, and 24 - get all the details here

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