Environmentalist push for more funding


BOSTON (WWLP) – Funding for the environment makes up just 0.6% of the state budget, equaling about $200 million in fiscal year 2014. Environmental advocates say that the budget cuts not only affect the great outdoors, but it also impacts people.

Environmental League of Massachusetts Erica Mattison said, “They impact the quality of the parks in their area and the kinds of experiences they’re able to have outdoors, but it also really comes down to jobs.”

The league wants at least 1% of the state’s budget in the next fiscal year, which they say will more generate jobs and a better economy.

“For every dollar we put into land protection the state gets back $4. For every dollar we put into aquatic restoration, making healthy rivers and streams we get back $12,” said Steve Long of Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts.

Environmental advocates say that increasing funding now will better benefit the state in the long run.

“Most importantly it always costs a lot more money later to clean up after the fact. By investing in the environment it is the way we’re ultimately going to save money,” said former Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Trudy Coxe.

State funding for the environment has seen a 6% drop since 2008 resulting in a $13 million budget cut.