Massachusetts legislators paddle down Connecticut River to raise awareness of its importance

Franklin County

NORTHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – State lawmakers and members of many other organizations took a trip down the Connecticut River Monday morning in an effort to highlight how valuable the river is for western Massachusetts.

The Connecticut River runs 67 miles through western Massachusetts and plays a significant role in the area’s history, ecology, and economy.

Those who took part in Monday’s event paddled from Northfield and will end in Northampton sometime Monday afternoon.

Kayaking and other outdoor activities have had increased interest during this pandemic. Something that has improved the well being of nature and our society.

“Parks and outdoor spaces have been incredibly popular and a source of respite and recreation throughout the pandemic. As important as they are recreationally, the clean air, clean water, and open green space that places like this provide are so critical and we’ve seen the importance of that throughout the pandemic.”

Katie Theoharides, State Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs

According to the Nature Conservancy the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed is home to 2.4 million residents and hundreds of plant and animal species.

On 22News starting at 5:00 p.m. find out how the Connecticut River can still be a means of recreation as the weather gets colder.

PHOTOS: A Tribute(ary) to the Connecticut River day-long paddle

VIDEO: #WeLoveOurRiver

Photos and video provided to 22News from Jared Freedman, Chief of Staff, Office of Senator Jo Comerford

The group of paddlers that started from Northfield include the following:

  • Jo Comerford, State Senator
  • Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Deputy Commissioner Ashley Randle, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
  • Dan Carey, State Rep
  • Chair Greg Snedeker, Select Board Town of Gill
  • Andy Fisk, Executive Director, Connecticut River Conservancy
  • Julia Blatt, Executive Director, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance
  • Becky Cushing Gop, West Director, MassAudubon
  • Emily Myron, Massachusetts Nature Conservancy
  • Steve Long, Massachusetts Nature Conservancy
  • Karen Foster, Executive Director, All Out Adventures

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