HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A new bill is being introduced to provide protections to the Connecticut River.

On Saturday, November 4, Massachusetts Congressman James P. McGovern met with local conservation and environmental activists to discuss the The Connecticut River Watershed Partnership Act (CRWPA).

The legislation would authorize grant money to organizations for conservation, trails, transit, sustainable agriculture and other conservation and preservation efforts along the Connecticut River watershed, which runs from the Canadian border to Long Island sound, through New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut.

“The decisions we make now will literally determine whether future generations will have the same opportunities that we are so lucky to have today. We are at an inflection point in the climate crisis, and protecting nature is one of the best tools we have,” Congressman McGovern told those gathered. “We are here because this river, and this entire river valley, is a special place. Whether you’re just visiting, or your family has called the Valley home for generations, it’s easy to see why the Connecticut River is worthy of recognition and protection.”

 The river is a strong economic driver, supporting dozens of businesses including forestry, fisheries, farming, hunting, recreation, boating and tourism. According to a news release from McGovern’s office, there are nearly 200,000 outdoor recreation jobs in New England, bringing over $17-billion to the region.

According to the Connecticut River Conservancy, the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge encompasses the entire Watershed and is the only refuge of its kind in the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Connecticut River is also one of just fourteen Federally recognized American Heritage Rivers in the United States.

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