THE PETITION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED.
Right now there is a critical opportunity to address the problems that have led to degradation of Massachusetts rivers and streams. The Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) provides a strong scientific basis and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in place effective policies and guidelines to manage Massachusetts’ rivers, streams and natural waters sustainably.
Please sign this petition urging Governor Patrick and Secretary Richard Sullivan to take actions that will really make a difference in restoring and protecting our natural waters. Click the more to read and sign the petition online. Please take action immediately; the deadline is this week.
If you would prefer to print it out, sign it and return it to us in hard copy, here is the pdf.
Honorable Governor Deval Patrick
Secretary Richard Sullivan
Dear Governor Patrick and Secretary Sullivan:
The Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) provides a strong scientific basis and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put in place effective policies and guidelines to manage Massachusetts’ rivers, streams and natural waters sustainably. I strongly support and applaud this effort and goal.
To achieve the goal of sustainable use of our rivers, I urge you to instruct the environmental agencies that pristine rivers must be protected and degraded rivers and streams must be restored to health, to the maximum extent feasible, by embodying the following principles in SWMI:
1) Sustainable water management means that human uses are met in ways that do not impair or degrade ecosystem functions and use the least environmentally damaging alternatives.
2) The “safe yield” of water sources must be safe for both the water supply and the environment.
a. In 2009, following Governor Patrick’s intervention, MassDEP agreed that “…safe yield under the Water Management Act includes environmental protection factors, including ecological health of river systems, as well as hydrologic factors.” (Emphasis added.)
b. Rivers cannot sustain withdrawals at the “safe yield” levels MassDEP proposes, because much less water is available in the summer, when many of our rivers are pumped dry. This is the crux of the problem. The proposed safe yield will perpetuate the problem instead of solving it.
c. Where safe yield is currently exceeded, a mitigation analysis must be completed and the most effective measures implemented as soon as possible.
3) Where damage to the environment is already occurring, sustainable water management means that appropriate measures must be taken to improve ecological functions to the extent technically feasible.
a. Restoring degraded ecosystems to health should be a stated goal of SWMI.
b. Existing water withdrawals and other impacts that currently degrade the environment must be replaced by less damaging alternatives or mitigated. Mitigation should be based on impacts, regardless of whether withdrawals are increasing.
c. A comprehensive mitigation analysis should identify, prioritize and implement over time all technically feasible measures to address the degradation.
This is a critical opportunity to address the problems that have led to degradation of Massachusetts rivers and streams. The result cannot be perpetuation of the status quo for already damaged rivers and streams. I urge you to take actions that will really make a difference in restoring and protecting our natural waters.
Thank you for your consideration.
Kelly J Hartley,
David A. Tibbetts,
Patrick J. Richmond,
Thomas S. Wooldridge,
Alix C. McArdle,
Edwaed Des Jardins - Georgetown,
John S O\'Connell,
Sharon B. Stichter, Newbury, Mass.,
Steve St. Arnault,
Jan, Jim, Dana & Alix Roy,
Elizabeth M. Lee,
Terry J Berns,
Elliott V. Miller,
Sarah W Thomson,
Mark A Thayer,
Alida S. Joyce,
Frederic B. Jennings Jr., Ph.D.,
Christopher T. Benton,
Gail E. Anderson,
Edward M Crowley,
Richard L. Lombard,
Scott R. Freeman,
Nancy J Smith,
Yvonne M. Buswell,