Mass Audubon’s Legislative Priorities for the 2017-2018 Session

by Karen Heymann As we head into a new legislative session on Beacon Hill we are rolling out Mass Audubon’s legislative priorities, along with a fresh legislative report card (to be released in February) on the prior 2015-2016 session. And while we can’t promise perfect scores for all, we can promise that the votes we […]

Cultivating a Greener Marijuana Economy in Massachusetts

by Karen Heymann As state policymakers hit the pause button on some aspects of the new marijuana law, they should also consider ways to address the heavy electricity consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, electronic waste, and water usage associated with this new industry. Marijuana cultivation is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the country, racking […]

Election Night Success for CPA

by Karen Heymann It was an exciting election night for cities and towns considering the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on their local ballots, which as of this morning has been adopted in 172 municipalities across the Commonwealth. Communities voting to adopt CPA were Billerica, Boston, Chelsea, Holyoke, Hull, Norwood, Pittsfield, Rockland, Springfield, Watertown, and Wrentham. […]

A Sea Change for our Coasts

By Karen Heymann On September 16th, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569, which lays out plans both for fighting climate change and preparing the Commonwealth for unavoidable impacts such as sea level rise, storm surge, and extreme heat. Similar Senate-passed legislation on climate change adaptation was blocked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives over the […]

Managing Monomoy

The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a peaceful retreat on Cape Cod where Chatham residents and visitors can escape to walk coastal trails, take in views of the ocean, and learn about important salt marsh and barrier beach ecosystems. The Refuge also provides important habitat for species like endangered […]

Solar Energy: A Site for Sore Eyes

By Karen Heymann The Town of Shirley is a quintessential small New England community whose residents care for and enjoy its scenic rivers, wooded hillsides, boggy meadows and extensive trail network. News of two new commercial solar energy generating facilities, one on Shirley’s water supply lands, and another on 27 acres of town-owned forest adjacent […]

Biodiversity: More Than a Buzz Word

By Karen Heymann, Heidi Ricci, and Christina Wiseman A rapid decline in pollinators like bees, birds, butterflies, and bats is threatening biodiversity both globally and here at home.  The thousands of plant-pollinator interactions that sustain our food supply and natural environment are under threat by multiple, interacting factors including habitat loss, pesticide use, invasive species, […]