June 11, 2015

Senator Warren Calls for Additional Federal Support for Wild and Scenic Taunton River

Video of the hearing is available here

WASHINGTON, D.C. - At an Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on Wednesday, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) asked a National Park Service representative about inequitable federal funding levels for the Wild and Scenic River Taunton River. The Taunton River was designated a Wild and Scenic River in 2009 through legislation introduced by Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. This designation restricts development of dams and other structures that would impede the river's flow, and provides federal funding for maintenance and improved river access.

"The Wild and Scenic designation helps preserve our rich colonial history, and it protects a uniquely diverse ecosystem throughout its entire 40 miles,"Senator Warren said. "It's very important to us in Massachusetts, it's very important to the region, and we think that makes it important to the country. Unfortunately, as Congressman Joe Kennedy recently brought to the Park Service's attention, the average Wild and Scenic River managed by the Park Service received four times as much funding as the Taunton River."

Senator Warren asked Victor Knox, who serves as the National Parks Service's Associate Director of Park Planning, Facilities and Lands, to work with her to ensure the river receives a fair level of support in the future.

"We are talking about very modest amounts of money, but it would make a big difference in communities like Fall River, Somerset, and Taunton, and others throughout the region," Senator Warren concluded. "I truly appreciate the great work that you and your agency have done across the country, and I look forward to working with you to make sure the natural beauty of the Taunton River remains protected for generations to come."