Rivers and Streams Policy

Tour the Taunton

See how the Conservancy and partners are restoring the Taunton River


State Freshwater Policy Activities

Many factors came together during 2009-10 to push freshwater policy to the top of the Massachusetts environmental agenda. With your support, The Nature Conservancy is acting on exciting opportunities to protect aquatic life and habitat by improving policies on freshwater flow, connectivity and restoration.
Sustaining Our Water

The Conservancy is leading an alliance of environmental organizations and watershed groups to support the Sustainable Water Resources Act, legislation that would improve the health of our rivers and streams by:

• Ensuring they have enough water to support aquatic life
• Enabling the removal of unnecessary dams
• Providing municipal water suppliers options for financing “greener” practices and infrastructure

Removing Dams

The Conservancy is supporting legislation that will facilitate the removal of unnecessary dams by creating a $20 million revolving loan fund for private dam owners to inspect, repair and remove dams and by requiring state environmental agencies to conduct a comprehensive inventory of all dams, including a list of those that pose a threat to freshwater life.

The Conservancy is also supporting funding in the annual state operating budget for the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration, which includes a program that restores estuaries and removes unnecessary dams. Explore more creative ways we work with dams.
Explore more creative ways we work with dams

Federal Freshwater Policy Activities

Studying Connecticut River Dams
The Conservancy is pursing funding to develop a basin-wide model of river flow in the Connecticut River watershed that will help determine how best to maintain important uses like flood control and hydropower generation while improving conditions for fish and bolstering the river’s health and recreational value.
Read more about our work on the Connecticut River

Protecting Wild and Scenic Rivers
Building on our work to designate the Taunton River as a Wild and Scenic River (LINK: ), we are now working to ensure funding for this river in the National Park Service budget. This funding will help ensure that the Taunton River — the longest coastal river in New England without dams — is protected for current and future generations.
Take a virtual tour of the Taunton River


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