Senator Markey: Reauthorize Land and Water Conservation Fund

Massachusetts has received roughly $220 million over the past five decades from critical conservation program


Washington (October 1, 2015) – Despite bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the authorization for this important program expired on September 30, 2015. In July, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) led a letter with 20 of his colleagues in the Senate urging the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to advance legislation to reauthorize the fund. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the LWCF, which Congress created in 1965. It was President John F. Kennedy in 1963 who presented Congress with draft legislation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. The LWCF is a successful conservation program protecting natural areas, water resources and historic landmarks. 


“I am extremely disappointed that authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund was allowed to expire yesterday, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reauthorize this critical program,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “As our nation continues to deal with the impacts of climate change, LWCF helps protect clean water, preserve wildlife habitat, protect city parks and open spaces, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities that pump money into our economy in Massachusetts and across our nation. LWCF has been a tremendous success over the last 50 years. I will continue to fight in the Senate to make sure that we extend and fully fund this vital conservation program. ”


The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of Massachusetts’ most treasured places. Massachusetts has received roughly $220 million over the past five decades, protecting places such as the Minute Man National Historic Park and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Under the LWCF state assistance program, which provides matching grants to help states and communities protect open spaces, parks and recreation resources, nearly 4000 acres have been acquired in Massachusetts and hundreds of parks renovated using the $95.6 million that the state has received under this portion of the federal program since 1965.