Washington (July 25, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Jim McGovern (MA-02) introduced the Deerfield River Wild and Scenic River Study Act, legislation that would commission a study of the Deerfield River in southern Vermont and western Massachusetts with the aim of incorporating it into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers system.

The Deerfield River and its tributaries flow through the Connecticut River Valley, and for centuries have served as an invaluable resource for its communities and the surrounding environment, including as an historic travel route for Native Americans alongside the Mohawk Trail. The legislation is endorsed by the Deerfield River Water Association. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“Families in the Connecticut River Valley have swum, fished, canoed, rafted, and enjoyed the Deerfield River and the waters that flow from this beautiful waterway for centuries,” said Senator Markey. “Taking steps to protect the Deerfield River as wild and scenic will not only preserve its vital ecology, but honor its history and safeguard its future.”

“Every thirty seconds in the United States, we lose a football field-sized area of nature to human development. If we want to have any chance of leaving the world a better place for future generations, we need to make sure that conservation and environmental stewardship are national priorities,” said Chairman McGovern. That’s why it’s time to add the Deerfield River and it’s tributaries to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Deerfield River is beloved by so many, and the cooperative spirit that exists here is a model for watersheds everywhere. I’m thrilled to introduce this new legislation alongside Senator Markey to secure for the Deerfield River the national recognition it deserves.”

"The Deerfield River is truly one of New England's greatest natural treasures, with outstanding whitewater boating, scenery and fishing, and the Deerfield River Watershed Association is excited to work with Senator Markey and Chairman McGovern to introduce legislation to consider the Deerfield River for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System,” said Christopher Curtis, Vice President of the Deerfield River Watershed Association.

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. 

In 2019, Senator Markey introduced legislation to designate portions of the Nashua, Squannacook, and Nissitissit Rivers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as scenic rivers under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The legislation was signed into law that year as part of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.