Washington (March 15, 2022) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) today applauded the reauthorization of the Essex National Heritage Area in the 2022 Fiscal Year package. The recently passed spending bill reauthorized the heritage area until 2023—extending the Essex National Heritage Area’s ability to receive federal money. The provision authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to the Essex National Heritage Area expired on September 30, 2021.


“The Essex National Heritage Area strengthens our local economies and preserves the North Shore’s rich history, culture, and natural resources. I am glad that the 2022 Fiscal Year package heeded our call to extend the Essex National Heritage Area’s authorization, enabling it to receive the federal funds it needs to continue to support partnerships between Massachusetts communities and the National Park Service to preserve our regional treasures,” said Senator Markey. “I will continue fighting in the Senate to lift the funding cap for the Essex National Heritage Area and extend its authorization even further until 2036.”


“The Essex National Heritage Area plays an important role in the history of Massachusetts and our nation’s founding, and today, it strengthens our local economy, preserves the Commonwealth's natural beauty, and attracts visitors who want to learn more about the rich history of the North Shore and our communities,” said Senator Warren. “By extending its authorization and raising its funding cap, we strengthen a partnership between the people of Massachusetts and the National Parks Service to benefit generations to come.”


“The Essex National Heritage Area brings hundreds of thousands of people to northeast Massachusetts, where they spend millions of dollars and create thousands of jobs in our community,” said Rep. Moulton. “After a 25-year track record of success supporting historic preservation, natural resource conservation, recreation, and educational projects, I am relieved we were able to extend the program for two years. Now, we will continue to work to protect these local reassures further into the future.”


“Two and a half decades after its creation, the Essex National Heritage Area continues to serve as a cultural and economic driver for working families throughout the region and for communities like Lawrence, Haverhill, and Andover,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “Last year, I was proud to partner with Senator Markey and colleagues in introducing critical legislation to ensure that the Area received federal investments necessary to sustain its presence in our communities. Now, thanks to the comprehensive government funding package we passed last week, that goal will become a reality. I look forward to our continuing partnership to ensure that the Essex National Heritage Area’s reauthorization is extended even further so that it can continue to enrich our communities in the Third District and beyond.”


“On behalf of Essex Heritage and our board of trustees and commissioners, we are absolutely delighted with the success that Senator Markey, Senator Warren and Representatives Moulton and Trahan have had in obtaining new funding for the Essex National Heritage Area and extending the date of the program sunset,” said Annie Harris, director of the Essex National Heritage Area.


Last year, Senators Markey and Warren and Reps. Moulton and Trahan introduced legislation to eliminate the total funding cap for the Essex National Heritage Area and extend its authorization by 15 years to 2036. In November 2021, the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee passed a version of the bill that would raise the heritage area’s funding cap to $22 million and extend its authorization to 2036.