The Growing Greener Coalition sent the following letter to Governor Wolf and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly on March 19, 2019. View the PDF here.
Pennsylvanians want to reduce destructive flooding, restore waterways to productive life, and protect our drinking water. We need to do this to protect public safety and health. We need to do this as a moral imperative and constitutional responsibility. And we need to do this because the investments made to restore and protect our waters produce long-term cost savings and economic returns that more than pay for the initial investments.
The organizations and people of the Growing Greener Coalition urge the General Assembly and Governor Wolf to greatly boost the state’s investments in reducing flooding, restoring waterways, protecting drinking water, and providing other conservation benefits:
- The Coalition reiterates that Pennsylvania can’t afford to backslide in its community and conservation investments. Every dollar flowing into the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund and the Environmental Stewardship Fund needs to be invested in projects that protect and restore Pennsylvania’s environmental assets, not diverted to pay for government operations.
- The Coalition applauds the Governor’s attention to conservation investment needs in his Restore Pennsylvania proposal and encourages legislators to work with the Administration to make these investments happen.
In building on past successes and boosting the state’s conservation investments, the General Assembly and Governor can achieve many lasting and diverse benefits for Pennsylvanians, including:
- Major reductions in property damage and loss of human life caused by flooding
- Progress for local governments in meeting MS4 requirements
- State progress in meeting mandatory Chesapeake Bay requirements
- Safer drinking water and lower water treatment costs
- More miles of streams restored for recreation and economic use
- Federal investments leveraged that otherwise would not come to Pennsylvania
- Boosts to the agricultural and outdoor recreation industries
- Restoring parks for communities across the Commonwealth
- And much more
The public’s enthusiasm for these investments continues to be overwhelming. For example, 75% of Republican voters, 82% of Democrats, and 87% of independents actually support spending more on conservation, even if it would mean taxing themselves more to do it. (See survey results at https://conservationtools.org/conservation-benefits/205.)
Thank you for your attention. For more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the people and organizations of the Coalition including:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Harry Campbell, PA Executive Director
Conservation Voters of PA
Joshua McNeil, Executive Director
Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
R. John Dawes, Executive Director
Lancaster Farmland Trust
Jeffrey Swinehart, Chief Operating Officer
Oliver P. Bass, President
PennFuture (Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future)
Jacquelyn Bonomo, President & CEO
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
John Walliser, Senior Vice President
Pennsylvania Land Trust Association
Andrew M. Loza, Executive Director