David Abel’s story in last Sunday’s Globe, “A Battered Buffer” (Page A1, June 2), highlights a problem we have throughout the Merrimack River watershed.
Climate change is battering the land along the river. If preserved, land along the banks of the Merrimack and its tributaries serves as a buffer. Land conservation creates critical habitat and protects drinking-water sources. Open-space lands are rain gardens, which become natural drainage ditches to absorb and filter storm-water runoff, keeping pollutants out of the river. And there is the obvious benefit that open vegetated land sequesters CO2, helping to slow down climate change.
Land conservation is critical along the estuary for climate mitigation efforts. These open spaces must be preserved, so they are not lost to development. There are several ways you can help. In Massachusetts, call on your representatives and senators to pass the Public Lands Preservation Act (S459 and H732), which would provide necessary protection to publicly owned parks, playgrounds, conservation lands, and riverfront and ocean-front lands such as those described in the article. In New Hampshire, call your senators and ensure they support SB 74, which increases the fee to support the Land and
Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). Finally, take action by joining your local land trust or watershed
Merrimack River Watershed Council Board