Policy & Advocacy Priorities

Adults hiking at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in autumn

Policy and Advocacy Priorities

Mass Audubon focuses our advocacy and policy work on advancing policy that bolsters the natural environment, benefitting both people and wildlife. To achieve our goals, we bring together policy and scientific expertise, deep community relationships, and a broad base of supporters to advocate for nature. 

$1 Billion for Nature and Climate

We have a once-in-generation opportunity presented by unprecedented levels of state and federal funding to drive investments in nature, ensure access to nature for all, and make certain that we reach the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure sustained annual support in Massachusetts for conservation of natural lands at levels needed to address climate and provide access to nature for all of our citizens.

Learn more about our efforts and recent success in driving federal and state investments toward nature and climate, and how you can participate.

→ Nature as a Climate Solution

Nature is one of most cost-effective strategies for mitigating climate change, through the absorption and storage of carbon in forests, wetlands, and coastal ecosystems. Nature also reduces the impacts of climatic change already underway, including extreme heat, drought, and flooding, while providing abundant services like water filtration, wildlife habitat, recreation, and improved health outcomes for people. Mass Audubon strongly advocates for elevating nature’s role within climate planning at the local, regional, state and federal levels.

→ Siting of Clean Energy

Massachusetts is a leader on climate action, with ambitious goals to decarbonize all sectors using clean, renewable energy sources by 2050 and supporting the role of natural and working lands in climate mitigation and resiliency.

To meet those goals, the state needs to support the rapid expansion of clean energy and reduce carbon emissions from producing electricity. We advocate for policies that further this rapid transition, while also avoiding and minimizing impacts to natural lands, habitats, wildlife, and environmental justice communities.

We also call for policies requiring energy developers to mitigate unavoidable impacts to habitat and wildlife. Mitigation may include measures such as restoring critical habitat for coastal birds or funding new land protection and restoration programs to address impacts from solar and transmission facilities.

Mass Audubon is working with partners to guide deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) in ways that minimize impacts on natural land and wildlife. See our Joint Statement in favor of the responsible deployment of solar in Massachusetts.

With strong wind resources just offshore, we have the opportunity to meet a large part of the region’s energy needs through offshore wind. Careful planning is needed to protect birds, whales, fish, and other wildlife, while also creating equitable green career opportunities.

→ Flood Risk Protection Program

Coastal and inland flooding poses one of the most significant climate risks to Massachusetts, and many of our lower income communities experience the highest risk of flooding. We support legislation that would study and implement a pilot program enabling landowners to voluntarily retreat from properties at highest flood risk, with a focus on assisting low- and middle-income property owners first.

→ Streamlining Wetlands Restoration

Coastal and inland wetlands have been ditched, filled, fragmented, and otherwise degraded by centuries of human activities. Massachusetts is a leader in innovative ways to restore rivers, salt marshes, abandoned cranberry bogs, and other wetlands.

The methods and funding for this work have advanced remarkably in recent years. Mass Audubon and our partners are working with state and federal agencies to identify, reduce, or remove regulatory barriers to scaling up wetland restoration efforts.

→ Safeguarding Resilient Lands

Protecting, restoring and managing land for resiliency for people and nature requires managing pests without exposing people and wildlife to toxic chemicals. We are working to support natural systems where healthy habitats and predators, along with good housekeeping around structures, keep pests in check and minimize the use of pesticides. Mass Audubon employs these ecologically-based land management practices on our own lands and shares those techniques with others.

We also provide education and support stronger regulation of certain pesticides including neonicotinoids, anticoagulant rodenticides, and mosquito control pesticides to reduce risks to human health and the environment.