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Environment and Outdoors

Chellie Pingree Pushes For Federal Protection For York River

After nearly a decade of trying, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District has succeeded in getting the U.S. House to agree to add the York River to the National Park Service’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Pingree says if also approved by the Senate, the designation will bolster the efforts of the communities along the river to preserve the watershed that is important to fish and other wildlife, and much more.

“We don’t tend to the often think about the importance of it, but the water supply for a couple of communities comes from there. There are important salt marshes that help in flood mitigations, there’s working waterfronts,” she says.

Pingree says the designation would make communities along the York River eligible for technical assistance from the National Park Service and and for federal grant money for projects that maintain the watershed.

“To the communities that are impacted by this, by the York River and watershed, it could provide them with a lot of technical assistance, financial support, the use of the federal government expertise on supporting a watershed like this,” she says.

The provision is part of a broader measure aimed at protecting wilderness and public lands.

The measure now goes to the Senate for further votes.