Senate Passes Lesser Amendment to Greenlight Chicopee River Canoe and Kayak Launch

BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate voted on Thursday to authorize $250,000 in bonds to the City of Chicopee for the construction of a canoe and kayak launch off of Fuller Road on the Chicopee River. The measure was proposed by Sen. Eric P. Lesser, and co-sponsored by Sens. James T. Welch and Donald F. Humason, Jr., after discussion with city officials about the community’s needs in environmental and recreational investments. The funding request was added to a Senate bond bill promoting climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets.

“This bill serves as an opportunity to bring attention to local priorities at the State House. This project offers exciting opportunities for future recreation on and along the Chicopee River, and ensures that it will remain a safe and enjoyable space for our community. This is a worthy project that will improve the quality of life for our residents, and I hope Governor Baker releases the funds to make it happen,” said Sen. Lesser.

The plan for the project includes floating docks and equipment that allows the physically disabled to launch their own boats, as well as parking and picnicking space.

The bill authorizes spending on certain types of infrastructure projects, including support for environmental programs at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies ranging from air and water quality monitoring to hazardous waste cleanup and the restoration of rivers, wetlands, streams and lakes.

The bill will now be reconciled with a version passed by the State House of Representatives, and the Governor must ultimately decide whether to release the funds from the appropriate executive offices to finance the projects.