Washington (February 26, 2020) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren reintroduced legislation today that would eliminate the total funding cap for the Essex National Heritage Area and extend its authorization by 15 years to 2036. When Congress created and authorized the Essex National Heritage Area, it placed a sunset date of September 30, 2021, after which no additional federal funding may be appropriated without an extension of authorization. Without a reauthorization extension and a lift of the funding cap, the Essex Heritage programs and projects could be devastated, including the annual “Trails & Sails,” the “Park for Every Classroom” program, and preservation of Bakers Island Light Station. The lack of funding would cause projects to cease operations and could have negative impacts for Essex Heritage’s ability to attract non-federal funding sources. Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06) and Lori Trahan (MA-03) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“The Essex National Heritage Area is a treasure—valued not just by those in the Commonwealth, but also by visitors from around the country who come to experience the history and natural beauty of Essex County,” said Senator Markey. “We’re reintroducing this legislation to ensure the Essex National Heritage Area will be there for families far into the future, from Appleton Farms to the Winter Island Light.”
“The Essex National Heritage Area protects the Commonwealth’s natural treasures, strengthens our local economy, and provides opportunities for communities and visitors to learn more about our rich culture and history on the North Shore,” said Senator Warren. “I am glad to support legislation to continue investing in the partnerships between communities in Massachusetts and throughout New England and the National Park Service to preserve and appreciate these special places for generations to come.”
A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.