Throughout our history APCC has been a respected advocate for the protection of Cape Cod. In these ominous times, our steady leadership is needed more than ever. And yet, we find ourselves faced with an extraordinary opportunity to solve an entrenched problem and end nutrient enrichment of our prized bays and estuaries while, at the same time, combating massive federal rollbacks in fundamental environmental protections on everything from drinking water to climate change.
APCC is building a fund to ensure action is possible when opportunity or threat arises. We are naming it the Action Fund, and we aim to raise $250,000 by the end of this year. I hope you will give generously to it, because building this fund will ensure that we have resources to quickly and effectively mobilize to guard against threats to our region, as well as take advantage of opportunities—like the Cape Cod Water Protection Trust—as they arise.
APCC has been at the center of a broad coalition working with our legislative delegation to create a funding source to help Cape towns pay for needed wastewater management plans. Establishing the Cape Cod Water Protection Trust will lower the cost of clean water by 25 percent, saving Cape Cod taxpayers up to a billion dollars over time. Securing such a massive infusion of tax relief to the Cape is a generational opportunity, and APCC’s role is critically important because we bring a combination of expertise in public financing and wastewater management, and a reputation for integrity and toughness as an advocate for the Cape. We will step up.
We are engaged in what must be considered an all-out war, fighting against changes in federal environmental protections long considered fundamental to our well-being. The President’s proposed 30 percent cut in funding for the EPA is a dangerous example of a series of actions shredding the regulations and protections we count on for clean air, water and climate change resilience. And as we know, it was just recently announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accords. APCC’s role as an active, watchful advocate is critical. For example, our letter opposing the appointment of Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator was read by Senator Warren on the floor of the Senate. We continue to register opposition to regulatory rollbacks on the environment and we stand ready to again oppose offshore drilling should we need to.
We have a very narrow window of time to help make the Cape Cod Water Protection Trust a reality. With the help of our members, we will launch an aggressive campaign to build public support, educate legislators and the media, and energetically work to ensure state lawmakers know that the voters on the Cape are in support and paying attention.
The Action Fund will also support our work to push back on federal rollbacks and advance the environmental restoration projects that will protect us from the effects of climate change.