Massachusetts Senate debates, approves $1.9 billion, 4-year environmental spending bill

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a $1.9 billion, four-year environmental bond bill.

The legislation is intended to help preserve and improve land, parks and renewable energy resources. During Thursday's debate, senators added $200 million to the bill, which was originally $1.7 billion.

Among the dozens of spending projects is $100 million for the dredging of Boston and New Bedford harbors and another $100 million for the Department of Conservation and Recreation for the design, construction and preservation of forests, parks, harbor islands, and other recreational facilities.

The bill would also require state environmental officials to identify areas where deer overpopulation is harming forestation, water resources, or plant growth on state land and to develop a plan to cull deer herds by October.

House and Senate negotiators will now hammer out a single compromise bill.