They come in wheelchairs with their oxygen to spend a day with each other and to enjoy the beauty of New Hampshire. We need to keep it beautiful for them.
I work for Breathe New Hampshire, a lung health organization dedicated to ensuring that everyone in New Hampshire takes the healthiest breath possible. Air pollution affects not only outdoor but indoor air in New Hampshire. Every day, we see the effects of people who are impacted by toxics that are poisoning the air that they breathe: children with asthma, adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other vulnerable populations who are most at risk. We see firsthand the link between good health and a clean environment and are passionate advocates for strong legislation and volunteer efforts to keep everyone in New Hampshire healthy by keeping our environment healthy.
We have many stories in our organization of lost lives and lost potential that did not need to happen. Each year, we run a cruise for a day and we invite individuals around the state who are suffering with lung disease out for a day on our beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. They come in wheelchairs with their oxygen to spend a day with each other and to enjoy the beauty of New Hampshire. We need to keep it beautiful for them.
Pollution in New Hampshire is dependent on where you live. Those who live near paper mills or asphalt plants and those who are vulnerable because they have been dealt a bad hand economically suffer disproportionately compared to the rest of the New Hampshire population. These people are serviced by many programs, but our greatest concern is that local and federal legislation are starting to dismantle the efforts that many of us have worked for. We have programs through state agencies such as Healthy Homes, Tools for Schools, Integrated Pest Management, Indoor Air Quality as well as our Asthma program that will not be here in a few years. So, our endangered species list in New Hampshire includes everyone working on environmental issues who are losing their jobs from budget cuts.
New Hampshire is a state that thrives on tourists who come here year round to enjoy our mountains, lakes, rivers and forests. We need to preserve what is important in our state—that is, our natural resources and our citizens. Protecting New Hampshire's environment protects our economy and our citizens.