Section 1. There shall be a department of conservation and recreation, in this chapter called the “department”. It shall be the duty of said department to exercise general care and oversight of the natural resources of the commonwealth and of its adjacent waters; to make investigations and to carry on research relative thereto; and to propose and carry out measures for the protection, conservation, control, use, increase, and development thereof.
The words “natural resources”, as used herein, shall be held to include ocean, shellfish and inland fisheries; wild birds, including song and insectivorous birds; wild mammals and game; sea and fresh water fish of every description; forests and all uncultivated flora, together with public shade and ornamental trees and shrubs; land, soil and soil resources, lakes, ponds, streams, coastal, underground and surface waters; minerals and natural deposits. The department shall also be concerned with the development of public recreation as related to such natural resources; and shall have control and supervision of such parks, forests, and areas of recreational, scenic, or historic significance as may be from time to time committed to it.
In carrying out its duties the department shall co-operate with the departments of food and agriculture, public health, public works, the University of Massachusetts, and such other departments, boards, officials, and institutions of the commonwealth or its subdivisions as may be concerned with matters under its supervision. It shall co-operate with adjoining states, and with the United States of America or any agency thereof, as authorized by the general court, and receive and dispense such funds from such agencies as shall be authorized by the general court.
The department of conservation and recreation shall consist of a division of state parks and recreation and a division of water supply protection. Each division shall be under the administrative supervision of a director and shall be under the supervision and control of the commissioner of the department of conservation and recreation. The division of water supply protection shall have control over the watershed and water supply systems in accordance with chapter 92A1/2. The division of state parks and recreation shall have control over the state parks, forests, parkways, waterways, rinks, pools, beaches and other recreational lands and facilities outside of the watershed systems as defined in sections 1 and 2 of chapter 92A1/2.