Washington D.C. (February 10, 2020)- The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies is pleased to announce the passage of critical habitat legislation that reauthorizes funding for projects in the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. The Association would like to thank and congratulate the bills’ sponsors, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA) for the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1620) and Representative David Joyce (R-OH) for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 (H.R. 4031), both of which passed the full House with bipartisan approval.
“Secure, steady funding streams are key to the success of conservation programs and partnerships,” said Tim Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. “As a Great Lake state that also constitutes 35% of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, we see first-hand the need for these initiatives and are proud to work with our conservation partners in these nationally important watersheds. Through this funding, we can continue to collaborate with our regional partners in fighting the spread of invasive species; restoring critical habitat; and ensuring clean water for people, fish, and wildlife throughout the region.”
While the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 now moves to the Senate for action, similar provisions for the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act is included in the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act (S. 3051), which unanimously passed the Senate last month.
“The overwhelmingly bipartisan support for these measures is a reminder that conservation requires working partnerships across all levels of community and government,” said Secretary Kelly Hepler of South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
In addition to funding for Chesapeake Bay conservation and restoration, the ACE Act includes a reauthorization for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund and codifies the National Fish Habitat Partnership program, as well as establishes a collaborative task force to address the growing threat of Chronic Wasting Disease.
The Association is committed to continuing to work with our conservation partners and members of the House to ensure continued funding of the Chesapeake Bay program and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in part by bringing the ACE Act to the House floor for immediate passage in its current form.
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies—the organization that represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies—promotes sound resource management and conservation, and speaks on important fish and wildlife issues. Found on the web at www.fishwildlife.org, on Facebook/AssociationofFishandWildlifeAgencies and on Twitter @fishwildlife.