December 17, 2019 – The bipartisan National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnership Act (H.R. 1747), introduced by U.S. Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas), passed in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a broader package of natural resource legislation last week. The bill also advanced through the Senate in the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) today as part of the America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act (S. 3051.) The bill was introduced recently by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R- Wyo.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate EPW Committee, and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.).
The National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnership Act would authorize funding for the National Fish Habitat Program and its 20 regional partnerships working across the country to conserve priority fish habitats and fish populations. Codifying the program into law would secure consistent federal funding and establish a strategic framework for the restoration and conservation projects implemented through the program.
The National Fish Habitat Partnership was created in 2006 and funds on-the-ground habitat restoration projects through public-private partnerships focused on conserving and maintaining healthy fisheries. To date, more than 800 successful conservation projects, including dam removals, streambank stabilizations, invasive aquatic plant removal, and other projects have been carried out across the country.
“The NFHP has led to the successful restoration of fish habitat across the country. The locally driven partnerships have measurably improved the prospects for fish. AFS has been involved with NFHP since its inception and enshrining it in law will give it the stability to ensure that funds will be directed to priority restoration projects,” said Doug Austen, Executive Director of the American Fisheries Society.
With passage of the bill in the House, it is time to help ensure that the bill continues to advance in the Senate. Please take a moment to call or write your Senators in support of the National Fish Habitat Partnership.