News

Policy News

Appropriations Bill Aims to Exempt Clean Water Rule from Public Comments

UPDATE: The House of Representatives passed a security-themed “minibus” appropriations package on July 27, containing Defense, Energy & Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction-Veterans Affairs spending bills. The bill includes a controversial provision to exempt the repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule from the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The policy rider would allow for an expedited... Read More

AFS Urges Congress to Support DOI’s Climate Science Centers

AFS recently signed-on to a letter urging congressional appropriators to fund the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) in concert with a number of conservation organizations.  The President’s FY18 budget proposes a 34% decrease in overall funding from FY17 levels for this program and the cuts would result... Read More

ASWM to host WOTUS Webinar

The Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) will host a webinar on July 11, 2017 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET featuring legal experts representing diverse perspectives on the Trump administration’s proposed repeal of the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Army are carrying out a two-step process to repeal... Read More

Bi-partisan Legislation Aims to Authorize National Fish Habitat Partnership

In June, Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Ben Cardin, D-Md. introduced bipartisan legislation to authorize the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP). The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act, S. 1436, authorizes $7.2 million annually for fish habitat restoration and protection projects that are supported by regional Fish Habitat Partnerships and codifies the National Fish Habitat Action... Read More

EPA Announces Clean Water Rule Rollback

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have begun the process of rescinding the 2015 Clean Water Rule. The repeal of the 2015 rule and replacement could result in a rollback of Clean Water Act protections for a majority of the nation’s streams and wetlands, including the headwater streams and... Read More

Interior Secretary Zinke Testifies on Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

Newly appointed Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, testified before the House Committee on Appropriations’ Interior Subcommittee on June 8 regarding the agency’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. That proposal prioritizes maintenance of National Parks infrastructure and energy development and may include increased oil and gas leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf while offering cuts in... Read More

Chris Oliver Appointed NOAA Assistant Administrator

Today, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, with concurrence from the White House, named Chris Oliver Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. The Texas native assumed his new position on June 19. As Assistant Administrator, Oliver will oversee the federal agency responsible for recreational and commercial fisheries. In addition to managing productive and sustainable domestic fisheries, including some... Read More

Capitol Hill Ocean Week’s Congressional Roundtable

This week, AFS staff attended Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), an annual conference convened by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.  Each year, CHOW brings together more than 600 national and global policymakers, scientists, scholars, businesses and conservation leaders to address pressing science, conservation, and management issues facing our oceans and Great Lakes. A Congressional Roundtable... Read More