Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today announced the introduction of the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act to significantly advance ongoing efforts to restore and protect fish habitats by establishing the most comprehensive effort ever attempted to treat the causes of fish habitat decline. This legislation would improve the health of America’s waterways and ensure that the United States has robust fish populations well into the future.
“Healthy waterways and robust fish populations are vital to the well-being of our society and are essential in many communities throughout the United States,” said Lieberman. “This bill will help provide clean water and sustainable fisheries in this country and provide recreational value to those who fish, whether it is in wild waters or canoeing through peaceful streams. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this important legislation and reverse the decline of our ailing waterways and fisheries.”
The National Fish Habitat Conservation Act authorizes assistance grants for fish habitat projects that are supported by pre-existing regional Fish Habitat Partnerships. Based on the highly successful North American Wetlands Conservation Act model, the bill establishes a multi-stakeholder National Fish Habitat Board to recommend science-based conservation projects to the Secretary of Interior for assistance. Regional partners will then work to implement those conservation projects to protect, restore and enhance fish habitats and fish populations.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jon Tester (D-MT), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Udall (D-CO). The Bill number is S.1201 and should be available soon at thomas.gov.
For more information about fish habitat conservation, go to www.fishhabitat.org.