Biparty HR Bill Provides Funding for Conservation, Research and Access to Boating
A bill has been introduced that provides critical funding for conservation, fisheries research, habitat restoration and boating access and safety and also proposes new provisions to help address the future needs of anglers and boaters according to BoatUS.
The Sport Fish Restoration, Boating Safety and Wildlife Restoration Act (HR 3702) aims to re-authorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Safety Trust Fund, one of the most effective federal “user pay – public benefits” funding programs that rely on excise taxes paid on fishing and boating equipment as well as motor boat fuel taxes to support fishing programs to row and boating.
Among several new provisions in the bill, the first aims to remedy the abandoned shipchallenge which also includes the promotion of boat recycling programs. The second is to examine the growing use of non-motorized vessels on all types of waterway access and the resulting user conflicts and the potential for increased boating-related accidents and fatalities. .
The bill also gives the US Fish and Wildlife Service more flexibility to effectively administer sport fish restoration fund programs, such as the Subsidy for nautical infrastructure (BIG) which increases the availability of safe and protected refuges for visiting boaters.
The national advocacy, service and safety group for pleasure craft owners, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), thanks the sponsor of the bill, Representative Debbie Dingel (D-MI) and Representative Garret Graves (R-LA) for introducing the legislation, and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) for the accompanying bill S.1995. The legislation should be incorporated into a larger transport bill.
“HR 3702 builds on many years of success,” said David Kennedy, Director of Government Affairs for BoatUS. “It continues to support infrastructure grants, Clean Ships Act, and the United States Coast Guard and local boating safety programs. However, it also discusses some new challenges we face as more people head to the water, such as what to do with end-of-life pleasure craft and how to fairly fund points of interest. access to waterways. We are impatiently awaiting its passage.
Since its enactment in 1950, the Trust Fund has provided more than $ 38 billion in funding for state conservation programs, boating access and safety, aquatic resource education, and management and conservation. fisheries restoration.