Congress last month took steps to improve fish and wildlife habitat as well as water quality.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Water Resources Development Act, H.R. 8, while the Senate moved the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, S. 2800.
According to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the House bill provides provisions on boosting natural infrastructure and addressing harmful algal blooms, which can shut down fishing access, and the Senate bill prioritizes natural solutions to infrastructure challenges such as frequent flooding and expedite habitat restoration in the Everglades and Lower Mississippi River Basin.
“Both bills would help create opportunities to reduce flood and storm damages in American communities using natural infrastructure, which improves water quality and fish and wildlife habitat at the same time,” Whit Fosburgh, TRCP president and CEO, told Kristyn Brady of the TRCP blog. “Nature-based infrastructure projects, like restoring wetlands and dunes, can be more cost effective than traditional infrastructure in the long term, so what’s good for habitat is also good for taxpayers.”
In addition, both bills authorize a feasibility study of restoration projects in the Lower Mississippi Basin, which supports as many as 91 species of freshwater fish.
Jun 20, 2018 -
Both bills await votes in the full House and Senate before final legislation is passed.