House passes two Rob Wittman bills: HR 1747 and HR 3596

Rob WittmanCongressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) had two pieces of legislation pass the House of Representatives as part of H.R. 729 – a larger package of 10 bipartisan bills.

The National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act and the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act work to increase conservation of fish habitat and wetlands, as well as preserve our working waterfronts.

HR 1747, the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, codifies National Fish Habitat Partnerships, an initiative that aims to achieve measurable habitat conservation results through strategic partnerships that lead to better fish habitat conditions and increased fishing opportunities.

Congressman Wittman authored and is the lead sponsor of this legislation.

“Healthy waterways and fish populations are absolutely critical to providing clean water and sustainable fisheries,” Wittman said. “My legislation, HR 1747, included in the package today, will increase transparency, put power back in the hands of stakeholders, and require accountability to ensure taxpayer dollars go further to conserve fish habitat. Modeled after successful programs like the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, this program would utilize locally-driven partnerships – which have proven successful in implementing much needed habitat improvement projects. I want to thank my colleagues for their support of my legislation and hope for its consideration in the Senate soon.”

HR 3596, the Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act, would establish a Working Waterfront Grant Program that would provide matching, competitive grants to coastal states.  The grants would go toward preserving and expanding access to coastal waters for commercial fishing, recreational guiding, aquaculture, boat building, and other water-dependent businesses.

Congressman Wittman is an original cosponsor.

“Deteriorating waterfronts don’t just hurt our economy, they hurt our communities,” Wittman said. “These waterfronts support businesses, provide access to water, vitalize the economy, and improve quality of life for folks all over the country. Unfortunately, pressure from population growth and development threaten to displace Virginia’s many water-dependent industries and the families that have deep cultural ties to the area. The Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act will protect communities along our coasts by supporting maritime industry, protecting vital jobs, and preserving our natural resources. I want to thank Congresswoman Pingree for her partnership on this legislation, I am thrilled to see it pass the House and hope to see it signed into law.”

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