Congress has introduced the Coastal Fishing Program Act of 2022 to help provide kids access to fishing. The bipartisan bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) and Donald McEachin (D-Va.), along with 19 co-sponsors. The Senate version was introduced by Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).
The bill would create a grant program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for programs that take children fishing, with priority given to underserved communities.
The legislation is in line with the American Sportfishing Association’s goal of introducing new anglers, particularly young people, to sport fishing.
“Countless studies show that while there are ample health benefits to spending time on the water with family and friends, young people and those in underserved communities face significant barriers in accessing the outdoors,” ASA government affairs vice president Mike Leonard said in a statement.
“The grants provided through this bill will go a long way to remove those barriers and help children develop a love of fishing,” Leonard added.