Conservation Bill Heads to the President

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Congress passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, the second major conservation package passed this year.

The House unanimously approved the bill last week, two weeks after the Senate passed the measure, and President Trump is expected to sign the legislation.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association applauded the bill’s passing, calling it a “significant boost to wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation efforts” because it will not only establish new conservation programs, but will also reauthorize and increase several others.

The ACE Act authorizes more than $1 billion for federal wildlife and habitat programs through 2025. It reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Act, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network, and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Grants Assistance Program.

It also establishes a chronic wasting disease task force, authorizes federal funding to combat invasive species, and seeks to increase partnerships between public agencies and outside groups to conserve local fish species.

In June, the marine industry celebrated the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, a conservation package that dedicates billions of dollars from oil and gas exploration fees to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to cover a backlog of deferred maintenance at national parks.

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