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Senate Panel Approves Water Resources Bill

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The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday approved a water resources bill that includes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provisions that are favorable to the boating industry.

The Water Resources Development Act devotes funds for the Corps of Engineers and outdoor recreation reforms for which the National Marine Manufacturers Association had lobbied, the group said in a statement after the committee passage yesterday. Callie Hoyt, NMMA director of federal relations, called the measure “one of the strongest water infrastructure reauthorization bills for the recreational boating community.”

The bill guides at least 80 percent of recreation fees collected at sites toward operation and maintenance of those sites, according to a summary of provisions. It calls for annual evaluation of dredging needs at small, remote and subsistence harbors.

The Corps of Engineers would be required to submit a report on the investments needed to support recreation activities, NMMA said. Spending also is being increased for federal/state invasive species partnerships.

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