Dingell, Graves Introduce Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021
Bipartisan Legislation Provides 5-Year Reauthorization of Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, Supports Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Priorities
Washington, June 9, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced the Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021, which would reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through 2025. The Trust Fund, which is set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year, provides funding to for fishery projects, boating access, and aquatic education. Ranking Member for the House Committee on Natural Resources Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) joined the legislation as original cosponsors.
“Along with the 30 million anglers that purchase fishing licenses each year, the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is the backbone of state-based fisheries conservation in America,” said Jeff Crane, President and CEO of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We are thrilled to work with Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Co-Chair Rep. Dingell and CSC Member Rep. Graves, among others, to reauthorize this critical program with strong bipartisan support.”
“We thank Congresswoman Dingell, Congressman Graves and the other sponsors for their leadership on the bipartisan reintroduction of the Sport Fish Restoration, Recreational Boating Safety, and Wildlife Restoration Act of 2021 and their unwavering support of this cornerstone law for state, territorial, and the District of Columbia fish and wildlife agencies,” said Sara Parker Pauley, Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We would not be able to provide the public with the outdoor recreational assets they need for fishing and boating without this legislation.”
“We greatly appreciate the bipartisan work of the bill sponsors as well as the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Committees of jurisdiction,” said Ron Regan, Executive Director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “We look forward working with them to enact this critical piece of conservation legislation.”
“Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Dingell and Graves, we are one step closer to restoring the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund’s integrity and safeguarding the program so that it can continue tackling conservation challenges and protecting our waters for generations to come,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, National Marine Manufacturers Association President. “The Trust Fund is the backbone of conservation, providing critical funding for conservation programs and recreational boating infrastructure projects at the national and state levels, and we call on all members of Congress to swiftly support this overwhelmingly bipartisan bill.”
“The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is one of the nation’s most important conservation programs,” said Glenn Hughes, President of the American Sportfishing Association. “Last year, the sportfishing industry contributed over $200 million to the trust fund through the federal excise tax on fishing equipment. The fisheries conservation and public access projects carried out all across the country provide opportunities for the nation’s 55 million anglers to enjoy time on the water.”
“The enactment of this legislation is critically important for continuing the foundational funding mechanism that is essential for the conservation of sport fish species and their habitats, to provide public access for fishing and boating, and to provide boating safety and education,” said Bryan King, Associate Director, Fisheries and Wildlife Division, DC Department of the Environment and Chair of AFWA’s Fisheries & Water Resources Policy Committee.
Since its enactment in 1950 with the passage of the Dingell-Johnson Act, the Trust Fund has provided more than $38 billion in funding for state-based conservation programs, recreational boating access and safety, aquatic resources education, and fisheries management and restoration.Full text of the legislation is available here