Rep. Wittman Introduces Sportsmen’s Access Bill
Sportfishing advocate, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) introduced the Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act (H.R. 615) which would prohibit federal agencies from banning traditional lead tackle on public lands and waters. Last Congress, this legislation was introduced in response to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule that would ban traditional tackle on some National Wildlife Refuges. No scientific evidence supported the service’s action which set a concerning precedent that federal land managers don’t need to base management decisions on science. The re-introduction of this bill reaffirms the importance of regional and locally led science-based management. Learn more about this legislation on ASA’s website.
Bill Supporting Creation of Artificial Reefs Reintroduced
U.S. Reps. María Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) and Ed Case (D-Hawaii) reintroduced the Reusing Equipment for Environmental Fortification Act (H.R. 950), better known as the REEF Act, in the U.S House. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. Senate (S. 386). During the last Congress, ASA spearheaded a letter from the recreational fishing and boating community in support of the bill which includes opportunities for retired naval vessels to be considered for artificial reefs. This legislation would benefit marine life and anglers, along with local economies that benefit from anglers’ spending power. Read ASA’s letter of support here.
Lawmakers Reintroduce Bipartisan Coastal Resiliency Bill
U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) introduced the Reinvesting in Shoreline Economies & Ecosystems (RISEE) Act in the U.S. Senate and House, respectively. This legislation would promote more equitable revenue sharing from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act and create a new dedicated stream of funding from future offshore wind development for coastal protection and resiliency. The potential funds generated from this bill would benefit fisheries and anglers by supporting coastal conservation, restoration and environmental projects to preserve and restore eroding coastlines. ASA is proud to support this bill.