Senate Passes Wetlands and Fish Habitat Conservation Bills

WASHINGTON – The Senate has unanimously passed America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, a legislative package which includes two bills Senator Doug Jones’ (D-Ala) cosponsored to expand federal nature conservation programs.

The first bill reauthorizes the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) through 2025, and increases authorized annual funding for the program to $60 million. NAWCA was originally enacted in 1989 to provide federal cost-share funding to projects that conserve North America’s waterfowl, fish, and wildlife resources. NAWCA has provided support for four projects in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, and helped conserve more than 47,000 acres of wildlife habitat. These conservation efforts will continue to ensure Alabamians and visitors can enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, and more in the Delta area. Ducks Unlimited, a leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, supported this legislation.

The second bill authorizes the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, a national framework developed jointly by the states, federal agencies, businesses, and the angling and conservation community to set out goals for conserving and restoring fish habitats on a national scale. The program has supported 840 projects across all 50 states since its inception in 2006.

“In Alabama, fishing and hunting aren’t just pastimes – they’re a way of life. They’re also a vital part of our state’s economy,” Senator Jones said, who is an avid outdoorsman and hunter. “It’s crucial that we do everything we can to protect and preserve our fish habitats and wetlands so that Alabamians can enjoy them for generations to come.”

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