WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sept. 15, 2016 – Today, the United States Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA, S. 2848). This bipartisan legislation passed the Senate with a vote of 95-3 and includes provisions critical to restoring waterfowl habitat throughout the country.
"The passage of WRDA marks an important investment in our nation's water resources," said Dale Hall, chief executive officer for Ducks Unlimited. "These investments help restore and conserve some of the nation's most threatened habitat for waterfowl, while providing jobs and economic stability for communities all across the country. Ducks Unlimited thanks Senators Jim Inhofe and Barbara Boxer for their leadership on this bill and urges the House of Representatives to act now in passing this common-sense bipartisan legislation."
Key conservation provisions included in the WRDA bill:
- The reauthorization of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and the Long Island Sound Restoration Act, which provide resources for dozens of on-the-ground habitat restoration projects critical to sportsmen.
- The removal of regulatory barriers that currently restrict the use of dredged materials for habitat restoration projects.
- The removal of limitations on the use of pre-construction engineering and design funds for fish and wildlife mitigation.
The next step is for the House of Representatives to present its WRDA legislation (H.R. 5303), which was passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee earlier this spring. In the coming weeks, Ducks Unlimited will continue to highlight the importance of WRDA to wetlands and waterfowl conservation and encourage House leadership to make WRDA a priority for a full final vote before Congress is recessed for the upcoming election.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.8 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.
Tucker Clare Nelson