America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act Passes U.S. Senate

Alexandria, Va. Yesterday, Members of the United States Senate voted in favor of the bipartisan America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Reauthorization Act (S. 3791). This critical legislation includes many priorities for the sportfishing industry, including funding for fish habitat restoration, pollution reduction in the Chesapeake Bay, invasive species management, and the protection of traditional tackle.

“The ACE Reauthorization Act will bolster America’s $148 billion sportfishing economy through funding for programs such as the National Fish Habitat Partnership, Chesapeake Bay Program, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act” said Mike Leonard, Vice President of Government Affairs at the American Sportfishing Association. “We applaud Senators Carper, Capito and the 14 additional bipartisan cosponsors for their leadership on this issue and their commitment to enhancing angling opportunities for America’s 54.5 million anglers.”

The ACE Reauthorization Act reauthorizes the National Fish Habitat Partnership (NFHP) and increases funding for the program to $10 million per year. NFHP is a voluntary, non-regulatory, and locally driven program that has funded more than 1,300 on-the-ground aquatic habitat improvement projects since 2016.

Additionally, this legislation also protects the use of traditional fishing tackle by prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead-based fishing products through 2030.

Reauthorization of the Chesapeake Bay Program will approve $100 million per year for the Bay watershed, including America’s largest estuary, through 2030. This critical funding will allow six states and the District of Columbia to improve water quality, fish habitat, and flood resilience from the mountainous headwaters to the Atlantic Ocean.

The ACE Act was initially authorized in 2020 and many of its provisions will expire in 2025. We look forward to working with Members of the House of Representatives to see this legislation cross the finish line.

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