Rockefeller Bill Would Protect Fishing Habitat, Boost Sport-Fishing Opportunities

Senator’s Reauthorization Would Create Jobs, Supports Habitat Restoration, Water Safety Programs

October 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV announced this week that he is seeking to reauthorize a federal program that preserves and restores fishing habitats for the Nation’s sport fishermen while creating jobs in the recreation industry.

The Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2011 would direct funding to state agencies for support of fisheries management, habitat conservation and boating safety programs.  Wildlife recreation supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

“Some of the best fishing in the world is in the United States,” Rockefeller said. “Just ask the millions of anglers and fisherman and they’ll tell you how vitally important it is that we keep our rivers, lakes and streams pristine and safe.  It creates jobs while providing recreational opportunities.  That’s a great investment.”

The measure would reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which pools roughly $650 to $700 million in excise taxes on fishing equipment and boating fuel purchases.  The funds are re-allocated to the states. 

Chairman Rockefeller is acting on two fronts to get the measure passed.  He has introduced the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2011 as a stand-alone measure and has also included provisions of the bill in a reauthorization of funding for the Nation’s surface transportation programs.  The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the vast majority of surface transportation—including waterways and marine fisheries.

Additional information on the economic impact sport fishing has on the national economy can be found here.