WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) today introduced the Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2021. The legislation would reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which supports about $650 million annually in fishery restoration and conservation programs, boating access and infrastructure, as well as fish stocking programs important to recreational anglers. The legislation would also authorize studies on the impacts of non-motorized vessel use on vessel waterway access as well as the impact of abandoned vessels.
“Washingtonians love recreational fishing,” said Chair Cantwell. “That means boating, charter fishing, fly fishing, or even fishing just off the dock. Give us any means possible and we will fish. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which helps keep our lines in the water – and fish on the road to recovery by supporting $600 million per year in fisheries restoration, conservation, and improving access for outdoor recreation.”
“Since 1950, the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund has been a key component in increasing access for marine and freshwater anglers by protecting vital habitats,” said Ranking Member Wicker. “Our legislation would reauthorize this important fund while implementing studies aimed to improve the program. I thank Chair Cantwell for working with me to advance this measure.”
The Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act of 2021 would:
- Reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through fiscal year 2026;
- Authorize a report on the use of the Trust Fund toward improved non-motorized vessel access;
- Authorize a study on the impacts and potential solutions for abandoned vessels.