WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (ACE Act), legislation she cosponsored in the Senate. The bill includes language from the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act and the Chesapeake WILD Act, two bipartisan bills Senator Capito has sponsored to support habitat restoration and conservation efforts in the Chesapeake Bay region. The ACE Act now heads to President Donald J. Trump’s desk for his signature.
“The Chesapeake Bay remains an important natural resource and its headwaters in West Virginia play a meaningful role in our state’s economy. By reauthorizing existing funding and establishing the first federal species and habitat conservation grants tailored specifically to this region, we’re better able to support vital ecosystems and West Virginia’s large outdoor industry. I’m thrilled that both the Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act and the Chesapeake WILD Act were included in the ACE Act, and I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law,” Senator Capito said.
The Chesapeake Bay Program Reauthorization Act would provide $90 million in FY2020 with a $500,000 increase each year for the five years authorized. The vast majority of funding for the program would go directly toward states within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed – West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as the District of Columbia – to help control pollution and manage runoff into the tributaries that feed into the bay.
The Chesapeake WILD Act would give the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a direct role in the restoration and protection of living resources and their habitat in the 64,000 square mile Chesapeake Bay region. This non-regulatory bill directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a grants program to enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats. There are key areas in the tidal Chesapeake Bay system that would benefit from this program, including areas for wetland restoration. However, there is a tremendous need in upland areas, and some commitments under the Chesapeake Bay Agreement are behind schedule. This legislation would enable the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to more fully engage in habitat restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay region.
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