“We are delighted to see key Everglades restoration projects advancing in the Water Resources Development Act,” says Dawn Shirreffs, senior Everglades policy advisor for the Everglades Foundation. “Authorization of the Central Everglades Planning Project is critical to removing barriers and restoring Everglades water flow, which can bring 67 billion gallons of water to improve habitat in Florida Bay. This is particularly important for spotted seatrout and snook, but also helps prevent future seagrass die-offs that affect the entire fishery.”
The Senate version of the bill also contains a provision that would emphasize the use of nature-based infrastructure, like wetlands, dunes, and reefs, over new man-made structures. Natural infrastructure provides for sustainable and cost-effective means of reducing flood and storm damage, improving water quality, and protecting vital fish and wildlife habitat in the process.
“As we’ve learned from recent storms and floods, nature is often our first and most effective line of defense against such natural disasters,” says Lynn Scarlett, The Nature Conservancy’s managing director for public policy. “The projects and policies included in this WRDA emphasize the important role nature can play to help meet the needs of people, communities, and public safety.”
More than a dozen groups—including the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, B.A.S.S., Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership—have been calling on Congress for support for “water resource development projects that consider natural and nature-based features” since June 2016.
The Senate version of WRDA also contains language to ensure that enhancing and sustaining fish and wildlife habitat connectivity is a robust part of the Army Corp’s mitigation planning process.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee reported out their version of the 2016 WRDA reauthorization, but the bill has not yet come to the House floor for final passage. The House bill does not currently contain funding for Everglades restoration or a push for natural infrastructure, but once passed, the process of reconciling the Senate and House bills can begin.
“With the clock ticking down to the end of the 114th Congress, the Water Resources Development Act remains amongst TRCP’s highest conservation priorities,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “With expiration of the current law set for 2017, it is critical for this Congress to send a WRDA bill to the president, so that we don’t have to start this process over again next year. Today’s action by the Senate, on a bill with many benefits for fish and wildlife habitat, is a great first step. Now, the House must act expeditiously.”
Central to Eastern Montana Fishing Report 12.13.17
Browns Lake Ice Fishing Report 12.13.17
Charging Your Flashlight with Water?
Catch ’em and Release ’em with Team Hippie Fish [VIDEO]
Sportsmen in the Christmas Spirit
Christmas Tree Hunting in Montana
Officials to Consider Expanding Montana Youth Hunt
By Jackalope Jordan
Muley Buck Poached Near Glasgow
Sore mouth disease found in Yellowstone
By Moosetrack Megan
Comment on proposed grizzly de-listing
Becoming an Outdoor Woman class held
Snowshoe and skijoring workshop
Two deer left to waste near Glendive
NW Montana Fishing Report by Snappy’s Sport Senter 12.7.17
Missouri River Fishing Report by CrossCurrents Fly Shop 12.8.17
A Montana Wolf Encounter [VIDEO]
Public comment sought for open water fishing contests
Hunting Diaries: Chapter 1
Zinke allegedly bans reporter for coverage of fly rod rig
Badger Buries Cow [VIDEO]
Montana Wolf Harvest Update as of 12.10.17
Officers Recover Trackchair Stolen From Disabled Veteran in Missoula
Two Cow Elk Poached Near Slippery Ann Elk Viewing Area
Use Ground Venison Sausage to Make Sausage Balls to Serve with Salsa
By Toby Trigger