The American Sportfishing Association(ASA) voiced its support for a draft water infrastructure bill that authorizes a wide range of projects and studies to improve the conservation and management of the nation’s waterways.
The draft bill, titled America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020, was recently released by the leaders of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.).
“Sound management and conservation of America’s waterways is always important, but even more so at this time, given the economic fallout related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policies set forth in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 are vital to create jobs and help struggling communities across the country who depend on access to healthy waterways,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s vice president of Government Affairs. “The recreational fishing industry is grateful to Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper for working to address so many of the challenges facing recreational fisheries across the country.”
In its letter, ASA highlighted nineteen provisions in the bill of importance to the sportfishing industry. These provisions address many of ASA’s top policy priorities, including:
- Limiting the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes and throughout the Mississippi River drainage.
- Authorizing projects to support Everglades restoration.
- Improving the detection and mitigation of harmful algal blooms.
- Increasing recreational access at U.S. Corps of Engineers projects.
- Conserving key coastal watersheds throughout the country, including the Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound and San Francisco Bay.
“Recreational fishing contributes $125 billion to the economy and supports more than 800,000 jobs,” said Leonard. “When looking for ways to stimulate the economy, ASA urges Congress to advance policies like those in America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 that will help the tremendous economic driver that is recreational fishing get back on track.”