U.S. Senate Advances America’s Conservation Enhancement Act
(Annapolis, MD) – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the America’s Conservation Enhancement Act (S. 3051), a bipartisan conservation package which features numerous provisions supporting wildlife conservation and habitat protection, including for the Chesapeake Bay. The ACE Act extends the authorization for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, a program which provides millions of dollars in grants each year for bird and wetland habitat protection.
Notably, the bill also extends authorizations through fiscal year 2025 for two Chesapeake Bay programs – the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Network – and it establishes a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program for the Chesapeake Bay, called the Chesapeake WILD Act.
Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn praised the Senate legislation:
“I applaud the bipartisan work of the Senate to pass this important legislation that will support conservation and wildlife protection across the country, including right here in the Chesapeake Bay. The long-term reauthorizations of the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails Program represent a major, hard-fought victory. These programs have proven their immense value for the Bay’s health and for local economies that depend on a healthy Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake WILD Act will bring additional, much-needed resources to protect the Chesapeake’s fish and wildlife and their habitats which is integral to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.
“I thank Senators Capito, Cardin, Carper, Casey, Coons, Gillibrand, Kaine, Manchin, Warner and Van Hollen for their diligent efforts to advance these much-needed measures for the Chesapeake Bay. “
The ACE Act will move to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.