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Thune Introduces Bill to Extend Successful Sport Fish & Boating Fund

Bill scheduled for Commerce Committee mark-up this week

March 24, 2015

Washington, D.C. — 

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the committee’s ranking member, today introduced S. 834 to reauthorize through Fiscal Year 2023 the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which has benefitted millions of anglers and fishermen since 1950.

“This program helps ensure our natural water resources receive needed care so that they remain available for the use and enjoyment of generations to come,” said Thune. “Sport fishermen and recreational boaters value and support this trust fund that allocates funds to protect wetlands, restore fisheries, and support a national recreational boating safety program.”

“Keeping our beaches, lakes and rivers clean and abundant with fish is about protecting our economy and fragile environment,” Nelson said. “It’s also about leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.” 

The program collects user fees on fishing tackle and equipment, motorboat fuel, imported boats and fishing equipment, and small engines, raising roughly $600 million per year. The money in the fund is then allocated to federal and state programs for boating safety and infrastructure, fishery management, habitat conservation, and related programs and activities. Last Congress, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill “would not affect revenues.” 

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund authorizes annual distribution for the following:

The remaining funds are allocated to the following programs according to the Act:

Click here to read S. 834. The Sport Fish Restoration and Recreational Boating Safety Act is scheduled for consideration by the Commerce Committee on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.