Larsen Bill to Protect and Restore Estuaries Passes Committee

Apr 15, 2015 Issues: Environment

WASHINGTON—A bill to provide continued funding to protect and restore estuaries that Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, introduced passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today. Larsen introduced the bipartisan bill with Rep. Frank LoBiondo, NJ-02, in February. H.R. 944 would reauthorize the National Estuary Program through 2020, funding local efforts to preserve sensitive estuaries and their wildlife.

“I am working to protect Washington state’s environment, which is why I have long supported estuary restoration in the Pacific Northwest. A healthy estuary like the Puget Sound supports healthy fish, birds and other wildlife, as well as driving important economic activities like trade, fishing, tourism and outdoor recreation. Healthy estuaries also help capture carbon dioxide emissions out of the air, as a report last year about the Snohomish Estuary found.

“I am pleased that the committee advanced this bill that will continue federal support for local efforts to keep these sensitive habitats vital today and for future generations,” Larsen said.

In addition to leading efforts to fund the National Estuary Program, Larsen has a long record of support for restoring local estuaries, like the Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project. This will be one of the largest tidal marsh restoration projects ever completed in Washington state when it is finished.

Funding from the National Estuary Program, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, supports the comprehensive plan for Puget Sound recovery through the Puget Sound Partnership.