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Legislation would set up coordinated fish habitat conservation programs

Fishing and other water-based recreation would be enhanced if new legislation passes. That's what Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) says of the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (S. 2080), which he recently introduced.

The bill aims to coordinate nationally the many state and local efforts to preserve fishing habitats. It calls on the federal government to work with states, fishermen, conservation groups, the outdoor recreation industry and others.

The bill would authorize $7.2 million a hear for fish habitat partnerships. It would create a National Fish Habitat Board to recommend projects to the Department of the Interior. Cardin patterned the bill after the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID) cosponsored the bill, which was referred to the Committee on Environment & Public Works.

Read the bill and Cardin's explanation of it at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r113:1:./temp/~r113qL55Rf:e0:.