Budget cuts put fishing programs at risk

Members of Congress are determined to reduce the federal debt with some of our nation's most essential and effective fisheries management and conservation programs bearing the brunt of their budget-cutting efforts.

Members of Congress are determined to reduce the federal debt with some of our nation's most essential and effective fisheries management and conservation programs bearing the brunt of their budget-cutting efforts.

Our members of Congress need to hear from our nation's 60 million anglers that fishery conservation and management should not disproportionately bear the burden of trying to reduce the federal deficit. KeepAmericaFishing is a conduit to Congress. Let your voice be heard!

The situation

 The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the FY 2011 Continuing Resolution Appropriations Bill, to address the federal budget for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year. The bill, which is currently being considered in the Senate, contains significant funding cuts for fisheries management and conservation projects that will impact your ability to go fishing with your family and friends.

Although we must address the federal deficit, KeepAmericaFishing believes the programs that support recreational fishing will bear an unfair and disproportionate burden of the budget reductions.

What makes these budget cuts so unfair is that many of the fishery and water conservation programs slated for cuts or elimination in H.R.1 are matched with state and local funding providing a significant return on federal dollar investment. In addition, many of these programs are supported by volunteers in communities across our nation who give their time and expertise to ensure that our fisheries remain healthy and abundant. You just may be one of those volunteers!

Below are just a few of the successful programs slated for budget cuts under H.R. 1: 

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Community Restoration Program — Under H.R.1 this successful grant program for marine and estuarine habitat restoration would be eliminated. The funds are matched fivefold by state and local funds and generate hundreds of volunteer hours to restore critical fish and other aquatic habitat.
  • National Fish Habitat Action Plan — Significant reductions in the funding of NFHAP will undermine habitat and water conservation through state and local partnerships as well as the long term investment that the recreational fishing community has made in the future of fisheries.
  • NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service Data Collection Efforts — Saltwater anglers have already seen several healthy fisheries closed as a result of the agency's inability to collect timely data; excessive cuts in funding for fisheries science and data collection will only amplify these problems.
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Fund — Considered the gold standard for conservation programs, all funding for this long-standing wetland conservation program will be cut by H.R.1, undermining important wetland conservation projects that protect essential habitat for waterfowl and sportfish.

Act now!

 Click here to send a message to your Senate and House of Representatives members to state your opposition to these budget cuts and ensure that fisheries management and conservation continues its success in the future. Send your message today!

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