Fishing & Boating News

Sportfishing Industry Celebrates House Passage of America’s Conservation Enhancement Act

Landmark conservation bill now moves to the President for his signature

by: Mary Jane Williamson, Dir Communications,

(Oct 1, 2020 - Alexandria, VA)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed without objection America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act, a historic package of bills to benefit fish and wildlife conservation throughout the nation. With the U.S. Senate unanimously passing the ACE Act on September 16, it now moves to President Trump who can sign it into law.
“The ACE Act has strong support from the recreational fishing industry,” said Mike Leonard, vice president of Government Affairs for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “It includes several provisions that will benefit fisheries conservation and safeguard anglers against unwarranted restrictions on their fishing equipment.”
Leonard further said, “With today’s overwhelming and bipartisan approval of the ACE Act, this Congress is building an even stronger record as one of the most productive Congressional sessions on conservation issues in recent memory.”
“House passage wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership and dedication of many in Congress, especially House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.),” said Leonard.
Of particular importance to the sportfishing industry, the ACE Act: 

  • Includes the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act, led by Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Marc Veasey (D-Texas), which authorizes an important program that brings together local, state and federal partners to carry out on-the-ground aquatic habitat restoration projects for the benefit of recreational fishing;
  • Protects lead fishing tackle from unwarranted EPA regulation for the next five years; and
  • Reauthorizes and boosts funding for programs critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary and a critical nursery for sportfish throughout the Atlantic region. 

“We’ve been working on some parts of the ACE Act for over a decade, so it is extremely rewarding to be this close to the finish line,” said Leonard. “We eagerly await the President’s signature on the ACE Act, which will provide benefits to natural resource conservation and fishing access for many years to come.”

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The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 49 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America's anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for 800,000 people.