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                                                       Calendar No. 507

105th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                                S. 1222

                          [Report No. 105-273]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             July 29, 1998

                       Reported with an amendment





                                                       Calendar No. 507
105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1222

                          [Report No. 105-273]

   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 25, 1997

Mr. Chafee (for himself, Mr. Breaux, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Faircloth, Mr. 
   Robb, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. D'Amato, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Murkowski, Mr. 
Warner, Mr. Reed, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Graham, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Dodd, Mr. 
  Moynihan, Mr. Mack, Mr. Lott, Mr. Gregg, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Lautenberg, 
 Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Torricelli, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Coverdell, Mr. Wyden, 
and Mr. Kerry) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
       referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

                             July 29, 1998

               Reported by Mr. Chafee, with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To catalyze restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
  financing of projects and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-
         Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

<DELETED>SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    This Act may be cited as the ``Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Partnership Act of 1997''.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 2. FINDINGS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    Congress finds that--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) the estuaries and coastal regions of the 
        United States are home to half the population of the United 
        States;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) the traditions, economy, and quality of life 
        of many communities depend on the natural abundance and health 
        of the estuaries;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) approximately 75 percent of the commercial 
        fish and shellfish of the United States depend on estuaries at 
        some stage in their life cycle;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) the varied habitats of estuaries and other 
        coastal waters provide jobs to 28,000,000 United States 
        citizens in commercial and sport fishing, tourism, recreation, 
        and other industries, with fishing alone contributing 
        $111,000,000,000 to the United States economy each 
        year;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) despite the many values of estuaries, 
        estuaries are gravely threatened by estuary habitat alteration 
        and loss;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) the accumulated loss of estuary habitat, 
        reaching over 90 percent in some estuaries, threatens the 
        ecological and economic bounty of regions experiencing the 
        loss, and can be reversed only by action to restore lost and 
        degraded estuary habitat;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) the demands on Federal, State, and local 
        funding for estuary habitat restoration activities exceed 
        available resources and prompt serious concerns about the 
        ability of the United States to restore estuary habitat vital 
        to efforts to restore, preserve, and protect the health of 
        estuaries;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) successful restoration of estuaries demands 
        the full coordination of Federal and State estuary habitat 
        restoration programs;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (9) to succeed in restoring estuaries, it is 
        important to link estuary habitat restoration projects to 
        broader ecosystem planning in order to establish restoration 
        programs that are effective in the long term;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (10) efficient leveraging of scarce public 
        resources and new and innovative market-based funding for 
        estuary habitat restoration activities would generate real 
        returns on investments for communities through improvement of 
        the vibrancy and health of estuaries;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (11) the Federal, State, and private cooperation 
        in estuary habitat restoration activities in existence on the 
        date of enactment of this Act should be strengthened and new 
        public and public-private estuary habitat restoration 
        partnerships established; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (12) such new partnerships would help ensure the 
        ecological and economic vibrancy of estuaries for the benefit 
        of future generations.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 3. PURPOSES.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    The purposes of this Act are--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) to establish a voluntary, community-driven, 
        incentive-based program that will catalyze the restoration of 
        1,000,000 acres of estuary habitat by 2010;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) to encourage enhanced coordination and 
        leveraging of Federal, State, and community estuary habitat 
        restoration programs, plans, and studies;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) to establish effective estuary habitat 
        restoration partnerships among public agencies at all levels of 
        government and between the public and private 
        sectors;</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) to promote efficient financing of estuary 
        habitat restoration activities to help better leverage limited 
        Federal funding; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) to develop and enhance monitoring and 
        maintenance capabilities designed to ensure that restoration 
        efforts build on the successes of past and current efforts and 
        scientific understanding.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    In this Act:</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Collaborative council.--The term 
        ``Collaborative Council'' means the interagency council 
        established by section 5.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Degraded estuary habitat.--The term ``degraded 
        estuary habitat'' means estuary habitat where natural 
        ecological functions have been impaired and normal beneficial 
        uses have been reduced.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (3) Estuary.--The term ``estuary'' means--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) a body of water in which fresh water 
                from a river or stream meets and mixes with salt water 
                from the ocean; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) the physical, biological, and chemical 
                elements associated with such a body of 
                water.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (4) Estuary habitat.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat'' means the complex of physical and hydrologic 
                features and living organisms within estuaries and 
                associated ecosystems.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat'' includes salt and fresh water coastal 
                marshes, coastal forested wetlands and other coastal 
                wetlands, tidal flats, natural shoreline areas, 
                shellfish beds, sea grass meadows, kelp beds, river 
                deltas, and river and stream banks under tidal 
                influence.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (5) Estuary habitat restoration activity.--
        </DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' means an activity that 
                results in improving degraded estuary habitat 
                (including both physical and functional restoration), 
                with the goal of attaining a self-sustaining, 
                ecologically based system integrated into the 
                surrounding landscape.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Included activities.--The term 
                ``estuary habitat restoration activity'' includes--
                </DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) the reestablishment of 
                        physical features and biological and hydrologic 
                        functions;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) except as provided in 
                        subparagraph (C)(ii), the cleanup of 
                        contamination;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iii) the control of nonnative and 
                        invasive species;</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (iv) the reintroduction of native 
                        or ecologically beneficial species through 
                        planting or natural succession; and</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (v) other activities that improve 
                        estuary habitat.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (C) Excluded activities.--The term 
                ``estuary habitat restoration activity'' does not 
                include--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) an act that constitutes 
                        mitigation for the adverse effects of an 
                        activity regulated or otherwise governed by 
                        Federal or State law; or</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (ii) an act that constitutes 
                        satisfaction of liability for natural resource 
                        damages under any Federal or State 
                        law.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (6) Estuary habitat restoration project.--The term 
        ``estuary habitat restoration project'' means an estuary 
        habitat restoration activity under consideration or selected by 
        the Collaborative Council, in accordance with this Act, to 
        receive financial, technical, or another form of 
        assistance.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (7) Estuary habitat restoration strategy.--The 
        term ``estuary habitat restoration strategy'' means the estuary 
        habitat restoration strategy developed under section 
        6(a).</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (8) Federal estuary management or habitat 
        restoration plan.--The term ``Federal estuary management or 
        habitat restoration plan'' means any Federal plan for 
        restoration of degraded estuary habitat that--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) was developed by a public body with 
                the substantial participation of appropriate public and 
                private stakeholders; and</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) reflects a community-based planning 
                process.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (9) Person.--The term ``person'' includes an 
        entity of a Federal, State, or local government, an Indian 
        tribe, an entity organized or existing under the law of a 
        State, and a nongovernmental organization.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
        Secretary of the Army, or a designee.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (11) Under secretary.--The term ``Under 
        Secretary'' means the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere 
        of the Department of Commerce, or a designee.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF COLLABORATIVE COUNCIL.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Collaborative Council.--There is established an 
interagency council to be known as the ``Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Collaborative Council''.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (b) Membership.--The Collaborative Council shall be 
composed of the Secretary, the Under Secretary, the Administrator of 
the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of the Interior 
(acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife 
Service), the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of 
Transportation, or their designees.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (c) Convening of Collaborative Council.--The Secretary 
shall--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) convene the first meeting of the Collaborative 
        Council not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of 
        this Act; and</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) convene additional meetings as often as 
        appropriate to ensure that this Act is fully carried out, but 
        not less often than quarterly.</DELETED>
<DELETED>    (d) Collaborative Council Procedures.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) Quorum.--Three members of the Collaborative 
        Council shall constitute a quorum.</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (2) Voting and meeting procedures.--The 
        Collaborative Council shall establish procedures for voting and 
        the conduct of meetings by the Council.</DELETED>

<DELETED>SEC. 6. DUTIES OF COLLABORATIVE COUNCIL.</DELETED>

<DELETED>    (a) Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy.--</DELETED>
        <DELETED>    (1) In general.--</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (A) Development.--Not later than 1 year 
                after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
                Collaborative Council, in consultation with 
                representatives from coastal States and nonprofit 
                organizations with expertise in estuary habitat 
                restoration, shall develop an estuary habitat 
                restoration strategy designed to ensure a comprehensive 
                approach to the selection and prioritization of estuary 
                habitat restoration projects and the full coordination 
                of Federal and non-Federal activities related to 
                restoration of estuary habitat.</DELETED>
                <DELETED>    (B) Provision of national framework.--The 
                estuary habitat restoration strategy shall provide a 
                national framework for estuary habitat restoration 
                activities by--</DELETED>
                        <DELETED>    (i) identifying existing estuary 
                        habitat restoration plans;</DELETED>

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