Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 835 (is) To encourage the restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient project financing and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...

S. 835 (is) To encourage the restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient project financing and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-Federal restoration programs, and for other purposes. [Introduced in Senate] ...

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  2d Session
                                 S. 835


                                 AN ACT

To encourage the restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient 
project financing 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,


    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Estuary Habitat 
and Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act of 2000''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as 

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 101. Short title.
Sec. 102. Findings.
Sec. 103. Purposes.
Sec. 104. Definitions.
Sec. 105. Establishment of Collaborative Council.
Sec. 106. Duties of Collaborative Council.
Sec. 107. Cost sharing of estuary habitat restoration projects.
Sec. 108. Monitoring and maintenance of estuary habitat restoration 
Sec. 109. Cooperative agreements; memoranda of understanding.
Sec. 110. Distribution of appropriations for estuary habitat 
                            restoration activities.
Sec. 111. Authorization of appropriations.
Sec. 112. National estuary program.
Sec. 113. General provisions.

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Findings and purposes.
Sec. 203. Chesapeake Bay restoration.
                      TITLE III--LONG ISLAND SOUND

Sec. 301. Reauthorization.



    This title may be cited as the ``Estuary Habitat Restoration 
Partnership Act of 2000''.


    Congress finds that--
            (1) estuaries provide some of the most ecologically and 
        economically productive habitat for an extensive variety of 
        plants, fish, wildlife, and waterfowl;
            (2) the estuaries and coastal regions of the United States 
        are home to one-half the population of the United States and 
        provide essential habitat for 75 percent of the commercial fish 
        and 80 to 90 percent of the recreational fish catches of the 
        United States;
            (3) estuaries are gravely threatened by habitat alteration 
        and loss from pollution, development, and overuse;
            (4) successful restoration of estuaries demands the 
        coordination of Federal, State, and local estuary habitat 
        restoration programs; and
            (5) the Federal, State, local, 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 


    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to establish a voluntary program to restore 1,000,000 
        acres of estuary habitat by 2010;
            (2) to ensure coordination of Federal, State, and community 
        estuary habitat restoration programs, plans, and studies;
            (3) to establish effective estuary habitat restoration 
        partnerships among public agencies at all levels of government 
        and between the public and private sectors;
            (4) to promote efficient financing of estuary habitat 
        restoration activities; and
            (5) to develop and enhance monitoring and research 
        capabilities, through use of the environmental technology 
        innovation program associated with the National Estuarine 
        Research Reserve System (established by section 315 of the 
        Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1461)), to 
        ensure that restoration efforts are based on sound scientific 
        understanding and innovative technologies.


    In this title:
            (1) Collaborative council.--The term ``Collaborative 
        Council'' means the interagency council established by section 
            (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.
            (3) Estuary.--The term ``estuary'' means--
                    (A) a body of water in which fresh water from a 
                river or stream meets and mixes with salt water from 
                the ocean, including the area located in the Great 
                Lakes Biogeographic Region and designated as a National 
                Estuarine Research Reserve under the Coastal Zone 
                Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) as of 
                the date of enactment of this Act; and
                    (B) the physical, biological, and chemical elements 
                associated with such a body of water.
            (4) Estuary habitat.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``estuary habitat'' means 
                the complex of physical and hydrologic features and 
                living organisms within estuaries and associated 
                    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``estuary habitat'' 
                includes salt and fresh water coastal marshes, coastal 
                forested wetlands and other coastal wetlands, maritime 
                forests, coastal grasslands, tidal flats, natural 
                shoreline areas, shellfish beds, sea grass meadows, 
                kelp beds, river deltas, and river and stream banks 
                under tidal influence.
            (5) Estuary habitat restoration activity.--
                    (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 system integrated into the 
                surrounding landscape.
                    (B) Included activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' includes--
                            (i) the reestablishment of physical 
                        features and biological and hydrologic 
                            (ii) except as provided in subparagraph 
                        (C)(ii), the cleanup of contamination related 
                        to the restoration of estuary habitat;
                            (iii) the control of non-native and 
                        invasive species;
                            (iv) the reintroduction of native species 
                        through planting or natural succession; and
                            (v) other activities that improve estuary 
                    (C) Excluded activities.--The term ``estuary 
                habitat restoration activity'' does not include--
                            (i) an act that constitutes mitigation for 
                        the adverse effects of an activity regulated or 
                        otherwise governed by Federal or State law; or
                            (ii) an act that constitutes restitution 
                        for natural resource damages required under any 
                        Federal or State law.
            (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 title, to 
        receive financial, technical, or another form of assistance.
            (7) Estuary habitat restoration strategy.--The term 
        ``estuary habitat restoration strategy'' means the estuary 
        habitat restoration strategy developed under section 106(a).
            (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--
                    (A) was developed by a public body with the 
                substantial participation of appropriate public and 
                private stakeholders; and
                    (B) reflects a community-based planning process.
            (9) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Army, or a designee.
            (10) Under secretary.--The term ``Under Secretary'' means 
        the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department 
        of Commerce, or a designee.


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


    (a) Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Collaborative Council, in 
        consultation with non-Federal participants, including nonprofit 
        sectors, as appropriate, 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 coordination of Federal and non-
        Federal activities related to restoration of estuary habitat.
            (2) Integration of previously authorized estuary habitat 
        restoration plans, programs, and partnerships.--In developing 
        the estuary habitat restoration strategy, the Collaborative 
        Council shall--
                    (A) conduct a review of--
                            (i) Federal estuary management or habitat 
                        restoration plans; and
                            (ii) Federal programs established under 
                        other law that provide funding for estuary 
                        habitat restoration activities;
                    (B) develop a set of proposals for--
                            (i) using programs established under this 
                        Act or any other Act to maximize the incentives 
                        for the creation of new public-private 
                        partnerships to carry out estuary habitat 
                        restoration projects; and
                            (ii) using Federal resources to encourage 
                        increased private sector involvement in estuary 
                        habitat restoration activities; and
                    (C) ensure that the estuary habitat restoration 
                strategy is developed and will be implemented in a 
                manner that is consistent with the findings and 
                requirements of Federal estuary management or habitat 
                restoration plans.
            (3) Elements to be considered.--Consistent with the 
        requirements of this section, the Collaborative Council, in the 
        development of the estuary habitat restoration strategy, shall 
                    (A) the contributions of estuary habitat to--
                            (i) wildlife, including endangered and 
                        threatened species, migratory birds, and 
                        resident species of an estuary watershed;
                            (ii) fish and shellfish, including 
                        commercial and sport fisheries;
                            (iii) surface and ground water quality and 
                        quantity, and flood control;
                            (iv) outdoor recreation; and
                            (v) other areas of concern that the 
                        Collaborative Council determines to be 
                        appropriate for consideration;
                    (B) the estimated historic losses, estimated 
                current rate of loss, and extent of the threat of 
                future loss or degradation of each type of estuary 
                habitat; and
                    (C) the most appropriate method for selecting a 
                balance of smaller and larger estuary habitat 
                restoration projects.
            (4) Advice.--The Collaborative Council shall seek advice in 
        restoration of estuary habitat from experts in the private and 
        nonprofit sectors to assist in the development of an estuary 
        habitat restoration strategy.
            (5) Public review and comment.--Before adopting a final 
        estuary habitat restoration strategy, the Collaborative Council 
        shall publish in the Federal Register a draft of the estuary 
        habitat restoration strategy and provide an opportunity for 
        public review and comment.
    (b) Project Applications.--
            (1) In general.--An application for an estuary habitat 
        restoration project shall originate from a non-Federal 

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