WASHINGTON, DC: The House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01) to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018. This amendment prohibits the use of funds to implement or enforce the designation of any area of the Chesapeake Bay watershed as a “Critical Habitat” for the Atlantic Sturgeon. Congressman Harris issued the following statement praising the amendment’s passage:
“The Appropriations Committee’s adoption of this amendment is a victory for both the conservation of the Bay and the Eastern Shore’s economy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) proposal to designate the Chesapeake Bay as a Critical Habitat for the Atlantic Sturgeon was crafted without adequate opportunity for input from the communities surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. Furthermore, NOAA has failed to document sufficient cause for the designation.
Designation of the Bay as a Critical Habitat for the Sturgeon is an unnecessary and burdensome regulation that could lead to restricted use of various regions of the Bay, stifling commercial activity in the Bay and inhibiting oyster restoration and other important conservation activities.”