DC Download: October 2021
NERRA enthusiastically applauds Senate Appropriations leaders and the entire committee on its FY 2022 Appropriations Bill, released October 18th. For NERRS Operations, Research, and Facilities (ORF), it included an increase of $5.5M for a total budget of $34M, and for NERRS Procurement, Acquisition, and Construction (PAC), it called for a $2M increase that brings the total budget to $6.5M.
Affirmation for the NERRS was included in the bill’s report language: “ … The Committee recognizes that the NERRS sites provide mixed-use areas that are protected for long-term research, monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship and provides $34,000,000 for the program … ”
Thank you to Chair Leahy (VT), Vice Chair Shelby (AL), Subcommittee Chair Shaheen (NH), Subcommittee Vice Chair Moran (KS), and to Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Committee Members: Senators Reed (RI), Schatz (HI), Feinstein (CA), Coons (DE), Merkley (OR), Van Hollen (MD), Collins (ME), Murkowski (AK), Graham (SC), Kennedy (LA). We appreciate our coastal, Great Lake, and estuary Senate champions!
Next Steps? Once the full Senate approves this bill, the two houses of Congress join in conference to reconcile their respective versions of the bill. After agreement is reached and each house votes on the revised bill, it is sent to the President to sign into law.
Here’s what else is on our radar:
- Final House action on Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill; HR 3684, as amended, includes $77 million for the NERRS!
- The Build Back Better Act passed out of committee so it can be considered for full action in the House of Representatives. This contains a provision for $98 million in non-match spending for construction projects for National Estuarine Research Reserves and National Marine Sanctuaries over ten years—See page 967.