Louisiana's Garret Graves introduces red herring to federal fish bill

 

Last week the U.S. House Committee on wetlandsNatural Resources met to mark up the bills reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal law that manages our nation’s fisheries. “Marking up” is the process in which members of the committee debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation before it goes to the House floor to be debated and voted upon. 

One little noticed amendment that the Committee passed was introduced by Representative Garret Graves of Louisiana. That amendment would exempt certain activities in Louisiana from the requirements of mitigating impacts to fisheries. 

During the hearing, Graves explained that he introduced the amendment because National Marine Fisheries Services is designating lands that have been eroded and are now water as Essential Fish Habitat, thus requiring mitigation for impacts to the fisheries for coastal wetland restoration activities. 

Rep. Jared Huffman of California identified his concerns that the Graves amendment was not narrowly tailored enough for wetland restoration and could apply to numerous other activities. The committee agreed that they would add in language that this applied only to wetland restoration at a later date and passed the amendment anyway. 

Gulf Restoration Network is not aware of any coastal restoration projects that have been held up by essential fish habitat designations and is puzzled by why Rep. Graves felt the need to introduce the amendment. As this appears to be a red herring, we are troubled by any precedent that could be set by exempting certain activities from complying with mitigation procedures that are in place for good reason. 

We will continue to monitor this situation closely as the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization process continues. 

Recent Posts

Lawsuit Challenges Trump Administration for Failing to Protect Gulf of Mexico Wildlife from Offshore Drilling...
Written by Dustin Renaud
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Jackson, Miss. – On June 20, 2018, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) study for...
Written by Dustin Renaud
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Gazing out at its usually calm waters, one would never know that Pensacola Bay is...
Written by Christian Wagley
Tuesday, 05 June 2018
A Community Engagement Meeting on the flood control project for the Pearl River (One Lake...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Thursday, 26 April 2018
On April 19th, Gulf Restoration Network released a new report - “ Oil and Gas...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 19 April 2018
The Mississippi Water Resources Conference happened in Jackson on April 3-4 and provided many presentations...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Friday, 06 April 2018
The Yazoo Backwater Pumps project is a 77 year old Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps)...
Written by Cyn Sarthou
Wednesday, 28 March 2018

SHARE THIS PAGE