Last week the U.S. House Committee on Natural 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.