U.S. Senator David Vitter has announced that his bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (NEP) passed through the U.S. House of Representatives this week.
Vitter and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse coauthored the reauthorization legislation last year to continue protecting and restoring critical estuaries.
The current authorization of this program expired in 2010. Vitter’s bipartisan bill passed the Senate in August and will improve the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program (BTNEP), which spans 4.2 million acres of wetlands in southeast Louisiana.
“The Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Program is absolutely vital to preserving Louisiana’s unique wetlands and protecting our coastal communities, and my bipartisan bill will go a long way toward improving and restoring some of our most vulnerable wildlife and fish habitats,” said Vitter.
The Vitter bill allows for instituting necessary improvements to the National Estuary Program and will fund the NEP with more than $26 million per year while also directing more of the funds straight to field programs.