Summary: H.R.2973 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2973. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (11/08/1997)

Sportfishing and Boating Improvement Act of 1997 - Amends the Act popularly known as the Federal Aid in Fish Restoration Act to increase: (1) the regional average that States must allocate from specified appropriations for certain recreational boating purposes; and (2) the limit on State funding for aquatic resource education, outreach, and communications (currently, for aquatic resource education and outreach) programs.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop and implement a national plan for outreach and communications. Authorizes grants and contracts to carry out the plan. Requires States to develop an outreach and communications plan.

(Sec. 4) Requires that, of the balance remaining after the annual initial distribution of funds from appropriations to carry out the Act, certain amounts be used for programs and projects under specified provisions of: (1) Federal law relating to State recreational boating safety programs; (2) the Clean Vessel Act of 1992; and (3) this Act.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to adopt a national framework for a public boat access needs assessment. Requires States to conduct the assessments unless the Secretary certifies that a State is implementing a plan that ensures adequate access. Allows States to fund the assessments from amounts dedicated to access to recreational waters under existing provisions.

Mandates matching grants to States for up to 75 percent of the cost of facilities for transient nontrailerable recreational vessels.

(Sec. 6) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend the date on which the tax rate on diesel fuel and nonaviation gasoline decreases and the date until which amounts attributable to motorboat fuel taxes must be transferred from the Highway Trust Fund to the Boat Safety Account in the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Decreases the aggregate limit on transfers during any fiscal year and removes the limit on the amount in the Account. Extends the date until which amounts attributable to small-engine fuel taxes must be transferred from the Highway Trust Fund into the Sport Fish Restoration Account in the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund and the date until which Boat Safety Account funds are available for expenditures to carry out recreational boat safety provisions.