Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/11/2004)

Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of 2004 - (Sec. 4) Establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative Region in Connecticut and New York.

(Sec. 5) Establishes the Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee to: (1) evaluate applications from government or nonprofit organizations qualified to hold conservation easements for funds to purchase land or development rights for designated stewardship sites; (2) evaluate applications to develop and implement management plans to address threats; (3) evaluate applications to act on opportunities to protect and enhance stewardship sites; (4) recommend that the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency award grants to qualified applicants; (5) recommend guidelines for evaluating information to identify stewardship sites; (6) publish a list of sites that further the purposes of this Act; (7) raise awareness of the values of and threats to these sites; and (8) leverage additional resources for improved stewardship of the Region.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Committee to identify 20 initial Long Island Sound stewardship sites that are natural resource-based recreation areas or exemplary natural areas with ecological value, and that best promote the purposes of this Act. States that such initial sites are exempt from the site identification process established by this Act.

Requires the Committee to use due diligence to recommend an equal distribution of funds between States for the initial sites.

Authorizes owners of sites to submit applications to the Committee to have sites identified as stewardship sites. Sets forth a site identification process and related selection criteria for natural resource-based recreation areas and natural areas with ecological value.

Directs the Committee to publish notice of the list of sites identified pursuant to the site identification process with prior notice to site owners.

Authorizes the Committee to deviate from the site identification process in certain circumstances.

Requires the Committee to use an adaptive management framework to identify the best policy initiatives and actions and to use that framework to update the list of recommended stewardship sites.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Committee to submit annual reports to the Administrator. Requires the Administrator to: (1) review the recommendations contained in such reports and take action on those recommendations (unless the Administrator finds that action is not warranted by the facts) within 90 days; and (2) develop and publish a report within one year of enactment of this Act that provides an assessment of current resources and threats to Long Island Sound and information on various aspects of the Initiative.

(Sec. 10) Protects the existing legal rights of private property owners. States that nothing in this Act requires private property owners located within the Region to participate in the Initiative.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes appropriations. Requires the Administrator to use appropriated funds for land acquisition, development and implementation of site management plans, site enhancements, and administrative expenses of the Committee. Limits the Federal share of costs associated with activities carried out using assistance or grants under this Act to 75 percent of the total.

(Sec. 12) Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to reauthorize appropriations for the Office of Management Conference of the Long Island Sound Study and implementation of the Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan through FY 2009.

(Sec. 13) Provides for the Committee's termination on December 31, 2013.