Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House without amendment (06/01/2015)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the House reported version is repeated here.)

This bill amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to revise the National Estuary Program by requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to make competitive awards to address urgent and challenging issues that threaten the economic and ecological well-being of coastal areas, including:

  • extensive seagrass habitat losses resulting in significant impacts on fisheries and water quality,
  • recurring harmful algae blooms,
  • unusual marine mammal mortalities,
  • invasive exotic species that may threaten wastewater systems and cause other damage,
  • jellyfish proliferation limiting community access to water during peak tourism seasons,
  • flooding that may be related to sea level rise or wetland degradation or loss, and
  • low dissolved oxygen conditions in estuarine waters and related nutrient management.

The bill reauthorizes through FY2020 grants to develop, implement, and monitor comprehensive conservation and management plans for estuaries. A certain portion of the allocation of appropriations must be used for the competitive awards.