Knowing of our shared interest in the environment, I wanted to update you on my subcommittee assignments in the House Natural Resources Committee. Chairman Rob Bishop just announced that I will continue serving on both the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans. Both are absolutely critical to protecting our natural resources in the Commonwealth.
The First District of Virginia is full of natural resources that play important roles in the culture, economy, history, and recreation of our region, specifically our wetlands. In 2015 I sponsored two bills critical to wetland conservation efforts. The first would reauthorize funding for the popular North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) for five years, while the second would extend a particular provision of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act that is essential to NAWCA’s efforts. Although this legislation was not passed in the House, I will again champion these efforts in the future. Protecting, restoring, and managing wetland habitat is an important endeavor, and it is critical that we invest our resources efficiently to conserve our natural areas for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
The viability of the Chesapeake Bay and the watershed area will again be at the center of my work on the Natural Resources Committee. Before coming to Congress, I spent 20 years as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the watershed. As in prior years, I will continue my advocacy on behalf of and support for measures aimed at preserving the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2014, my Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act, which will increase coordination and transparency within Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, was signed into law. I am now committed to ensuring the bill is implemented effectively.
I look forward to working with the Chairman and all my colleagues on the committee on these and other critical challenges we face to conserve our natural resources and encourage responsible stewardship of our land, water and wildlife. I will keep you updated throughout this legislative session on what is happening in the committee.