Rep. Malinowski Praises the Passage of the Great American Outdoors Act
(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act which provides permanent, full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. The bill, previously passed by the Senate on June 17th, 2020, is now awaiting signature by the President. Rep. Malinowski voted in favor of this legislation.
The LWCF is America’s most successful conservation program. Since 1965, the LWCF has conserved public lands and waters across the country, but Congress has rarely funded it at the legally permitted level. The Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act that became law in early 2019 permanently authorized LWCF to receive $900 million annually. The Great American Outdoors Act will ensure that full amount is used every year to fund projects on the ground, in communities that need conservation and environmental protection. It also establishes the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, a five-year $9.5 billion mandatory spending program — financed by receipts from energy development on federal lands and waters — to fund work on deferred maintenance and repair projects at National Parks and other public lands.
LWCF has invested more than $346 million to protect New Jersey’s open spaces, historic sites, and increased recreation access. This has helped outdoor spaces in and around the 7th District including Delaware River Park, Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Round Valley Reservoir, Cedar Brook Park, and Sourland Mountain Preserve. New Jersey’s $18.9 billion outdoor recreation industry is vital to the economy and supports 143,000 jobs, generating $5.9 billion in wages and salaries and produces $1.2 billion annually in state and local tax revenue.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a vital part of maintaining our public parks and outdoor spaces throughout New Jersey,” said Representative Malinowski. “The passage of this bill is an investment in the protection of our land for future generations, and a step forward in addressing the climate crisis.”