Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume and rise to support H.R. 6278, the Kingman and Heritage Islands Act of 2010. This bill would permit the District of Columbia to use the Kingman and Heritage Islands for recreational, environmental, and educational purposes. I introduced this bill on September 29, 2010.
The bulk of the language in the bill was considered by the Oversight Committee, the full House, and the Senate in another measure, H.R. 2092. However, because of a clerical error in the Senate, minor changes were not included in the bill when it was considered by the Senate. I have introduced H.R. 6278 to ensure the correct language is passed by both Houses. This bill includes the House-passed language in H.R. 2092, and captures the minor changes agreed upon in a bipartisan fashion by the Senate
Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
The amendment agreed to by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee makes it clear that the islands may revert back to the Federal Government in the future if they are not used for the purposes specified in the bill.
I should note that the House Oversight Committee did file a report on H.R. 2092, and that report is an important part of the legislative history of the bill we are considering now.
Mr. Speaker, we are very pleased that this bill has come in time before the House. The original act transferred title of this land on the Anacostia bill, but a prior Congress authorized it for another purpose, and, therefore, since we in the District of Columbia want to use this for environmental, recreational, and educational purposes, it was necessary to come again with a bill.
This is a bill that involves 40 acres of tidal marsh in Kingman Lake, currently being restored by the Army Corps, the District, and local environmental teaching groups. These islands are beautiful little places in the midst of the concrete of a big city. They, for example, have a memorial tree grove dedicated to the three District of Columbia schoolchildren who were on a trip sponsored by the National Geographic on a plane that went down in the September 11 attack on our country. This quaint
set of islands has guided trails and interpretive stations.
As far as my own work in the Congress is concerned, Mr. Speaker, the dedication of these islands to environmental, teaching, and recreation purposes complements my own work on the Anacostia River. I am the primary sponsor of the Anacostia River initiative. There's already a 10-year plan of the jurisdictions in this region to restore the Anacostia River so that it is no longer one of the most polluted rivers in America.
To that end, I regard this bill as another manifestation of our determination to return the river to its original state and to allow the use of these small islands for the recreational and environmental purposes of the citizens of the District of Columbia and to all of those who visit our city and would like some relief from the big-city life and will find it right in the midst of what appears to be nothing other than a big-city landscape and will be relieved if they are privileged to visit these
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. BILBRAY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I rise today in support of H.R. 6278, the Kingman and Heritage Islands Act, and would just ask for support for it.
Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, once again, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution and especially at this time, at a time when we need to be strengthening and enhancing our STEM education. I think that this is a very important resolution to focus our attention on those issues.
I yield back the balance of my time.