|11:25 AM EDT||
Lynn Woolsey, D-CA 6th
Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 1157, not only because I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, but because I have lived all of my adult life in California along the coast and know how important the Pacific Salmon Recovery Act will be and how much support we must give it.
I want to commend the gentleman from California (Mr. THOMPSON) for his hard work to bring this bill to the floor and to my colleagues, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. INSLEE) and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), for their work and support.
Mr. Chairman, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, because, like the three gentleman that I just mentioned, I and our Pacific Coast colleagues in a very bipartisan manner know that salmon are in trouble.
Over the past decade, we have witnessed a huge decline in salmon population, and the listing of salmon on the endangered species list is a clear warning that we must take this seriously. That is why communities and local officials in my district of Marin and Sonoma Counties, just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge in California, are actively supporting Federal efforts to help with salmon restoration.
We are fortunate that Marin and Sonoma Counties combined have received almost $850,000 from the current salmon recovery initiative, which was formed under President Clinton; and even better, these Federal dollars are available and are being leveraged at State, local, and nonprofit levels for resources that will bolster the recovery efforts even further than that $850,000.
Next month, these Federal funds will begin to bear fruit. I do not think I should say that. They will begin to bear fish, not fruit. Projects that are under way will eventually return our salmon runs to their former abundance.
For example, the Kelly Road Stabilization Project in my district will help stop erosion from going into the nearby waterways that harm salmon habitat. Also in Sonoma County, [Page: H3085]
through the county ecology center, a program will focus on bringing private landowners, government agencies, and environmental groups together to work on restoration efforts.
Other exciting habitat restoration efforts in my district that are getting under way include the Lagunitas Sediment Management Project, the Willow Creek Restoration Project, and work on Pine Gulch Creek.
Mr. Chairman, expanding habitat restoration efforts is a key component of any recovery effort, but we all know that money is another key ingredient to making these programs happen. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.