March 18, 2024

ACE Reauthorization Act, CSF Top Priority, Passes Senate Committee Unanimously

Article Contact: Taylor Schmitz,

Why It Matters: The America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act (ACE) reauthorizes nearly a dozen provisions that will bolster the conservation of fish, wildlife, and their associated habitats across North America and provides an important protection for America’s anglers. The ACE Act has been a long-standing priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) since the program was first enacted in 2020. The unanimous committee passage of this legislation marks an important step forward in the legislative process for the ACE Reauthorization Act and signals the strong support for this effort.


  • On Tuesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed S. 3791, the America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization Act on a unanimous vote, a sign of the wide-spread support for this legislation.
  • This legislation is led by EPW Chairman and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Member Sen. Carper and EPW Ranking Member and CSC Member Sen. Capito. Senators Carper and Capito are joined in leading this legislation by CSC Co-Chair John Boozman, CSC members Senators Mullin and Wicker as well as Sens. Cardin, Padilla, Whitehouse, and Van Hollen.
  • This important legislation reauthorizes critical fish, wildlife, and habitat conservation programs that will bolster habitat across the nation from Fiscal Year 2026 – 2030.

Last week, the America’s Conservation Enhancement Reauthorization passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously. Prior to the vote, CSF sent an alert to the CSC Members who serve on the Committee in strong support of this legislation.

Specifically, the ACE Reauthorization Act includes important programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation (NAWCA). The ACE Reauthorization Act  will increase the NAWCA authorization level from $60 million annually to $65 million annually. Unfortunately, America has lost roughly 50% of its wetlands. However, NAWCA provides strategic investments to conserving and restoring degraded wetlands across North America. Since its inception 35 years ago, NAWCA has provided over $2.1 billion in federal grants that has leveraged nearly $4.3 billion in non-federal contributions. In total, there have been over 3,300 NAWCA projects that have contributed to the conservation of nearly 32 million acres of wetlands in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Additionally, this legislation reauthorizes the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships (NFHP) and increases the funding level from $7.2 million to $10 million annually. NFHP is a state and locally driven program that leverages partners to conserve priority aquatic habitat needs, restore fish populations, and enhance recreational fishing opportunities. CSF’s Senior Director, Fisheries Policy, was recently reappointed to serve on the NFHP Board.

Additionally, the ACE Reauthorization Act will provide a 5-year protection to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating the use of lead fishing tackle under the purview of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The EPA has consistently reaffirmed state management authority of lead fishing tackle and this legislation will ensure the EPA cannot be petitioned to regulate lead tackle under TSCA for a period of 5 years.

CSF thanks Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Capito, and the other leaders of this legislation as well as the EPW Committee for favorably advancing this bill. CSF will continue to work to see this legislation get across the finish line in 2024.

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