February 14, 2022

Maryland Delegation Announces Nearly $15 Million to Support Outdoor Recreation Statewide

Record funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act promotes strong outdoor recreation economy, underscores importance of fishing and wildlife restoration to Maryland’s economy

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and Congressmen Steny H. Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony G. Brown, Jamie Raskin, and David Trone (all D-Md.) announced $14,992,166 to support Maryland’s wildlife conservation, sportfish restoration, and outdoor recreation through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program. Recipient state wildlife agencies typically partner with federal and county agencies, intergovernmental agencies, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and more.

“Tourism and outdoor recreation are key economic drivers in our state. That’s why preserving the Chesapeake Bay and our wildlife is crucial not only to our environment but also the livelihoods of Marylanders who rely on these industries," said the lawmakers. “This funding is an important step in maintaining and revitalizing our region’s valuable natural resources and ensuring that everyone can enjoy Maryland’s wildlife and outdoor opportunities for years to come. We must continue working together to reduce pollution and restore habitat to support a strong economy and a healthy Bay.”

The WSFR Program contains two funding sources: the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which was reauthorized as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that the members fought to pass in November,?and the Wildlife Restoration Program. It apportions federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and boat fuel that are used to foster cooperative partnerships between federal and state agencies, working alongside hunters, anglers, and other outdoor interests, to enhance recreational opportunities while advancing sustainable resource goals. Congress authorizes the WSFR disbursements through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration?Act.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is making historic investments in American infrastructure, by providing more than $7 billion directly to Maryland. These investments will help strengthen climate resiliency, improve our environment, create good-paying American jobs, and rebuild and repair our roads and bridges, transit systems and more.