I’m proud to have spent my career in Congress fighting for causes unique to the First District that protect our rich natural resources, historic sites, and communities large and small.
It is critical that we preserve our Chesapeake Bay for future generations. We have seen great progress made in the revitalization of the Bay, but there is still more work to be done to ensure the long-term health of the Bay. As Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Caucus, my priority is to increase oversight over how federal dollars are spent on Bay Cleanup. In 2015 my Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act was signed into law and has introduced an Independent Evaluator and budgetary reforms to cleanup efforts.
Having worked on the bay, I support protecting our wildlife and coast communities. Coastal communities are vital to Virginia’s economy. Last year, I introduced the National Centers of Excellence in Coastal Flood Research and Education Act with Congressmen Scott Taylor and Bobby Scott. This bill would further world-class research to better prepare Virginia cities for coastal flooding. Last fall I joined eight colleagues from both sides of the aisle to introduce the Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act. This legislation renews a critical volunteer program that makes it possible for over 50 million visitors to experience our nation’s wildlife.
This year we made a monumental achievement. After decades of bipartisan efforts, my legislation giving recognition to six Virginia Indian tribes passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump. These tribes, many of whom are first-contact tribes, will finally receive the recognition they deserve. This status enables them to pursue repatriation of historical and cultural artifacts, comment on federal agency actions that could affect their future, and gain access to a number of federal programs.
This summer I introduced the National Fish Habitat Conservation Through Partnerships Act to make permanent the National Fish Habitat Partnerships that encourages public-private partnerships to conserve fish habitats that are vital to local economies and tourism.