Rep. Pingree’s Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act Passes House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2019
CONTACT: Jo Knight,

Network Backs Legislation to Enhance Coastal Communities and Economies

Arlington, VA – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed Representative Chellie Pingree’s (D-ME) “Keep America’s Waterfronts Working Act,” H.R. 3596, as part of a larger “Coastal and Great Lakes Communities Enhancement Package.” The Marine Fish Conservation Network applauds the House for passing Pingree’s bill and the larger package, which include measures that support climate-resilient living shorelines, climate preparedness planning, and wildlife and fish habitat conservation, among others. Pingree’s measure establishes a $12 million Working Waterfront Grant Program to help preserve and expand access to coastal waters for water-dependent businesses, creates a five-year pilot program for a $12 million fund for waterfront preservation and establishes a Working Waterfront Task Force at the Department of Commerce to identify and prioritize critical needs for working waterfronts, especially in the face of the climate crisis and increased trade threats.

Robert C. Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, released the following statement:

“The House has passed a suite of legislation that will increase the resiliency of America’s coastlines and the economies that rely on them. Representative Pingree’s working waterfronts bill complements the other bills in this package of legislation to provide critical support needed by our coastal communities in the face of new and existing challenges. These areas are on the front line of climate change every day, facing rising sea levels, ocean acidification, continuing loss of shoreside infrastructure and shifting fisheries resources due to warming waters. It is essential that we back these working waterfronts as they are vital to our coastal and marine economy.

“With valuable resources and thoughtful planning for America’s seaside, Pingree’s bill prepares our coastlines to sustain and support coastal businesses and industries well into the future. This legislation, coupled with conservation-minded fisheries policy that promotes both healthy fish populations and community-based fishing interests, will ensure continuous access to locally important wild-caught seafood and rewarding recreational experiences for everyone. We encourage the Senate to quickly take up and pass this package of crucial shoreline and ecosystem protections.”


The Marine Fish Conservation Network is a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing associations, regional and national conservation groups, aquaria, and marine science organizations committed to sustaining fish populations, healthy marine ecosystems, and robust fishing communities.