H.R. 1747 would create a National Fish Habitat Board consisting of 25 members from the federal government, state governments, private industry representatives, and other private citizens. The board would recommend to the Congress organizations to be designated as Fish Habitat Partnerships. Those partnerships would be eligible to receive federal grants to improve the health of fish and fish habitats.
H.R. 1747 would authorize the appropriation of $7.2 million annually through 2023 for grants to partnerships to implement conservation projects and an additional $360,000 annually through 2023 for administrative expenses.
The bill also would authorize the Department of the Interior (DOI), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Forest Service to provide technical and scientific assistance to any partnerships recognized under H.R. 1747. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $2 million annually over the 2020-2024 period for those agencies to provide such assistance.
Using historical spending patterns for similar programs and assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1747 would cost $32 million over the 2020-2024 period and $8 million after 2024. The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).
H.R. 1747 would allow DOI to accept and spend monetary gifts to supplement appropriated funds provided for grants to recognized partnerships. The receipt and spending of such gifts are recorded in the budget as direct spending. Because any money received would probably be spent soon thereafter, CBO estimates that the net effect on direct spending would be negligible.