16 U.S. Code § 8204 - Fish Habitat Partnerships

(a) Authority to recommend

The Board may recommend to Congress the designation of Fish Habitat Partnerships in accordance with this section.

(b) PurposesThe purposes of a Partnership shall be—
(1)
to work with other regional habitat conservation programs to promote cooperation and coordination to enhance fish populations and fish habitats;
(2)
to engage local and regional communities to build support for fish habitat conservation;
(3)
to involve diverse groups of public and private partners;
(4)
to develop collaboratively a strategic vision and achievable implementation plan that is scientifically sound;
(5)
to leverage funding from sources that support local and regional partnerships;
(6)
to use adaptive management principles, including evaluation of project success and functionality;
(7)
to develop appropriate local or regional habitat evaluation and assessment measures and criteria that are compatible with national habitat condition measures; and
(8)
to implement local and regional priority projects that improve conditions for fish and fish habitat.
(c) Criteria for designationAn entity seeking to be designated by Congress as a Partnership shall—
(1)
submit to the Board an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Board may reasonably require; and
(2) demonstrate to the Board that the entity has—
(A)
a focus on promoting the health of important fish and fish habitats;
(B)
an ability to coordinate the implementation of priority projects that support the goals and national priorities set by the Board that are within the Partnership boundary;
(C)
a self-governance structure that supports the implementation of strategic priorities for fish habitat;
(D)
the ability to develop local and regional relationships with a broad range of entities to further strategic priorities for fish and fish habitat;
(E)
a strategic plan that details required investments for fish habitat conservation that addresses the strategic fish habitat priorities of the Partnership and supports and meets the strategic priorities of the Board;
(F)
the ability to develop and implement fish habitat conservation projects that address strategic priorities of the Partnership and the Board; and
(G)
the ability to develop fish habitat conservation priorities based on sound science and data, the ability to measure the effectiveness of fish habitat projects of the Partnership, and a clear plan as to how Partnership science and data components will be integrated with the overall Board science and data effort.
(d) Requirements for recommendation to CongressThe Board may recommend to Congress for designation an application for a Partnership submitted under subsection (c) if the Board determines that the applicant—
(1)
meets the criteria described in subsection (c)(2);
(2)
identifies representatives to provide support and technical assistance to the Partnership from a diverse group of public and private partners, which may include State or local governments, nonprofit entities, Indian Tribes, and private individuals, that are focused on conservation of fish habitats to achieve results across jurisdictional boundaries on public and private land;
(3)
is organized to promote the health of important fish species and important fish habitats, including reservoirs, natural lakes, coastal and marine environments, coral reefs, and estuaries;
(4)
identifies strategic fish and fish habitat priorities for the Partnership area in the form of geographical focus areas or key stressors or impairments to facilitate strategic planning and decision making;
(5)
is able to address issues and priorities on a nationally significant scale;
(6) includes a governance structure that—
(A)
reflects the range of all partners; and
(B)
promotes joint strategic planning and decision making by the applicant;
(7)
demonstrates completion of, or significant progress toward the development of, a strategic plan to address declines in fish populations, rather than simply treating symptoms, in accordance with the goals and national priorities established by the Board; and
(8)
promotes collaboration in developing a strategic vision and implementation program that is scientifically sound and achievable.
(e) Report to Congress
(1) In generalNot later than February 1 of the first fiscal year beginning after October 30, 2020, and each February 1 thereafter, the Board shall develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees an annual report, to be entitled “Report to Congress on Future Fish Habitat Partnerships and Modifications”, that—
(A) identifies each entity that—
(i)
meets the requirements described in subsection (d); and
(ii)
the Board recommends to Congress for designation as a Partnership;
(B)
describes any proposed modifications to a Partnership previously designated by Congress under subsection (f);
(C) with respect to each entity recommended for designation as a Partnership, describes, to the maximum extent practicable—
(i)
the purpose of the recommended Partnership; and
(ii)
how the recommended Partnership fulfills the requirements described in subsection (d).
(2) Public availability; notificationThe Board shall—
(A)
make the report publicly available, including on the internet; and
(B)
provide to the appropriate congressional committees and the State agency of any State included in a recommended Partnership area written notification of the public availability of the report.
(f) Designation or modification of partnership

Congress shall have the exclusive authority to designate or modify a Partnership.

(g) Existing partnerships
(1) Designation review

Not later than 5 years after October 30, 2020, any partnership receiving Federal funds as of October 30, 2020, shall be subject to a designation review by Congress in which Congress shall have the opportunity to designate the partnership under subsection (f).

(2) Ineligibility for Federal funds

A partnership referred to in paragraph (1) that Congress does not designate as described in that paragraph shall be ineligible to receive Federal funds under this chapter.

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