Not later than July 1 of each year, the Board shall submit to the Secretary a priority list of fish habitat conservation projects that includes a description, including estimated costs, of each project that the Board recommends that the Secretary approve and fund under this chapter for the following fiscal year.
The Board may not recommend, and the Secretary may not provide any funding under this chapter for, any real property interest acquisition unless the Partnership that recommended the project has conducted a project assessment, submitted with the funding request and approved by the Board, to demonstrate all other Federal, State, and local authorities for the acquisition of real property have been exhausted.
Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (4), no fish habitat conservation project may be recommended by the Board under subsection (b) or provided financial assistance under this chapter unless at least 50 percent of the cost of the fish habitat conservation project will be funded with non-Federal funds.
Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or any other provision of law, any funds made available to an Indian Tribe pursuant to this chapter may be considered to be non-Federal funds for the purpose of paragraph (1).
The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce with respect to marine or estuarine projects, may waive the application of paragraph (2)(A) with respect to a State or an Indian Tribe, or otherwise reduce the portion of the non-Federal share of the cost of an activity required to be paid by a State or an Indian Tribe under paragraph (1), if the Secretary determines that the State or Indian Tribe does not have sufficient funds not derived from another Federal grant program to pay such non-Federal share, or portion of the non-Federal share, without the use of loans.
Not later than 90 days after the date of receipt of the recommended priority list of fish habitat conservation projects under subsection (b), and subject to subsection (d) and based, to the maximum extent practicable, on the criteria described in subsection (c), the Secretary, after consulting with the Secretary of Commerce on marine or estuarine projects, shall approve or reject any fish habitat conservation project recommended by the Board.
If the Secretary rejects under paragraph (1) any fish habitat conservation project recommended by the Board, not later than 90 days after the date of receipt of the recommendation, the Secretary shall provide to the Board, the appropriate Partnership, and the appropriate congressional committees a written statement of the reasons that the Secretary rejected the fish habitat conservation project.