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Pingree to reintroduce York River Bill; would lead to federal investment, protect local environment

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is reintroducing a bill today that would authorize a study of the York River, an important step toward a special federal designation that would lead to federal investments to protect the economic and environmental value of the river.

"I've heard from lots of people in the community who use the river--fishermen, hunters, recreational boaters--and they've all made it clear that they want to recognize and protect the unique benefits and characteristics of the York River. And giving it a special federal designation is a great way to do that."

Pingree's bill calls for a multi-year study of the York River. The study, in conjunction with community input, would determine if the river is eligible for designation as a Wild and Scenic Partnership River by the National Park Service.

The House unanimously passed Pingree's bill last year, but because the Senate failed to take it up, Pingree must resubmit the bill this year.

If, based on the study and community support, the York River is designated as a Wild and Scenic Partnership River, it makes it more likely that federal funding will come to the area for activities like preserving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat, for example.

The study would find whether the river merits one of the designations under the Wild and Scenic River program: wild, scenic, or recreational. Then community members would be able to offer their input on whether the designation should move forward.

"The study will be an excellent opportunity to find out more about the value of the York River, while giving a critical boost to the local organizations and businesses who will do the research," Pingree said.

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