U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) today introduced legislation that would authorize a study of the York River, an important first step toward possibly attaining a special federal designation that could lead to federal investments to protect the economic and environmental value of the river.
"The York River not only holds tremendous environmental value to the surrounding towns and communities, but it's also an economic anchor for them with commercial fishermen, hunters, and recreational boaters all taking advantage of the river's unique qualities," Senator King said. "This bill, with community support, could result in a special designation that would help preserve the river and its natural benefits through critical federal investments."
The legislation calls for a multi-year study of the river, which along with community input, would determine whether it is eligible to be designated as a Wild and Scenic Partnership River by the National Park Service.
If attained, such a designation would trigger federal funding and other resources to help maintain the river in its current healthy, natural, and free-flowing state, including funding for education and outreach; historic, scientific, and economic research; and conservation efforts.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01) also recently reintroduced the bill in the House of Representatives. The House unanimously passed her measure last year, but no action was taken in the Senate, requiring her to resubmit the bill this year