(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by Tommy Wells, Director of DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), and Ann Honious, National Park Service’s Deputy Superintendent of National Capital Parks – East, to sign the Fisheries and Wildlife Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016. This legislation grants DOEE more authority over the protection of natural resources as well as the sale and regulation of licenses for recreational fishing, and increases environmental protections for aquatic life, wetlands, and shorelines in Washington, DC. The Act also authorizes the Mayor to impose penalties on persons who knowingly transport or trade in certain invasive plants and nonindigenous species.
“As the nation’s capital, we need to lead the way when it comes to preserving our environment, and part of this work includes protecting our important local wildlife and precious natural ecosystems,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today, we are taking another step to ensure that our natural habitats are protected for residents and future generations to enjoy.”
The signing of the Act is the latest in a series of environmental commitments by the Bowser Administration. In just the past year, the Administration has signed the Anacostia River Accord and the Renewable Portfolio Standard bill, launched Climate Ready DC, and announced the Canopy 3,000 Tree Planting Initiative.
The new legislation also expands various regulations around fishing in Washington, DC.
“The District is home to abundant wildlife and natural habitat,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “The new legislation gives us important tools to preserve, protect, and enjoy these critical resources - including expanded access to recreational fishing.”
At the signing, Mayor Bowser unveiled two new “state” species, designating the American Shad and the Hay’s Spring Amphipod as Washington, DC’s official fish and amphipod, respectively. The signing event took place on the banks of the Anacostia River, just outside of the DC Aquatic Resources Education Center, which is operated by DOEE.
Read the full text of the Fisheries & Wildlife Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016 HERE.