Trenton – President Trump today signed the Great American Outdoors Act, which will permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million annually and provide $9.5 billion over five years to fix maintenance problems plaguing America’s public lands.
Environment America and Environment New Jersey has prioritized LWCF, America’s best conservation and recreation program, for years. To urge lawmakers to invest in America’s great outdoors, the organization has passed out LWCF face masks to lawmakers; created lawn signs and banners; written a steady series of op-eds; and served as a continual presence on Capitol Hill and in congressional districts.
In response to the president signing the bill into law, Environment New Jersey’s Director Doug O’Malley released the following statement:
“The Great American Outdoors Act is now law, and that’s no small accomplishment. There’s finally a lock and key on money that was always intended for conservation projects -- yet, for decades, has been consistently diverted to other purposes.
“This new law is not only a major investment in outdoor spaces but also in every American’s physical and mental health. It’s a decisive step toward acknowledging that our lives are made richer if surrounded by more nature, more open spaces, whether it’s a local park down the street or the Grand Canyon.
We continue to be proud of the broad bipartisan support in the New Jersey delegation for this measure, and the sponsorships of this legislation by Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2), Rep. Andy Kim (R-3), Rep. Chris Smith (R-4), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-7), Rep. Albio Sires (D-8), Bill Pascrell (D-9), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) and the crucial support of Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker.
We are particularly thankful for the ongoing bipartisan leadership of Rep. Sherrill, who was a lead sponsor of the legislation. She and the rest of the delegation worked to bring together a bipartisan consensus to protect something that we all value as New Jerseyans – our great outdoors.
“We hope Congress can remain clear-eyed about what’s needed after this historic moment. From embracing wildlife corridors to protecting 30 percent of America’s
lands and waters by 2030, there’s so much more to do. But for the moment, we’re thrilled to have achieved a bipartisan win for the great outdoors during these deeply partisan times.”