Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. voted for the Great American Outdoors Act today. The bill (H.R. 1957) would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and establish the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund. Part of that bill would provide money to create more natural areas in and near communities of color. It was passed in the Senate last month and will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“New Jersey has some of the most beautiful parks and recreation areas in the country and they need to be preserved,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “In addition, it will create more parks and other green spaces in urban neighborhoods so all Americans can experience the benefits of nature. I am proud to join my colleagues to pass this bill because it will protect our precious natural landscapes and make sure all Americans can access the great outdoors.”
The Great American Outdoors Act guarantees that the $900 million authorized by Congress last year funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund at the levels that were promised. The LWCF is America’s most successful conservation program and these resources will make sure it:
- Supports enhanced park and recreational access for local communities throughout the country;
- Addresses environmental injustice by creating green spaces near low-income communities and communities of color across the country by preserving our natural heritage in an equitable manner;
- Strengthens the recreation economy, which is one of the fastest growing economic sectors and a key driver of jobs across the country;
- Protects at least 30 percent of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030, while helping fragile ecosystems, wildlife populations, and communities become more resilient to the influence of the climate crisis.