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Sen. Carper touts Great American Outdoors Act benefits for First State

Delaware Public Media

Legislation passed by the U.S. Senate would help fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund that sends dollars to Delaware’s wildlife refuges and National Park.



"For us, this is a two-fer," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware), discussing the Great American Outdoors Act Monday. "We're basically preserving a source of natural beauty in our state. We also attract people to come here as tourists and spend money."

Carper adds that foreigners traveling to the U.S. are attracted by National Parks and wildlife refuges.

The legislation would provide money to the Prime Hook and Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuges, Cape Henlopen, Brandywine Creek and Fox Point State Parks, Killens Pond and other projects across the Delmarva.

Carper visited Prime Hook Monday to elaborate on what the legislation would do for Delaware.

"We have two wildlife refuges, we have a National Park. They are both starved for money for deferred maintenance and one of the great things will flow from the legislation that's been enacted on the Senate is over the next five years I think about nine and a half billion dollars in deferred maintenance funding for wildlife refuges like this one and like our National Park in Delaware."

Carper adds that money in the legislation would essentially be operating money, as well as a down payment on deferred maintenance of the public lands. 

Carper says there’s been a chronic underfunding of the fund.

"We provided, I believe $900 million per year, permanent funding so year after year they don't have to worry about being starved and to support these programs, but that funding will be there. So on one hand provide money for deferred maintenance, on the other hand we provide money that can be sort of  thought of as more like operating money."

The bill is now awaiting House approval.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.