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06 • 17 • 2020

The Senate Passes the Great American Outdoors Act

The Senate has passed a historic bill to enhance outdoor recreation for all people. The House will vote next so please ask your representative to support!

Who says bipartisanship is dead in Washington D.C. Today, the Senate voted overwhelmingly 73 - 25 to pass the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) moving the bill one step closer to becoming law. This historic legislation includes permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America's most effective conservation programs. As our country grapples with a global health pandemic and issues of racial injustice, the LWCF is a critical tool to ensure equitable access to the outdoors for the people and communities who need it most.

For over 50 years, the LWCF has supported countless close-to-home recreation areas in every state and over 99% of U.S. counties. This keystone program benefits urban, suburban and rural communities alike, with funding for parks, ball fields, playgrounds and hiking trails. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the availability of close-to-home recreational opportunities is a critical aspect of environmental justice. More than ever, people want to get outside for both exercise and mental health and these opportunities should be available for everyone. Recreational areas can also be a source of jobs and economic development as communities look to recover from economic shock.

With respect to our coastlines, the Land and Water Conservation Fund provides major benefits as well. Over its history, the LWCF has helped protect some of America’s most iconic beaches, coastal parks and shorelines. Surfrider recently published a report detailing the program's contribution to coastal conservation and recreation across the U.S. Surfrider's report also discusses the potential of the LWCF to support climate change adaptation, including strategies to make our coasts more resilient to sea level rise and extreme weather events.

Surfrider is thrilled to see the Great American Outdoors pass in the Senate. Now, we call on the House of Representatives to finish the job and #FundLWCF. Surfrider is proud to be working with many partners on this effort including the Outdoor Alliance and the LWCF Coalition. Please visit the links below to learn more and take action in support of the Land and Water Conservation Fund!

Contact your federal representative click here

Watch Surfrider’s short film on the LWCF click here