Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (03/27/2006)

Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection Act - Directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish a Coastal and Estuarine Land Protection program to protect the environmental integrity of undeveloped coastal and estuarine areas that: (1) have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values; and (2) are threatened by conversion from their natural, undeveloped, or recreational state to other uses. Directs the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to administer the program.

Authorizes the Secretary to make program grants competitively to coastal states with approved coastal zone management plans or National Estuarine Research Reserve units for acquiring property in such areas from willing sellers.

Prohibits more than 75% of the funding for any project from being derived from federal sources. Authorizes the Secretary to waive such prohibition for underserved communities, for communities unable to draw on other funding because of small populations or low income, or for other appropriate reasons. Permits appraised land value and costs associated with land acquisition, land management planning, remediation, restoration, and enhancement to be used for the non-federal cost share of a project.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide specified funding for a regional watershed protection demonstration project that: (1) leverages land acquisition funding from other federal conservation or acquisition programs; (2) involves funding from and participation by multiple federal, state, and nongovernmental entities; (3) creates conservation corridors and preserves unique coastal habitat; (4) protects unfragmented habitats under imminent threat of development or conversion; (5) provides water quality protection for areas under the National Estuarine Research Reserve program; and (6) provides a model for future regional watershed protection projects.

Reserves funds for acquisitions benefiting the National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Requires a grant recipient to provide assurances that: (1) acquired property will be held in perpetuity and managed for the purposes for which the property entered the program; or (2) if such property is divested, funds equal to its correct value will be returned to the Secretary for redistribution in the grant process.

Authorizes appropriations.