[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 120, 109th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

120 STAT. 2049

Public Law 109-359
109th Congress

An Act


 
To establish the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative. NOTE: Oct.
16, 2006 -  [H.R. 5160]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, NOTE: Long Island
Sound Stewardship Act of 2006.
SECTION 1. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Long Island Sound Stewardship Act of
2006''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.

(a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
(1) Long Island Sound is a national treasure of great
cultural, environmental, and ecological importance;
(2) 8,000,000 people live within the Long Island Sound
watershed and 28,000,000 people (approximately 10 percent of the
population of the United States) live within 50 miles of Long
Island Sound;
(3) activities that depend on the environmental health of
Long Island Sound contribute more than $5,000,000,000 each year
to the regional economy;
(4) the portion of the shoreline of Long Island Sound that
is accessible to the general public (estimated at less than 20
percent of the total shoreline) is not adequate to serve the
needs of the people living in the area;
(5) existing shoreline facilities are in many cases
overburdened and underfunded;
(6) large parcels of open space already in public ownership
are strained by the effort to balance the demand for recreation
with the needs of sensitive natural resources;
(7) approximately 1/3 of the tidal marshes of Long Island
Sound have been filled, and much of the remaining marshes have
been ditched, diked, or impounded, reducing the ecological value
of the marshes; and
(8) much of the remaining exemplary natural landscape is
vulnerable to further development.

(b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to establish the Long
Island Sound Stewardship Initiative to identify, protect, and enhance
upland sites within the Long Island Sound ecosystem with significant
ecological, educational, open space, public access, or recreational
value through a bi-State network of sites best exemplifying these
values.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act, the following definitions apply:

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120 STAT. 2050

(1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee''
means the Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee
established by section 8.
(3) Region.--The term ``Region'' means the Long Island Sound
Stewardship Initiative Region established by section 4(a).
(4) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the States of
Connecticut and New York.
(5) Stewardship.--The term ``stewardship'' means land
acquisition, land conservation agreements, site planning, plan
implementation, land and habitat management, public access
improvements, site monitoring, and other activities designed to
enhance and preserve natural resource-based recreation and
ecological function of upland areas.
(6) Stewardship site.--The term ``stewardship site'' means
any area of State, local, or tribal government, or privately
owned land within the Region that is designated by the
Administrator under section 5(a).
(7) Systematic site selection.--The term ``systematic site
selection'' means a process of selecting stewardship sites
that--
(A) has explicit goals, methods, and criteria;
(B) produces feasible, repeatable, and defensible
results;
(C) provides for consideration of natural, physical,
and biological patterns;
(D) addresses replication, connectivity, species
viability, location, and public recreation values;
(E) uses geographic information systems technology
and algorithms to integrate selection criteria; and
(F) will result in achieving the goals of
stewardship site selection at the lowest cost.
(8) Qualified applicants.--The term ``qualified applicant''
means a non-Federal person that owns title to property located
within the borders of the Region.
(9) Threat.--The term ``threat'' means a threat that is
likely to destroy or seriously degrade a conservation target or
a recreation area.
SEC. 4. LONG ISLAND SOUND STEWARDSHIP INITIATIVE
REGION. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.

(a) Establishment.--There is established in the States of
Connecticut and New York the Long Island Sound Stewardship Initiative
Region.
(b) Boundaries.--The Region consists of the immediate coastal upland
areas along--
(1) Long Island Sound between mean high water and the inland
boundary, as described on the map entitled ``Long Island Sound
Stewardship Region'' and dated April 21, 2004; and
(2) the Peconic Estuary as described on the map entitled
``Peconic Estuary Program Study Area Boundaries'' and included
in the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for the
Peconic Estuary Program and dated November 15, 2001.

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120 STAT. 2051

SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF STEWARDSHIP SITES. NOTE: 33 USC 1330
note.

(a) In General.--The Administrator may designate a stewardship site
in accordance with this Act any area that contributes to accomplishing
the purpose of this Act.
(b) Publication of List of Recommended Sites.--The Administrator
shall--
(1) publish in the Federal Register and make available in
general circulation in the States of Connecticut and New York
the list of sites recommended by the Advisory Committee; and
(2) provide a 90-day period for--
(A) the submission of public comment on the list;
and
(B) an opportunity for owners of such sites to
decline designation of such sites as stewardship sites.

(c) Opinion Regarding Owner's Responsibilities.--The Administrator
may not designate an area as a stewardship site under this Act unless
the Administrator provides to the owner of the area, and the owner
acknowledges to the Administrator receipt of, a comprehensive opinion in
plain English setting forth expressly the responsibility of the owner
that arises from such designation.
(d) Designation of Stewardship Sites.--Not NOTE: Deadline. later
than 150 days after receiving from the Advisory Committee its list of
recommended sites, the Administrator--
(1) shall review the recommendations of the Advisory
Committee; and
(2) may designate as a stewardship site any site included in
the list.
SEC. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS BY ADVISORY COMMITTEE. NOTE: 33 USC 1330
note.

(a) In General.--The Advisory Committee shall--
(1) in accordance with this section, evaluate applications--
(A) for designation of areas as stewardship sites;
(B) to develop management plans to address threats
to stewardship sites; and
(C) to act on opportunities to protect and enhance
stewardship sites;
(2) develop recommended guidelines, criteria, schedules, and
due dates for the submission of applications and the evaluation
by the Advisory Committee of information to recommend areas for
designation as stewardship sites that fulfill terms of a multi-
year management plan;
(3) recommend to the Administrator a list of sites for
designation as stewardship sites that further the purpose of
this Act;
(4) develop management plans to address threats to
stewardship sites;
(5) raise awareness of the values of and threats to
stewardship sites;
(6) recommend that the Administrator award grants to
qualified applicants; and
(7) recommend to the Administrator ways to leverage
additional resources for improved stewardship of the Region.

(b) Identification of Sites.--

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120 STAT. 2052

(1) In general.--Any qualified applicant may submit an
application to the Advisory Committee to have a site recommended
to the Administrator for designation as a stewardship site.
(2) Identification.--The Advisory Committee shall review
each application submitted under this subsection to determine
whether the site exhibits values that promote the purpose of
this Act.
(3) Natural resource-based recreation areas.--In reviewing
an application for recommendation of a recreation area for
designation as a stewardship site, the Advisory Committee may
use a selection technique that includes consideration of--
(A) public access;
(B) community support;
(C) high population density;
(D) environmental justice (as defined in section
385.3 of title 33, Code of Federal Regulations (or
successor regulations));
(E) open spaces; and
(F) cultural, historic, and scenic characteristics.
(4) Natural areas with ecological value.--In reviewing an
application for recommendation of a natural area with ecological
value for designation as a stewardship site, the Advisory
Committee may use a selection technique that includes
consideration of--
(A) measurable conservation targets for the Region;
and
(B) prioritizing new sites using systematic site
selection, which shall include consideration of--
(i) ecological uniqueness;
(ii) species viability;
(iii) habitat heterogeneity;
(iv) size;
(v) quality;
(vi) open spaces;
(vii) land cover;
(viii) scientific, research, or educational
value; and
(ix) threats.
(5) Deviation from process.--The Advisory Committee may
accept an application to recommend a site other than as provided
in this subsection, if the Advisory Committee--
(A) determines that the site makes significant
ecological or recreational contributions to the Region;
and
(B) provides to the Administrator the reasons for
deviating from the process otherwise described in this
subsection.

(c) Submission of List of Recommended Sites.--
(1) In general.--After completion of the site identification
process set forth in subsection (b), the Advisory Committee
shall submit to the Administrator its list of sites recommended
for designation as stewardship sites.
(2) Limitation.--The Advisory Committee shall not include a
site in the list submitted under this subsection unless, prior
to submission of the list, the owner of the site is--
(A) notified of the inclusion of the site in the
list; and

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120 STAT. 2053

(B) allowed to decline inclusion of the site in the
list.
(3) Public comment.--In identifying sites for inclusion in
the list, the Advisory Committee shall provide an opportunity
for submission of, and consider, public comments.
SEC. 7. GRANTS AND ASSISTANCE. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.

(a) In General.--The Administrator may provide grants, subject to
the availability of appropriations, and other assistance for projects to
fulfill the purpose of this Act.
(b) Federal Share.--The Federal share of the cost of an activity
carried out using any assistance or grant under this Act shall not
exceed 60 percent of the total cost of the activity.
SEC. 8. LONG ISLAND SOUND STEWARDSHIP ADVISORY
COMMITTEE. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note.

(a) Establishment.--There is established a committee to be known as
the ``Long Island Sound Stewardship Advisory Committee''.
(b) Membership.--
(1) In general.--The Administrator may appoint the members
of the Advisory Committee in accordance with this subsection and
the guidance in section 320(c) of the Federal Water Pollution
Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330(c)), except that the Governor of
each State may appoint 2 members of the Advisory Committee.
(2) Additional members.--In addition to the other members
appointed under this subsection, the Advisory Committee may
include--
(A) a representative of the Regional Plan
Association;
(B) a representative of marine trade organizations;
and
(C) a representative of private landowner interests.
(3) Consideration of interests.--In appointing members of
the Advisory Committee, the Administrator shall consider--
(A) Federal, State, and local government interests
and tribal interests;
(B) the interests of nongovernmental organizations;
(C) academic interests;
(D) private interests including land, agriculture,
and business interests; and
(E) recreational and commercial fishing interests.
(4) Chairperson.--In addition to the other members appointed
under this subsection, the Administrator may appoint as a member
of the Advisory Committee an individual to serve as the
Chairperson, who may be the Director of the Long Island Sound
Office of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(5) Completion of appointments.--
The NOTE: Deadline. Administrator shall complete the
appointment of all members of the Advisory Committee by not
later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(A) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Advisory
Committee--
(i) NOTE: Deadline. shall be filled not
later than 90 days after the vacancy occurs;
(ii) shall not affect the powers of the
Advisory Committee; and
(iii) shall be filled in the same manner as
the original appointment was made.

(c) Term.--

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120 STAT. 2054

(1) In general.--A member of the Advisory Committee shall be
appointed for a term of 4 years.
(2) Multiple terms.--An individual may be appointed as a
member of the Advisory Committee for more than 1 term.

(d) Powers.--The Advisory Committee may hold such hearings, meet and
act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such
evidence as the Advisory Committee considers advisable to carry out this
Act.
(e) Meetings.--
(1) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall meet at the
call of the Chairperson, but no fewer than 4 times each year.
(2) Initial meeting.--Not NOTE: Deadline. later than 30
days after the date on which all members of the Advisory
Committee have been appointed, the Chairperson shall call the
initial meeting of the Advisory Committee.
(3) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Advisory
Committee shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of
members may hold hearings.

(f) Adaptive Management.--
(1) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall use an
adaptive management framework to identify the best policy
initiatives and actions through--
(A) definition of strategic goals;
(B) definition of policy options for methods to
achieve strategic goals;
(C) establishment of measures of success;
(D) identification of uncertainties;
(E) development of informative models of policy
implementation;
(F) separation of the landscape into geographic
units;
(G) monitoring key responses at different spatial
and temporal scales; and
(H) evaluation of outcomes and incorporation into
management strategies.
(2) Application of adaptive management framework.--The
Advisory Committee shall apply the adaptive management framework
to the process for making recommendations under subsections (b)
through (f) of section 6 to the Administrator regarding sites
that should be designated as stewardship sites.
(3) Adaptive management.--The adaptive management framework
required by this subsection shall consist of a scientific
process--
(A) for--
(i) developing predictive models;
(ii) making management policy decisions based
upon the model outputs;
(iii) revising the management policies as data
become available with which to evaluate the
policies; and
(iv) acknowledging uncertainty, complexity,
and variance in the spatial and temporal aspects
of natural systems; and
(B) that requires that management be viewed as
experimental.

(g) Termination of Advisory Committee.--The Advisory Committee shall
terminate on December 31, 2011.

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120 STAT. 2055

SEC. 9. REPORTS.

(a) Administrator.--The NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note. Public
information.  Administrator shall publish and make available to the
public on the Internet and in paper form--
(1) not NOTE: Deadline. later than 1 year after the date
of enactment of this Act, a report that--
(A) assesses the role of this Act in protecting the
Long Island Sound;
(B) establishes in coordination with the Advisory
Committee guidelines, criteria, schedules, and due dates
for evaluating information to designate stewardship
sites;
(C) includes information about any grants that are
available for the purchase of land or property rights to
protect stewardship sites; and
(D) accounts for funds received and expended during
the previous fiscal year;
(2) an update of such report, at least every other year; and
(3) information on funding and any new stewardship sites
more frequently than every other year.

(b) Advisory Committee.--
(1) Report.--For each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011, the
Advisory Committee shall submit to the Administrator and the
decisionmaking body of the Long Island Sound Study Management
Conference established under section 320 of the Federal Water
Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1330), an annual report that
contains--
(A) a detailed statement of the findings and
conclusions of the Advisory Committee since the last
report under this subsection;
(B) a description of all sites recommended by the
Advisory Committee to the Administrator for designation
as stewardship sites;
(C) the recommendations of the Advisory Committee
for such legislation and administrative actions as the
Advisory Committee considers appropriate; and
(D) in accordance with paragraph (2), the
recommendations of the Advisory Committee for the
awarding of grants.
(2) Recommendation for grants.--
(A) In general.--The Advisory Committee shall
recommend that the Administrator award grants to
qualified applicants to help to secure and improve the
open space, public access, or ecological values of
stewardship sites, through--
(i) purchase of the property of a stewardship
site;
(ii) purchase of relevant property rights to a
stewardship site; or
(iii) entering into any other binding legal
arrangement that ensures that the values of a
stewardship site are sustained, including entering
into an arrangement with a land manager or
property owner to develop or implement a
management plan that is necessary for the
conservation of natural resources.
(B) Equitable distribution of funds.--The Advisory
Committee shall exert due diligence to ensure that its
recommendations result in an equitable distribution of
funds between the States.

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120 STAT. 2056

SEC. 10. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note. PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTION;
NO REGULATORY AUTHORITY.

(a) Access to Private Property.--Nothing in this Act--
(1) requires any private property owner to allow public
access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to
the private property; or
(2) modifies the application of any provision of Federal,
State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of
private property, except as entered into by voluntary agreement
of the owner or custodian of the property.

(b) Liability.--Establishment of the Region does not create any
liability, or have any effect on any liability under any other law, of
any private property owner with respect to any person injured on the
private property.
(c) Recognition of Authority to Control Land Use.--Nothing in this
Act modifies the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to
regulate land use.
(d) Participation of Private Property Owners Not Required.--Nothing
in this Act requires the owner of any private property located within
the boundaries of the Region to participate in any land conservation,
financial or technical assistance, or other programs established under
this Act.
(e) Purchase of Land or Interest in Land From Willing Sellers
Only.--Funds appropriated to carry out this Act may be used to purchase
land or interests in land only from willing sellers.
(f) Manner of Acquisition.--All acquisitions of land under this Act
shall be made in a voluntary manner and shall not be the result of
forced takings.
(g) Effect of Establishment.--
(1) In general.--The boundaries of the Region represent the
area within which Federal funds appropriated for the purpose of
this Act may be expended.
(2) Regulatory authority.--The establishment of the Region
and the boundaries of the Region do not provide any regulatory
authority not in existence immediately before the enactment of
this Act on land use in the Region by any management entity,
except for such property rights as may be purchased from or
donated by the owner of the property (including public lands
donated by a State or local government).
SEC. 11. NOTE: 33 USC 1330 note. AUTHORIZATION OF
APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to the
Administrator $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011 to
carry out this Act, including for--
(1) acquisition of land and interests in land;
(2) development and implementation of site management plans;
(3) site enhancements to reduce threats or promote
stewardship; and
(4) administrative expenses of the Advisory Committee and
the Administrator.

(b) Use of Funds.--Amounts made available to the Administrator under
this section each fiscal year shall be used by the Administrator after
reviewing the recommendations included in the annual reports of the
Advisory Committee under section 9.

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120 STAT. 2057

(c) Authorization of Gifts, Devises, and Bequests for System.--In
furtherance of the purpose of this Act, the Administrator may accept and
use any gift, devise, or bequest of real or personal property, proceeds
therefrom, or interests therein, to carry out this Act. Such acceptance
may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant,
or condition of servitude, if such terms are considered by the
Administrator to be in accordance with law and compatible with the
purpose for which acceptance is sought.
(d) Limitation on Administrative Costs.--Of the amount available
each fiscal year to carry out this Act, not more than 8 percent may be
used for administrative costs.

Approved October 16, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 5160 (S. 158):
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 152 (2006):
Sept. 27, considered and passed House.
Sept. 29, considered and passed Senate.