Bipartisan Bill Transfers Coast Guard Land on Jupiter Island to Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast’s (FL-18) Jupiter Island Land Transfer Act today passed the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee unanimously, clearing the last major hurdle before a vote on the House Floor. The bill transfers approximately four acres of land currently owned by the United States Coast Guard to the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Jupiter Island is home to multiple species of turtles on the Endangered Species List, among other animals and important natural habitats.
“Ensuring that we are good stewards of our environment begins with strong conservation efforts. Our community on the Treasure Coast is home to beautiful beaches, blue skies and lush landscapes. These natural resources are the reason that tourists flock to the Treasure Coast and protecting these resources isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also smart economics,” Rep. Mast said. “This is land that the Coast Guard no longer needs and the Department of the Interior is willing to include in the wildlife refuge, making this bill a win-win for all involved. By protecting this land, we can do our part to help ensure the natural beauty of the Treasure Coast is maintained and continues to be the driver of our economy for many decades to come.”
“The Town of Jupiter Island applauds Congressman Mast’s recognition of the importance of preserving lands for conservation and expresses its gratitude for his efforts to put forward a House bill (H.R. 5319) which will legislatively authorize the transfer of the Coast Guard property on Jupiter Island to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Town Manager for the Town of Jupiter Island Gene Rauth said. “Under the care and management of the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, that property will provide an invaluable environmental resource for threatened and endangered species such as nesting loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtles which have only recently begun to recover because of the presence of such protected natural areas on the island. The transfer of the property will compliment and significantly bolster the conservation lands on Jupiter Island and will enhance the Refuge’s lands inventory for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Read the bill here.