With his first term almost finished and now headed into a second one, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., scored a win this week as his bill transferring land on Jupiter Island from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge cleared both chambers of Congress.
Mast’s “Jupiter Island Land Transfer Act” passed the House as part of the “Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act.” The freshman Republican’s proposal transfers four acres on Jupiter Island from the Coast Guard to the refuge.
“Jupiter Island is home to multiple species of turtles on the Endangered Species List, among other animals and important natural habitats,” Mast’s office noted.
Mast, currently the chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard Subcommittee despite being a freshman, weighed in on Wednesday as his proposal heads to President Donald Trump’s desk.
“Ensuring that we are good stewards of our environment begins with strong conservation efforts, and on the Treasure Coast, protecting our environment is also critical to our businesses and livelihoods,” 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,” the freshman Republican congressman added.
Mast brought the bill out back in March and it was sent to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure and the House Natural Resources Committees which advanced the bill earlier this month. The bill was also sent to the Coast Guard Subcommittee which also approved Mast’s proposal.
Two Democrats in the Florida delegation–U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings–cosponsored Mast’s original proposal.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.