In October, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to revitalize coastal communities and restore essential coastal habitat important for fisheries. The Estuaries & Clean Water Act of 2000 (a combination of several related bills) was sponsored by the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI) and Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD). The legislation provides a federal commitment and resources to restore 1 million acres of habitat in America¿' estuaries, which function as nurseries for most of the nation¿' fisheries. The legislation authorizes $275 million over five years for matching funds for local restoration projects. Estuaries and wetlands are essential to the vitality of the nation¿' fishing economy. For the importance of wetlands to the fishing industry, see ¿"isheries, Wetlands and Jobs¿"at www.pond.net/~pcffa/wetlands.htm.