CONGRESSMAN LESTER WOLFF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 179
(House of Representatives - November 13, 2018)

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[Pages H9479-H9480]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




           CONGRESSMAN LESTER WOLFF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 6064) to rename the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge as 
the Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 6064

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. FINDINGS.

       The Congress finds the following:
       (1) The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge was created in 
     1968. It is located on the north shore of Long Island in 
     eastern Nassau County, is the largest refuge in the Long 
     Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and receives the 
     most public use of all the refuges in the Complex.
       (2) The State of New York designated Oyster Bay a 
     significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat. It is 
     especially important for wintering waterfowl such as black 
     duck, greater scaup, bufflehead, canvasback and long-tailed 
     ducks. Management activities include wetland restoration and 
     protection of the natural shoreline and vegetation.
       (3) The refuge is unique in consisting solely of bay bottom 
     and adjacent shoreline up to the mean high-tide mark. Ninety 
     percent of New York's commercial oyster harvest comes from 
     the refuge. Visitors enjoy fishing, wildlife observation, 
     photography and environmental education. The refuge is truly 
     a national treasure.

[[Page H9480]]

       (4) Many visitors are unaware that were it not for the 
     tireless work and advocacy of then-freshman Congressman 
     Lester Wolff, this area would today be an 8.5-mile causeway 
     and bridge across Long Island Sound between Oyster Bay and 
     Rye, New York, connecting Nassau and Westchester Counties.
       (5) The bridge was first proposed by Robert Moses, the 
     well-known New York City Planner, to divert traffic from New 
     York City. Former Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed into law 
     legislation creating the bridge authorized by the New York 
     State Legislature in 1967.
       (6) Congressman Wolff, elected in 1964, quickly decided the 
     bridge would be an intrusion in a pristine area, and that 
     Long Island Sound was a very precious resource that was 
     despoiled. The conservation threats in the mid-1960s were 
     suburban development, wetland filling, and industrial 
     pollution. The fight to preserve this land became an enormous 
     political fight and is considered to be a turning point in 
     New York State's environmental legacy.
       (7) With State and local political and community leaders, 
     and especially the North Shore leaders and the Committee to 
     Save the Long Island Sound, Congressman Wolff arranged a 
     meeting with Department of the Interior representatives and 
     local leaders where the idea of creating a wildlife refuge 
     from municipal and privately owned wetlands was created.
       (8) The Town of Oyster Bay, in which one end of the bridge 
     was to be located, deeded 5,000 acres of wetlands to the 
     United States to be maintained as a Federal wildlife 
     preserve. It was stipulated that if the Department of the 
     Interior agreed to an intrusion of the property, it would 
     revert to the town. Creating a Federal wildlife preserve 
     provided the land with Federal protection.
       (9) Because of the vision, dedication, and perseverance of 
     Congressman Lester Wolff, all of us and future generations 
     can enjoy the beauty and magnificence of this refuge.

     SEC. 2. RENAMING THE OYSTER BAY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE AS 
                   THE CONGRESSMAN LESTER WOLFF NATIONAL WILDLIFE 
                   REFUGE.

       (a) Renaming.--The unit of the National Wildlife Refuge 
     System known as the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge and 
     located near Oyster Bay, New York, shall be known as the 
     ``Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System known as the 
     Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge is deemed to be a 
     reference to the ``Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife 
     Refuge''.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) and the gentlewoman from Hawaii (Ms. Hanabusa) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado.


                             General Leave

  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include 
extraneous materials on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Colorado?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 6064 would rename the Oyster Bay National Wildlife 
Refuge as the Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge in honor of the 
former Long Island North Shore Congressman.
  Elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1965, 
Congressman Wolff served eight terms representing the people of New 
York. During that time, he successfully pushed to create the Oyster Bay 
National Wildlife Refuge on the north shore of Long Island. It is both 
the largest refuge in the Long Island refuge complex and the most 
popular with visitors.
  Congressman Wolff has the distinction of being the oldest living 
former Member of Congress. To this day, he continues to host a weekly 
PBS show called ``Ask Congress,'' where he works to connect the 
American people with U.S. legislators.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge the adoption of this measure, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by yielding 4 
minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Suozzi), my colleague, who 
was the sponsor of this bill.
  Mr. SUOZZI. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentlewoman from Hawaii 
and the gentleman from Colorado for recognizing me to support H.R. 
6064, which will rename the Oyster Bay Wildlife Refuge as the 
Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge.
  As Congressman Lamborn pointed out, Congressman Wolff is the oldest 
living former Member of Congress, and he will be celebrating his 100th 
birthday on January 4, 2019.
  The Congressman, back in the 1960s, got into a big battle with a very 
well-known figure in New York in government and politics at the time, 
and really known throughout the Nation as the Power Broker, Robert 
Moses.
  They wanted to build a bridge across the Long Island Sound from 
Connecticut to Oyster Bay, and Congressman Wolff, who was a freshman 
Congressman at the time, recognized the importance of preserving this 
important natural resource and created the Oyster Bay National Wildlife 
Refuge. It is one of the most important areas for natural refuge 
anywhere on the north shore of Long Island today and home to many types 
of waterfowl, such as black ducks; greater scaups; bufflehead, 
canvasback, and long-tail ducks; as well as great herons; and, now, 
osprey and red-tailed hawks.
  This was a major battle when the environmental movement was very 
nascent at the time in the United States of America, and it took 
tremendous courage on the part of Congressman Wolff to stand up to 
Robert Moses at the time and the Governor of New York State, then-
Governor Nelson Rockefeller, to preserve this important piece of 
property, as well as to block the bridge that would have gone across 
the Long Island Sound, an 8.5-mile bridge across the Long Island Sound 
from Connecticut to Long Island.
  So this is a great, fitting tribute for a wonderful man who we hope 
will be able to enjoy his 100th birthday celebrating the naming of the 
Congressman Lester Wolff National Wildlife Refuge.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, we are prepared to close.
  Ms. HANABUSA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  I would like to commend Representative Suozzi for this bipartisan 
initiative to honor the legacy of Congressman Lester Wolff, who had the 
foresight to protect Oyster Bay from unnecessary development. Thanks to 
his hard work and vision, the refuge remains an important stopover for 
wintering waterfowl and a popular destination for outdoor recreation. 
This bill is a fitting tribute that deserves our support.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to vote ``yes,'' and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 6064.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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