Section 35NN. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund. There shall be credited to the fund all recreational saltwater fishing permit fees collected by the director of the division of marine fisheries under section 17C of chapter 130, any appropriations, grants, gifts or other monies authorized by the general court or other parties and specifically designated to be credited to the fund and any income derived from the investment of amounts credited to the fund. All amounts credited to the fund may be expended, subject to appropriation, provided that all unexpended balances remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and may be appropriated for expenditure in the subsequent fiscal year.
(b) The fund shall be administered by the director in consultation with the marine recreational fisheries development panel established in section 17C of chapter 130. Monies expended from the fund shall be used for the development and administration of the recreational saltwater fishing permit program established in said section 17C of said chapter 130, to support science and conservation programs designed to improve recreational saltwater fishing and other recreational saltwater fishing improvement programs and for the direct and indirect costs of personnel or contractors of the division of marine fisheries associated with such programs; provided, however, that not less than one-third of the permit fees appropriated for expenditure in a fiscal year shall be expended on existing or new facilities and other activities that improve public access to recreational saltwater fishing. The director shall consult with the department of fish and game’s office of fishing and boating access on any proposals for public access facilities to be constructed with monies from the fund and such facilities may be constructed in consultation with the office of fishing and boating access. The director shall request the marine recreational fisheries development panel’s input on the division’s proposed spending plan for the fund in the upcoming fiscal year and provide the panel with a written explanation if the director does not adopt a recommendation of the panel.