AUGUSTA — The U.S. House is expected to vote this week on a bill that could lead to a special designation for southern Maine’s York River.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says her bill would initiate a multi-year study and public input, which would determine if the river is eligible for designation as a Wild and Scenic Partnership River by the National Park Service.

Pingree, a Maine Democrat, says that designation could bring significant federal investment in protecting the York River for activities like preserving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat. Pingree says the river has great economic and environmental value to York, Eliot, Kittery, South Berwick and the surrounding communities.

The York River is used by commercial fishermen and recreationists.