Washington, D.C. – The followings statement was issued by Jeff Watters, Senior Director of Conservation Policy and Engagement, on the passage of the second minibus appropriations package which includes the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Ocean Conservancy commends members of the House of Representatives who voted to increase funding for NOAA by more than $100 million. With the Trump administration repeatedly proposing devastating cuts while the nation is facing immense economic uncertainty, we are thankful that Congress continues to stand up for NOAA – and the wildlife, coastal communities, and blue economy that depend on strong funding for the agency. Specifically, the House passed NOAA funding bill makes much needed investments in regional ocean data portals, coastal management grants, climate research, marine mammal grants, and more.
Our ocean, Great Lakes, and coastlines – and the communities and businesses that rely on them – have faced many challenges over the past year. COVID-19 and economic uncertainty has rocked coastal communities and our blue economy, while climate change and harmful algal blooms continue to add stress our marine environment. Slashing funds for NOAA, who provide critical resources, information, and tools for our coastal communities to succeed, would perpetuate the stress and uncertainty that is gripping our nation right now. The House passed funding bill for NOAA provides the agency with the necessary resources to support our ocean and coastal communities.
Ocean Conservancy extends our gratitude to the retiring Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Representative Nita Lowey, and Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee, Representative Jose Serrano. We thank them, as well as their staff, for the stewardship of this bill and their many years championing strong funding for NOAA. Representatives Lowey and Serrano have been tireless advocates for NOAA, among many other things, and will be missed when they retire at the end of this Congress.
It is critical to ensure that NOAA programs are able to provide the resources, services and information that our ocean and Great Lakes, coastal communities and the blue economy rely on. We urge the Senate to maintain the strong funding for NOAA that the House of Representatives has agreed to.