Congress Should Restore NOAA Funding Levels

While the underfunding of NOAA in the president’s budget is concerning, Congress has the chance to provide the resources the agency needs and ocean protection deserves.

Media Contact: 
Tim McHugh, Media Relations Manager
Telephone: (202) 351-0492
Email: tmchugh@oceanconservancy.org

2013 budget by the numbers:
Proposed NOAA budget total: approximately $5 billion
Percentage cut from NOAA ocean programs compared to 2010 enacted levels: more than 14%

Why it matters:
Amount ocean and coastal economies contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually: more than $138 billion
Number of jobs that depend on the ocean and coasts: more than 2.3 million

Statement from Ocean Conservancy’s Director of Government Relations Emily Woglom ahead of the House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the president’s 2013 budget: 

“While the underfunding of NOAA in the president’s budget is concerning, Congress has the chance to provide the resources the agency needs and ocean protection deserves.  We shouldn’t short-change an agency charged with overseeing the protection of the ocean, which supports our country economically and environmentally.

“NOAA must pay not only for new, multi-billion dollar weather satellites, but for managing our coasts and fisheries as well. NOAA needs the resources to do all of the important work that falls under its mission, not just some of it. More than two million jobs depend on the ocean and coasts – all the more reason to protect it to the highest degree possible.  The American people shouldn’t have to choose between forecasting the weather and protecting our ocean.  The country deserves and needs both.

“Congress should show how important the ocean is to the life and work of Americans by restoring NOAA’s ocean and fisheries funding to 2010 levels.  When we make smart choices for a healthy ocean both the American economy and environment wins.”   

Possible key functions and services at risk if the president’s budget is enacted:

  • Funding for regional and state collaborative partnerships that can find win-win solutions for ocean resource management, instead of relying solely on regulation. 
  • Science to guide wise decision-making on a variety of issues, including arctic drilling, sustainable fisheries and renewable energy development.
  • Surveys of navigation channels to ensure major ports are able to reopen to commercial shipping after a hurricane or severe storm.
  • Monitor and address coastal pollution.  Examples include monitoring contaminants after the BP oil disaster, cleaning up ocean trash and forecasting toxic algae blooms.
  • Protection and restoration of habitat that supports America’s favorite fishing and dive locations.
  • Expedient permitting for renewable offshore energy development and sustainable uses of our ocean resources.

Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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