Ocean Conservancy

What You Need to Know about the President’s 2013 Budget

The budget is troubling due to the continued underfunding of NOAA and its ocean program.

Media Contact:
Katie Cline, Communications Manager
Telephone: (202) 351-0482
Email: kcline@oceanconservancy.org

February 13, 2012

Washington, DC - Today, President Obama released a proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year.  Important information to know:

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

Ocean Conservancy statement from Jeff Watters, Senior Manager of Government Relations:

“This budget is troubling due to the continued underfunding of NOAA and its ocean program.  While we recognize these are tough fiscal times in America, and the administration is trimming government budgets across-the-board, NOAA’s ocean programs have been particularly hard-hit. 

“Adding to the burden of overall budget reductions, NOAA is tasked with paying for new, multi-billion dollar weather satellites, as well as managing our coasts and fisheries.  As costs of the weather-related program continue to rise, there are fewer resources for NOAA’s core ocean programs.  Americans shouldn’t have to choose between forecasting the weather and protecting our ocean. We need both. 

“The country can’t afford the under-funding of NOAA’s ocean programs.  With half of Americans living on our coasts, our economy depends on a healthy ocean and coastlines.  Whether it’s preparing for and responding to natural disasters, restoring marine habitat or sustaining healthy fisheries, NOAA’s role is vital to the strength of our economy. 

“We hope Congress recognizes the importance of NOAA and all the programs within the agency.  As the budget process moves to the appropriations stage, Congress must protect NOAA ocean and fisheries programs by restoring funding to the 2010 levels.  Providing the resources needed to make smart choices for a healthy ocean won’t just benefit those who live and work along the coast every day, but the American economy and environment as a whole.”

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 educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our water planet. Informed by science, our work guides policy and engages people in protecting the ocean and its wildlife for future generations.

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