Ocean Conservancy Statement: Leaked budget cuts threaten Alaskan way of life and prosperity of coastal communities

Alaska Coast

Media Contacts:
Julia Roberson, jroberson@oceanconservancy.org, +1 2023510476
Trishna Gurung, tgurung@oceanconservancy.org, +1 2027474278

Anchorage, AK. March 9, 2017– The following statement was issued by Becca Robbins Gisclair, Associate Director of Arctic Programs at Ocean Conservancy, in reaction to reported budget cuts from the Trump Administration for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Coast Guard:

“Alaska would be hard hit with the cuts proposed for just one of the agencies targeted by the Trump administration. Taken together, the proposed budget cuts for NOAA, EPA and the Coast Guard represent a dangerous triple threat that risks hundreds of Alaskan jobs, millions of dollars that flow into the state, and the clean water and healthy fisheries on which Alaska’s economy, culture and way of life is based.

“Alaskans are used to weathering storms but these proposed budget cuts—17% from NOAA, 14% from the Coast Guard and 25% from EPA—would disproportionately hurt Alaska, given our extensive coastline, and would threaten many services on which Alaskans rely.

“The reported EPA cuts would completely eliminate the Alaska Native Villages Water programs and would reduce funding for climate change research and State funding – all essential to Alaska.

“Proposed cuts would impact NOAA’s weather forecasts and satellites which provide vital information to keep Alaskans safe on land and at sea, fisheries monitoring and enforcement which keeps our fisheries healthy, and the Sea Grant program (proposed for complete elimination) which provides critical education, training and research.

“Alaska depends on the Coast Guard to keep Alaskan waters safe and respond in times of disaster. At a time when vessel traffic is increasing in the Arctic, and the need for icebreakers is dire, this is no time to be cutting this budget.

“Ocean Conservancy urges Congress to reject this budget, which would cause immediate harm to Alaska.”

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Becca Robbins Gisclair is available for comment upon request.

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