Grijalva Calls on Bishop to Hold NOAA Budget Hearing to Examine How Deep Cuts Would Harm Ocean Protections, Species Programs

Washington, D.C. Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a letter to Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) today urging a hearing for Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to testify on the Trump administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In line with the drastic cuts proposed across natural resources, environmental and science agencies, the administration’s budget reduces NOAA funding by 17 percent compared to the FY17 continuing resolution level.

The full letter is available at http://bit.ly/2rA6zvR.

“President Trump just declared June as National Ocean Month, but this budget proposal leaves our oceans less protected than ever,” Grijalva said. “Instead of supporting core NOAA programs that protect our oceans and enhance public safety, coastal economies, and marine resources, this proposal puts NOAA under water. By starving the agency of critical resources, the president is ensuring that many coastal communities end up under water too, both literally and figuratively.”

The letter points to significant proposed reductions to several NOAA line offices, including Ocean and Atmospheric Research (-27 percent), National Ocean Service (-27 percent), and Fisheries (-14 percent). These offices run a wide range of programs that protect and benefit the American people, such as research to improve weather forecasts, reducing coastal vulnerability to sea level rise and extreme weather, conducting fisheries stock assessments, managing protected species and offering nautical charting and navigation support.

The proposed budget also eliminates funding for widely popular and beneficial programs – such as Sea Grant, Coastal Zone Management Grants, and the National Estuarine Research Reserves – that leverage state matching funds to support research, education, and coastal planning. The Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, also proposed for elimination, provides competitive funding to states and tribes to recover endangered species and restore valuable commercial and recreational fisheries.

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