FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Miller
The President's 2002 budget for the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has slated over $110 million for environmental satellite and weather service operations, fisheries research and management, Steller sea lion research, and ocean research in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans said, "These budget proposals represent this administration's commitment to ensuring that our coastal natural resources and fisheries continue to thrive. The Commerce Department and NOAA are placing a high priority on funding projects and programs that meet this goal by providing for additional investments in infrastructure, research and services." A sample of these critical budget initiatives and programs are:
$10 million request for salmon habitat, stock enhancement, science and salmon management projects. The federal funds are directed to the Pacific Salmon Treaty Southern Fund, which is administered by the Pacific Salmon Commission.
$13.2 million for the Columbia River hatcheries to mitigate the loss of fish due to hydro-power dams. The hatcheries provide juvenile salmon that are the basis for many salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. The agency also works to rebuild wild stocks under the Endangered Species Act.
$9.4 million for research aimed at rebuilding and sustaining West Coast groundfish. Over the past few years, many species of groundfish have declined, due to a combination of factors, including overfishing and a change in environmental conditions.
$3.2 million to support the U.S. commitment to provide and maintain one-third of the Argo global array of 3,000 profiling floats to observe the ocean's upper layer in real time. The deployment of Argo floats is an international effort to collect and share information on the world's oceans to determine influences and predict changes in our seasonal climate.
NOAA has included a portion of $4.6 million for the environmental satellite program to upgrade the satellite data station at Fairbanks, Alaska. NOAA's Command and Data Acquisition in Fairbanks is used for command and control, and to acquire data from NOAA's Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites and satellites in the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. These satellites collect global data for a variety of meteorological and climate applications.
$2.9 million for NOAA's National Weather Service new Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska; $700,000 for renovations to the NWS Weather Office in Kotzebue, Alaska; and $894,000 for the NWS Weather Office in Nome, Alaska.
$11.7 million for construction of a new state-of-the-art fisheries science center in Juneau, Alaska. The facility will be a focal point for cooperative marine science partnerships in the North Pacific.
$40.2 million for research and management to address the causes of the continuing decline of Steller sea lions in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska and ultimately to begin their recovery.
$3 million request for the Alaska Fishery
Information Network which integrates the needs of states and
the federal government in collecting and managing fishery data.
The President's FY 2002 budget for NOAA
is available on the Internet at http://www.noaa.gov