Contact: Joordan St. John
NOAA News Releases 2003
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$1.7 Million Grant Award to Oregon State University Also Announced

Today, in Newport, Ore., the Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.), joined members of the community, university and fishing industry representatives, and scientists and managers from federal, state, and local agencies, to dedicate the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s Captain R. Barry Fisher building a new research facility on Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center campus. The facility was created to strengthen critical marine fish programs through interdisciplinary science, partnerships and educational linkages and is appropriately named after Captain R. Barry Fisher, a strong advocate for improved science and collaboration.

“The creation and dedication of the Captain R. Barry Fisher research facility in Newport is an important investment in Oregon’s and the nation’s future,” said Lautenbacher. “It is fitting that the facility honor the legacy of Captain R. Barry Fisher for his lifetime contributions to the science and management of sustainable fisheries.”

As part of the dedication ceremony Lautenbacher presented a more than $1.7 million grant award check to Oregon State University Provost and Executive Vice President Timothy P. White. The award funds West Coast fisheries research on the effects of ocean variability and the physical and biological processes which influence salmon and groundfish productivity, distribution, growth, health and at-sea survival.

Fisheries are an important resource in Oregon and along the entire West Coast. They, supporting many livelihoods, are an important part of Oregon’s culture and economy. “Continued benefit and use of fisheries depends on providing state-of-the-art scientific information to inform management decisions—and through the new Captain R. Barry Fisher building and funding important research. We are facilitating just that,” said Lautenbacher.

The 15,000 square foot Captain R. Barry Fisher Building is home to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s expanded marine fish program. It houses more than thirty scientists that conduct state-of-the-art research on everything from fisheries habitat to zooplankton populations.

“Today’s scientific challenges are complex and require inter-disciplinary solutions,” said Usha Varanasi, NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center director. Collaboration and partnerships with other government agencies, universities, Tribes, fishery organizations, and the fishing industry, have been critical to the Center’s scientific efforts in Newport. “We have expanded partnerships and cooperative research with a variety of local members of the fishing community, including a project to more actively involve fishers in research projects. These partnerships have been very rewarding and beneficial—I think Barry would approve,” she said.

The Commerce Department’s NOAA, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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