NOAA 99 Budget 2000
Contact: Barbara Semedo

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department Of Commerce

Building on the 1998 International Year of the Ocean and the historic National Ocean Conference, the FY 2000 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration includes significant new funding to protect marine and coastal resources. New funding will protect and restore coral reefs, help rebuild the nation's marine fisheries, support community-based restoration of essential fish habitats, help save Pacific coast salmon and other marine endangered species, increase research on the role of oceans in climate, and expand programs and services at National Marine Sanctuaries and Estuarine Research Reserves. The new funding supports Administration commitments from the National Ocean Conference and represents critical new investments to address some of the most serious challenges facing U.S. coasts and oceans.

Preserving Our Lands and Oceans Legacy. As part of the Administration's historic Lands Legacy Initiative, NOAA received a $26.7 million increase to work with states and communities to strengthen protection of America's valuable ocean and coastal resources. New funding for NOAA's portion of the Lands Legacy Initiative includes:

$11 million to strengthen management, education programs, monitoring and restoration in the nation's 12 National Marine Sanctuaries;

$7.7 million to increase research, education and land acquisition by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, a state-federal partnership consisting of 25 key estuaries across the country;

$6 million to address the coral reef crisis by launching unprecedented efforts to map and monitor coral ecosystems while reducing human impacts on fragile coral reefs.

$2 million to support community-based efforts to restore damaged coastal areas and essential fish habitats.

Increasing Commitments to Our Oceans and Coasts. At the 1998 National Ocean Conference, President Clinton launched a series of major initiatives to explore, protect and restore America's vital ocean resources. NOAA's 2000 budget includes $ 58 million… including:

$52 million for a new state-of-the-art fisheries research vessel that will significantly improve research and monitoring of the health of federally-managed fisheries;

$2 million to support development of environmentally sound and economically viable technologies for marine aquaculture.

$1.3 million to promote safe and efficient navigation to and from the nation's ports by accelerating hydrographic data acquisition and providing updated nautical charts.

$2.0 million to construct and deploy a new system of floating sensors in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to improve measurement of ocean conditions that influence severe weather and better predict ocean impacts on global climate change.

Saving Pacific Salmon and other Endangered Species. NOAA's 2000 budget includes new funding to launch major new efforts to restore endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest: $58 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to provide direct support to states and tribes for coastal salmon recovery efforts; and $10 million to implement the historic salmon treaty with Canada. The budget also includes an increase of $14.5 million to help protect and recover salmon and other endangered marine species such as leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals, and the North Atlantic right whales.

These increases in NOAA's FY 2000 budget represent critical new investments to address some of the most serious challenges facing U.S. coasts and oceans. New funding requested by NOAA was not received in other important areas such as Restoring the South Florida Ecosystem and implementing NOAA's portion of the Clean Water Action Plan. To ensure clean coastal waters and healthy coastal communities, these and other issues remain important areas where further attention is needed.