With the Trump Administration offering up one brutal assault after another to federal coastal program budgets that are critical to Oregon communities, it’s good to know Senator Jeff Merkley’s got our coastal communities’ back on the federal Appropriations Committee. On Thursday, Merkley helped lead key provisions in the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations committee bill, that essentially restores full, and in some cases increased, funding to the critical coastal programs Oregon depends on.
In a press statement on Friday, Senator Merkley stated:
Fighting for Oregon’s priorities is my top responsibility as a member of the Appropriations Committee, and this bill contains provisions that will help communities across Oregon. From funding salmon management and recovery programs, to advancing marine science research, to protecting our coast, this bill delivers for Oregon.
Some of the key elements of the bill’s budgetary provisions strongly align with Surfrider’s efforts to hinder Trump’s nearly $1billion proposed cut to NOAA and include:
- Funding for Sea Grant at $65 million, a $2 million increase after Turmp zeroed out this NOAA supported program.
- Funding for Coastal Zone Management at $85 million, another program Trump zeroed out.
- Over $120 million for National Science Foundation funding for OSU Research vessels.
And while some of the programs for NOAA may sound obscure, just know that just about everything from your daily surf forecast, to your weather report depends on NOAA. As the Trump Administration takes one assault after another on these budgetary items, we’ll continue to look for Oregon leadership in the Appropriations Committee – kudos for your leadership Merkley!