For the last two years, the Trump administration has proposed double-digit percent budget cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), our nation’s premier ocean agency, tasked with managing our ocean resources, supporting our ocean economy and protecting coastal communities. Yesterday, we learned that despite a wave of support for NOAA from coast to coast (learn more here), the Trump administration is again proposing an 18% cut to NOAA’s budget, based on information provided in the Department of Commerce Budget and Brief. These proposed cuts include the elimination or severe decrease in funding for many critical ocean and coastal programs—Sea Grant, Coastal Zone Management, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, hydrographic surveys and ocean observing, climate change research, programs that manage coral reefs and marine mammals and sea turtles, and many more.
“We can’t protect our citizens from floods and tsunamis, keep fishermen safe, and fisheries viable, or maintain tourism without NOAA” —Mike Cassinelli and Crystal Dingler, Former Mayor, Ilwaco, WA And Mayor, Ocean Shores, WA
What would this cut mean to our coastal communities and our environment? We raised many of the threats when these cuts were proposed last year, and unfortunately, they remain unchanged. Programs that fund innovation in coastal economies would be wiped out, our preparedness and resilience to disasters and climate change would be undercut, scientific progress to better understand our ocean and the wildlife that live there would be hamstrung, and our nation’s advances in sustainable fisheries would be curtailed.
The services that NOAA provides aren’t theoretical. They are very real. America relies on the team of world-class professionals and scientists at NOAA to do essential work. Fortunately, what also remains unchanged is unwavering support for NOAA in Congress. Congress has rejected proposed cuts and refused to gut NOAA two years in a row because they have heard loud and clear from people all over the nation that both love and depend on our ocean. You can find just a few of these stories here.
“NOAA provides information we use on a regular basis. That accurate information is key to our resiliency in the face of rapidly changing environmental conditions.”Mook Sea Farm, Maine
In the coming weeks and months, Congress will prepare their own proposals for the NOAA budget. The next step will happen in the House of Representatives, where hearings are being held now and budget bills will be drafted over the course of the spring. Now is the time to weigh in, and let your representative know you support NOAA!