Sea Grant Program Spared Through September

By Kiera Morgan

Congressional negotiators reached an agreement late Sunday on a broad spending package to fund the government through the end of September. The spending package includes some good news and bad news for our area according to State Representative David Gomberg. The agreement calls for a $467-million reduction to the Coast Guard budget. The NOAA budget will see a $90-million dollar cut.

Shelby Walker Director of Oregon Sea Grant said the Sea Grant program did not see the type of reductions that were originally proposed in the President’s budget. “The Conference Report that focuses on the Sea Grant budget has funding for the Sea Grant program totaling $63-Million. In addition there is $9.5 million allocated for aquaculture.”

She said the 2017 budget allocation is the same as what was provided to Sea Grant last year. This level of funding will allow Sea Grant to continue operating at about the same level through this fiscal year, which ends in September. Walker said “While this process continues to be challenging it is heartening to see the support for the program and the work that we do locally in the communities.” Sea Grant is involved in Lincoln County in many ways including managing the visitor center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.