Merkley cheers news of marine agency’s move to Newport

– The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced today that the agency’s Marine Operations Center-Pacific would be moved to Newport starting in 2011. Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, who has worked with other members of the delegation, state and local leaders in pushing for this move, applauded the choice.

“The high quality of Newport’s workers, its excellent infrastructure, and close relationship to Oregon State University’s Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center all contributed to today’s decision. I am so pleased that the tireless efforts put in by so many paid off today,” Merkley said. “This will help more firmly establish Newport as a regional leader in oceanic sciences and provide new jobs and funding opportunities for the area. This is a great day for the Oregon Coast community.”

Sen. Merkley worked closely with his colleagues and Newport officials over the last several months to encourage NOAA to select Newport as the new home of the marine fleet. Those efforts included spearheading a letter signed by nearly 150 local leaders to NOAA laying out the reasons to choose Newport, and two separate congressional delegation letters in support of Newport’s proposal.