Merkley, Wyden Announce Sea Grant Funding for Oregon Projects

PORTLAND, OR — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Sea Grant awards for Oregon—one finding new ways to cultivate red seaweed, and the other helping the oyster industry’s baby oysters survive.

“Oregon’s coast is not just beautiful, it’s also one of our state’s most significant economic drivers,” Merkley said. “These grants will facilitate valuable research for our seafood industry, and I will continue to use my seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to make sure these important Sea Grants are funded.”

“These key research resources will help our state’s world-renowned seafood industry continue to grow and create jobs along the Oregon Coast,” Wyden said. “I am gratified that our state earned this Sea Grant funding and will keep working to make sure this valuable and proven science-based program receives the support it deserves.”

The awards are among 22 projects amounting to $11 million in NOAA Sea Grant awards to further advance the development of a sustainable marine and coastal aquaculture industry in the U.S.

The projects will be conducted over a three year period, and each will have a 50 percent match by non-federal partners.

NOAA received 100 submissions requesting a total in $48 million in federal grant funds.

Oregon’s winning projects were awarded more than $1.3 million: $576,781 will fund projects designed to develop a new cultivation technology increasing the scalable production of red seaweed, an economically valuable commodity. And $725,261 will go toward projects developing probiotic treatments to improve survival rates of young oysters, helping the U.S. shellfish industry—valued at over $200 million—produce high-quality oysters at hatcheries.