Merkley Cheers News of NOAA Move to Newport

Merkley Cheers News of NOAA Move to Newport

Washington, DC
– 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,” said Merkley.  “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.”

Senator 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. 

The NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific includes approximately 175 employees and several fisheries survey vessels.

“So much credit for today’s announcement goes to everyone at the Port of Newport who tirelessly pressed their case, as well as the state legislature which authorized the bonding authority needed to help build the infrastructure to support the fleet.  Their hard work paid off today and I look forward to sitting down with NOAA officials for a bowl of chowder at Mo’s in 2011,” said Merkley.