Wyden, Merkley Call on Administration to Maintain Crucial Funding for Oregon’s Sea Grant Programs

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined 24 of their Senate colleagues in urging the administration to reconsider its plan to eliminate funding for the National Sea Grant program in the president’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget.

“As senators from some of the states with Sea Grant programs, we see firsthand how this federal investment is leveraged locally to bring immense returns to coastal communities, fishermen, universities, and students,” the senators wrote. “Any cuts to this funding would have a devastating impact and we strongly urge you to reject any proposals to reduce this program.

The Sea Grant program has become a critical tool to help increase education and conservation of marine resources in Oregon. The state’s Sea Grant program, housed at Oregon State University, receives over half of its annual funding from the federal budget. In addition to enhancing education and conservation efforts statewide, the Sea Grant program has also become an integral part of Oregon’s coastal economy, generating millions in economic benefits every year.

Wyden and Merkley were joined by the following senators in signing on to the bipartisan letter: Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Bill Cassidy,  R-La., Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Angus King, I-Maine, Ed Markey, D-Mass., Tom Carper, D-Del., Dianne Feinstein, D-Cali., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Chris Coons, D-Del., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

The text of the letter can be found here. A web version of this release is available here.