On June 25, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Chair, Senator John Thune, R-SD) held a markup of three bills of interest to NOAA including:
The Committee passed all of the bills, which may now be sent to the Senate floor at a later date to be determined for a vote.
On June 25, staff for Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and the House Committee on Appropriations joined the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and other officials for a visit to NOAA’s Choptank River Habitat Focus Area in parts of Maryland and Delaware. The Area is a key site under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint, which provides a forward looking framework for NOAA to think and act strategically across programs and with partner organizations to address the growing challenge of coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation.
On June 23, staff for the Senate Committee on Appropriations joined officials from NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service for a visit to NOAA's Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF) in Suitland, Maryland.
On June 19, Representative Steny Hoyer (D MD-5) joined the Assistant Administrator of NOAA’s National Weather Service, Dr. Louis Uccellini, for a tour of NOAA’ Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland. During the tour, Representative Hoyer was briefed on the center’s mission, programs, and activities; visit the various operational centers; and will participate in an employee town hall.
NOAA Fleet Update - June 2015
The NOAA Fleet Update - June 2015 [PDF] provides the status of NOAA’s fleet of ships and aircraft, which play a critical role in the collection of oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, and fisheries data. NOAA’s current fleet of 16 ships – the largest civilian research and survey fleet in the world – and nine aircraft, are operated, managed, and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). OMAO includes civilians, mariners, and officers of the United States NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), one of the nation’s seven Uniformed Services.
On June 11, the Senate Committee on Appropriations (Chair, Senator Thad Cochran, R-MS) held their markup of – and passed - the FY16 appropriations bill that covers the Department of Commerce and NOAA and other agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction. NOAA would be funded at $5.4 billion - nearly equal to the current funding level, but a reduction from the administration's $6 billion request for fiscal 2016, and includes among other provisions
On June 10, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (Chair, Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL) held a markup of the FY16 appropriations bill that covers the Department of Commerce and NOAA and other agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction.
On June 10, all interested Members of Congress and congressional staff joined NOAA officials at the annual NOAA Fish Fry. The event featured a variety of fish prepared by guest chefs from across the United States.
On June 8, staff from the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Operations, Vice Admiral Michael Devany, and other NOAA officials for a deployment ceremony for the NOAA ships Fairweather and Rainier as they departed Kodiak, Alaska, for the first leg of a coordinated trackline project to collect bathymetry for the U.S. Coast Guard’s proposed traffic corridor from Unimak to Bering Strait. Altogether, the project will collect about 12,000 nautical miles of data along the 4-nautical-mile-wide corridor. The NOAA ships Fairweather and Rainier will also collect data in projects covering 2,800 square nautical miles, in survey projects that include the Southwest half of Kotzebue Bay, Point Hope, and Port Clarence.
On June 5, staff for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure joined officials from NOAA’s National Ocean Service for a visit to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, Florida. The Center features over 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits and is sponsored and operated by NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the South Florida Water Management District, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, the National Wildlife Refuges of the Florida Keys, and Eastern National.