Oregon’s Coastal Areas: Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden recently announced the Senate’s approval of the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, which includes significant funding for Oregon’s ports, waterways, coastal, fishing, and tribal communities.
Major Investments Are Announced By Merkley And Wyden For Coastal Areas In Oregon
“Every year, as I attend a town hall in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, I hear from residents from all over the state about what is most important to them, including bolstering the sustainability, resiliency, and economics of our coastal towns,” Merkley said.
“The financing package I fought for addresses the negative effects of climate disruption on coastal towns while also making substantial, targeted investments in local ports and shipyards, bolstering the comeback of Pacific salmon and steelhead and supporting our essential fishing sector. I’m looking forward to seeing the long-term results of these massive investments on the Oregon Coast.
Wyden said that the financial difficulties experienced by coastal communities over the previous three years are evidence of how important resilient, year-round economies are. I’m happy to back a plan to stabilize the Pacific’s famed salmon and steelhead populations by investing heavily in Oregon’s tiny ports and the state’s historic fishing sector.
To help marine ecosystems recover from the effects of climate catastrophe and ensure that coastal towns have a level playing field in the global economy, federal funding is a crucial first step.
Since Senator Mark Hatfield, Oregon has not had a representative on the Appropriations Committee, which drafted the legislation and is widely regarded as one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill.
He joined the committee in 2013 to ensure that Oregon’s interests were represented in discussions about the direction of the country’s investments.
Provision Of Funds In The Following Coastal Areas
- This program has provided over $352 million for deep-draft harbor and channel upgrades, $36 million for inland waterways, $32 million for navigation maintenance, and $65 million for small, remote, or subsistence navigation in Oregon.
- The law allocates $20 million to help out smaller shipyards. Grants from this program can be utilized for things like training dockside workers, buying new tools, or repairing the shipyard’s infrastructure.
- The measure protects $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, which will be used for salmon restoration efforts. The Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Fund were established in 2000 as a competitive grant program to assist conservation activities in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska in response to the precipitous decline in these fish species. There are 28 species of salmon and steelhead on the West Coast that are threatened with extinction, and our initiative is crucial to keeping them alive.
- The Sea Grant Program got $80 million, a $4 million increase in funding. As a top goal for OSU, this initiative seeks to strengthen coastal communities via the development of sustainable fisheries and the introduction of new economic opportunities through strategic local investment.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Management and Services will get $300 million from the law (NOAA). Essential coastal services and initiatives including the Coral Reef Program, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and Sanctuaries and Marine Protected Areas will be supported by these grants.
Merkley, Wyden announce major investments for Oregon's coastal communities https://t.co/XFjLDiCslv
— QuorumCall (@QuorumCall) December 31, 2022
- In order to increase the efficiency, longevity, and adaptability of the Pacific’s shellfish farming infrastructure, the measure allots $2.5 million in government funds for innovative research in this area. The health and economy of coastal towns in Oregon are vulnerable to the effects of climate instability, therefore this study is vital.
The bill requires the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to hold meaningful discussions with local communities and stakeholders in the Pacific Northwest when considering floating offshore wind off the West Coast.
The bill includes $6 million for the Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program, which seeks to improve the environmental sustainability of the maritime industry through the research, demonstration, and development of new technologies, practises, and procedures.
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