Marine Conservation Institute Says President’s Budget Proposal ‘Tears Holes in Safety Net’ for Ocean Health

Washington D.C.— Marine Conservation Institute, a leader in securing strong protection for the oceans’ most important places, criticized President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal for cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that impact marine sanctuaries and monuments, estuarine reserves, ocean and climate research, and managing protected species.

Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute said, “The proposed budget effectively guts key programs that conserve marine life and will impact local economies dependent on healthy, living oceans,” adding, “NOAA has made demonstrable progress year after year recovering dozens of decimated fish populations, bringing iconic marine mammals like Hawaiian monk seals and humpback whales back from the brink of extinction, cracking down on illegal seafood imports that drain oceans of marine life, providing critical climate change observations and science, and managing millions of acres of marine sanctuaries, marine monuments and estuarine reserves that provide climate resilience to our coasts and citizens. Yet President Trump’s budget proposal for NOAA tears a huge hole in the agency’s safety net for ocean health.”

Overall cuts to NOAA’s discretionary spending from FY 2017 spending ($5.762B) to FY 2018 proposed budget ($4.967 B) approximate $800 million or 14%. These cuts are not distributed evenly. They impact ocean and atmospheric research (32% cut), sea grant education and research (100% cut), and the satellite program (20% cut) severely. But cuts to smaller programs such as coastal zone management grants (100% cut), marine sanctuaries and estuarine reserves ($24 million or 34% cut), and activities that focus on recovering endangered marine mammals and other species ($5 million cut) are significant.

Dr. Morgan continued, “Just four weeks ago, the Trump Administration issued two Executive Orders that call into question its support for the Pacific marine monuments first established by Republican President George W. Bush — Pacific Remote Islands, Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench and Papahānaumokuākea —all of which had tremendous public support from citizens, traditional leaders, the Hawaii congressional delegation, and marine scientists before they were established.  With this budget proposal, we now see that the administration is trying to weaken the management of those monuments and sanctuaries before the ink is even dry on the Executive Orders.”

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About Marine Conservation Institute

Marine Conservation Institute is a team of highly-experienced marine scientists and environmental policy advocates dedicated to saving ocean life for us and future generations. The organization’s goal is to help create an urgently-needed worldwide system of strongly protected areas—the Global Ocean Refuge System (GLORES)—a strategic, cost-effective way to ensure the future diversity and abundance of marine life. To enhance marine protection efforts in the US and around the globe, Marine Conservation Institute has also built the world’s most comprehensive online marine protected area database at www.MPAtlas.org.

 

 For more information on Marine Conservation Institute, please go to:

www.marine-conservation.org;

www.MPAtlas.org

www.GlobalOceanRefuge.org

 

For more information, media and bloggers only, please contact:

Mike Gravitz, Director of Policy and Legislation

Marine Conservation Institute

Email – Michael.Gravitz@marine-conservation.org

Phone- +1 301 351 5052

 

Dr. Lance Morgan, President

Marine Conservation Institute

Email – Lance. Morgan@marine-conservation.org

Phone- +1 707 217 8242

Image: ©NOAA. Visitors look out at California’s historic Point Arena Lighthouse, which sits near the new northern boundary of the expanded Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

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