NOAA Fisheries FY 17 Budget Requests Increases

noaaBARNSTABLE – The National Oceanic and Atmoshperic Administration (NOAA) announced this week that it will request some increases in its fiscal year 2017 budget.

Among those requests is a $13 million increase for the administration’s Marine Mammal Protection Act consultations and permitting needs.

NOAA Assistant Administrator Eileen Sobeck said that consultation on these projects has increased 80 to 90 percent in the last three years, sparking a need for more employees.

“Everything from construction, dredging in ports, habitat restoration – many of these activities go forward with minor modifications, but until we can work through our backlog in the queue, we will be the cause of significant delay,” Sobeck said in a conference Friday.

Sobeck said that these consultations are often the choke point for economic and other types of NOAA projects, many of which have statutory completion obligations.

Additionally, she said NOAA will focus the budget on making communities more resilient in terms of ecology, economy and environment.

The administration is only at the beginning phase of budgeting, and will need to have the final outline federally approved later this year.

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