October 28, 2014

Merkley, Wyden and Schrader Persuade Coast Guard to Delay Newport Helicopter Closure

Portland, OR – Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Kurt Schrader today spoke with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and got assurance from him that the November 30th date previously set for the closure of the Newport helicopter facility would be extended to December 15th. The Coast Guard agreed that this additional time would allow for a more extensive and thorough discussion of the risks to recreational fishing, commercial fishing and other activities on the Central Coast of Oregon. During today’s call the Oregon delegation members declared their intent to use every possible advocacy path to keep the helicopter in Newport, conveying to the Coast Guard that the safety of thousands is at stake.

Along with Congressman Peter DeFazio and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the lawmakers have joined together since the Coast Guard made its closure announcement earlier this month to strongly urge the decision be reversed and to delay the closure to provide more time to seek a long-term solution.