September 15, 2005

Senate Approves Funding for Salmon Recovery, Ocean Research in Oregon

Senate's Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations legislation also fundstsunami research and a project at Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the U.S. Senate has approved funding for the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund and for Oregon State University (OSU) for oceanic observation research. The funding approved today was included in the Senate's FY 2006 Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS) funding bill; the legislation now moves to a Conference Committee to work out differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill, and to direct additional funds to specific programs across the country. "Oregon's fishing industry is a critical part of our state's economy, and it will benefit in many ways from this Federal support approved today," said Wyden. "The dollars included in this bill will also go toward improving Oregon's tsunami readiness, while also giving a boost to our state's cutting-edge oceanic research for the benefit of Oregon and the nation as a whole." "Our coastal communities are the living legacy of Oregon's hard-working, innovative and responsible fishing industry," said Smith. "Increased investment in fishery habitat and tsunami warning research promises a boost to the local economy and a safer, more prepared coastline." In the Senate FY 2006 CJS Appropriations bill, the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund will receive $13 million for Oregon to fund habitat restoration, data collection, as well as evaluation and monitoring of local watersheds. Additionally, OSU will receive $2 million for the development of the Oregon Coastal Ocean Observing System. The system will consist of instrumentation deployed in the ocean to return real-time data to help improve the safety and efficiency of U.S. marine operations, and to mitigate the effects of natural disasters including tsunami. The Appropriations Committee also recommended funding for the Columbia River Hatcheries operations reform program and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services for the development of a one-stop permitting portal. The new Internet portal would allow consumers to more easily apply for and purchase building permits, request building inspections, submit plans and access building department information through a single website. Funding was also approved for a number of other regional initiatives that will benefit Oregon, including: • The National Marine Fisheries Service would receive $51,192,000 for ESA Recovery and research, $15.1 million for Columbia River Biological Opinion Implementation work, and $300,000 for endangered species studies; • $17,022,000 for the Columbia River Hatcheries salmon management activities; • $8 million for the Pacific Salmon Treaty; • The National Weather Service would receive $5,680,000 to strengthen the U.S. Tsunami Warning Network and $2,291,000 for a Tsunami Hazard and Mitigation Program; • $5.2 million for West Coast groundfish survey and monitoring projects; • $5 million for the West Coast Observers program; • $3,455,000 for the Recreational Fishery Information Network; • $3 million for Pacific Coastal Fisheries Information Network; • $1.7 million for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center groundfish team; and • $1 million for the West Coast Groundfish Cooperative Research program.