Monday, March 31, 2014

Critical Announcement - NC NOAA Marine Lab IS on the chopping block

A good way to argue there is no harm being done to the oceans is by shutting down the science that protects them as well as helps us appreciate them.  Is that why North Carolina's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is scheduled to be shut down?

The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee will be accepting comments for the record. Go this website

Deadline for submission of your comments is 31 March 2014.
call and/or email, to stop this nonsense.  Of course you only have today to do it conveniently.  Please voice your objection to shutting down the science that we ALL depend upon including our Sea Turtles!!!.



As we all recognize, the lab and its staff are so critical to the sea turtle program in North Carolina.  This is a very serious situation.  We may lose this laboratory. Please take a few minutes to raise your voice in support of the lab and its importance to us.  Thank you for considering this and for taking action!  


Here is information to aid in your response:


NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s Request to Close the Beaufort Laboratory


Issue – Long term cost of maintaining the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory (NOAA, National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research)


“To strengthen NOAA’s coastal sci­ence in the long run, NOAA proposes to reduce its phys­ical footprint and fixed costs by closing the Beaufort, N.C. laboratory…” 

On this budget item, a NOAA spokesperson in Silver Spring was quoted saying:  “this aging facility requires infrastructure repairs and improvements exceeding agency budget resources..”   

Response – Urge proposed closure of NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory be removed from the NOS budget

Inaccurate, outdated information that overstated the costs of maintaining the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory was used in the analysis that lead to the request to close this facility.


In recent years, NOAA has invested approximately $14 million in new construction and renovations at the Beaufort Laboratory. 


An updated engineering report (2014) documents the condition of the facility is not structurally unsound. There have been substantial improvements to the facility.

Facilities Upgrades

2006  $7 M   Administration Building replaced (NC NERRs contributed $1M)

2007  $2.1 M         Bridge replaced – cost shared with Duke University

2008  $0.86M   Maintenance Building replaced

2009       $0.5M   Air conditioning / Air handler replacement and mold abatement

2009       $1.0M     Sample Storage/Chemical Storage/Haz-Mat buildings consolidated and replaced

2014       $1.65M  Seawall repair, electrical upgrade and State of NC funded storm water control


Current Staffing at NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory

71 Full time federal staff members, 40 National Marine Fisheries staff, 31 National Ocean Service staff

33.5 Contract positions and 8 NC NEERs staff


The National Ocean Service, in initiating the closure request, understated the NOS staff and did not account for the more than 40 National Marine Fisheries Service staff or the 8 staff members of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (Rachel Carson) co located at the facility. In total 108 staff and contractors will be directly affected by this closure.


Desired Outcomes

  • NOAA’s Beaufort Laboratory closure proposed in the 2015 President’s Budget Request should not be included in the NOS budget.
  • Congress should inform NOAA that requests for closure of NOS laboratories will not be entertained in the future.
  • Congress should direct NOAA to restore staffing, operational support and funding for science to full operational levels to utilize the capacity of the NOAA Beaufort Laboratory.
  • NOAA should provide a report and a timeline to Congress with a strategy to address these concerns.


Science Issues - NOAA’s FY 15 Budget Summary


Issue - While the National Ocean Service, NOAA is calling for the closure of the Beaufort NC laboratory, it is requesting an increase of $4M to another center to support Ecological Forecasting of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), Hypoxia, pathogens and Species Distributions.



It is ironic the budget initiative for FY2015 requests increased research funding for coastal ocean issues , including harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and coastal ecosystem management at the same time it is proposing to close the Beaufort Laboratory, which has both well-established expertise and facilities required to address many of those very same issues.  .  


The Beaufort Laboratory has established an extraordinary record for scientific excellence in its research. NOAA has repeatedly recognized individual researchers, research teams, and the Laboratory as a whole for the outstanding quality of the work performed there.  The laboratory’s excellent research capabilities and reputation also attract support, both from other branches of NOAA and from other organizations which have recognized potential benefits of the Laboratory’s studies, and long have augmented the support provided by NOAA.  



The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies subcommittee will be accepting comments for the record.  Go this website


Deadline for submission of your comments is 31 March 2014.




Jean Beasley

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue & Rehabilitation Center

Topsail Island, NC



For all of the wildlife on earth their future must depend upon the conscience of mankind.

Dr. Archie Carr

No comments:

Post a Comment