Five years ago, Japan was hit with one of the worst natural disasters in its history. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake, and tsunami that followed, claimed nearly 16,000 lives, injured 6,000 more, and damaged or destroyed countless structures and property.
Earlier this month, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request. The request for the National Ocean Service is just under $570 million. This request will allow NOAA to make investments to increase the resilience of the nation's coastal communities to extreme weather events, coastal inundation, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.
I'd like to take a moment to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments across our programs in FY 2015. More than 40 outstanding examples of our success appear in the newly released Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report. View highlights from the year by priority or by program office.
Recently, legendary oceanographer Dr. John Knauss passed away. The mark he left on National Ocean Service, NOAA, and the larger ocean community is lasting and profound. Dr. John Knauss was a driving force behind the creation of the National Sea Grant College Program. He was the only academic oceanographer on the Stratton Commission. Among the results of the Commission’s recommendations were the creation of NOAA and development of the Coastal Zone Management Act. Dr. Knauss was later served as NOAA administrator.
Looking for federal funding opportunities? Here is a handy reference to funding programs ranging from coastal wetland and wildlife and resilience to economic development. The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System, in conjunction with the White House Build America Initiative, has developed the Federal Funding Handbook for Marine Transportation System Infrastructure.
More than five years ago, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil well drilling platform started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history. Tragically, eleven people lost their lives due to the explosion. This week, BP, the United States, and the five Gulf States have agreed to a settlement resolving claims for federal civil penalties and natural resource damages related to the 2010 oil spill. The settlement is now set forth in a proposed Consent Decree that includes up to $8.8 billion for natural resource damages stemming from the spill. This brings to a close one major chapter in the disaster that spilled 134 million of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days and opens a new chapter that will support long-term restoration of Gulf resources.
National Ocean Service Assistant Administrator Dr. Russell Callender.