The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will receive $830 million in funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The agency will use the funds, equivalent to 20 percent of NOAA’s 2008 budget, for projects that protect life and property and conserve and protect natural resources.
The act provides $230 million for habitat restoration, navigation projects, vessel maintenance, and other activities. An additional $430 million will be dedicated for construction and repair of NOAA facilities, ships and equipment, improvements for weather forecasting and satellite development. A total of $170 million will also be directed for climate modeling activities, including supercomputing procurement and research into climate change.
“Whether providing grants for habitat restoration or issuing contracts for construction and repair of our facilities, these funds will create jobs while advancing our vital mission to the American people,” said Mary Glackin, deputy under secretary for oceans and atmosphere. “We will ensure that the Recovery Act funding is used as effectively as possible and in a manner that will allow for maximum transparency and accountability.”
Department of Commerce agencies receiving one-time funds through the act are required to submit a plan to Congress with specifics on how allocations will be spent within 60 days of the legislation being enacted. Once completed, NOAA’s plan will be available to the public at the Department of Commerce and NOAA Web sites. Requests and applications for funding will be accepted when instructions and rules are posted for specific projects.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to promote economic recovery and growth, and includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.