Cantwell Statement on NOAA Decision to Move Marine Operations Center from Lake Union to Newport, Oregon

WASHINGTON, DC –Today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement following the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s decision to move its Marine Operations Center from Lake Union, WA to Newport, OR.  The decision was made by procurement officials at NOAA and did not allow for input from members of the public or elected officials.


“I am extremely disappointed by NOAA’s announcement today that it intends to relocate its Marine Operations Center to Newport, Oregon, and intend to fight it.  For centuries, mariners have recognized the clear strategic and logistical benefits of housing ships in the Puget Sound.  I seriously question whether relocating NOAA’s ships outside of the Puget Sound is really the right move for NOAA.  I’m also deeply concerned about the impact this decision will have on NOAA’s employees and America’s taxpayers, and that NOAA’s scientific missions will suffer in the long-run.


“As chair of the Senate subcommittee that oversees NOAA, I’m not confident that all options have been thoroughly reviewed through this process.  To ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and ensure that NOAA’s scientific work will remain strong, I intend to push NOAA and the Department of Commerce to make sure that every option has been given full consideration before a move actually occurs.”