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Saturday was THE big celebration, formally dedicating the new National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Pacific Marine Operations Center in Newport. NOAA is formally moving in, leaving behind their former Pacific Marine headquarters in Seattle for their new $40 million dollar home at South Beach.
From Congressman Kurt Schrader to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, and from Mayor Mark McConnell to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenko, it was all smiles and smooth sailing as they described the long process from application to final inspection of NOAA’s new Pacific Ocean home. Not only did they laud the Port of Newport’s audaciously bold intent to snag NOAA for Newport, they heralded the economic boost the new facility will give the region and that it will likely spawn more development and economic payoffs for years to come.
The NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific supports nine ships, including vessels home ported in Hawaii and Alaska. The center and ships are part of the Silver Spring, Md.-based NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes civilians and NOAA Corps officers. The NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.
The ships in NOAA’s Pacific fleet collect data essential to protecting marine mammals, coral reefs and historic shipwrecks, managing commercial marine fish stocks, understanding climate processes, and producing nautical charts that help keep mariners safe. NOAA ships also deploy and help maintain buoys that gather oceanographic and weather information and warn of tsunamis.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.