Abandoning Federal Investments in Ocean Science Jeopardizes Our Nation
Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s Statement of the President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2018.
(Washington, D.C.) –The following statement was issued by Admiral Jonathan White, President and CEO of Consortium for Ocean Leadership, in response to the steep reductions to federal Earth and ocean science and technology programs in President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”.
“The Consortium for Ocean Leadership (and the ocean science and technology community we represent) is greatly troubled by the proposed cuts to ocean and Earth sciences in the Trump administration budget proposal released today. Across the federal family, investments in understanding the rich ocean resource our nation was built upon received crippling reductions, which will have debilitating consequences if enacted.
“Whether considering the impacts NOAA will feel from the $1.5 billion cut to the Department of Commerce, eliminating $250 million in targeted NOAA grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, slashing $102 million from NASA’s Earth science portfolio and eliminating their Office of Education completely, or reducing the Department of Energy’s Office of Science by almost $1 billion we cannot help but think the ocean is not a priority.
“Trump wants to make America great again; the ocean and coastal economy is worth $359 billion and employs 3 million people. Trump wants to protect our nation’s borders; our coastline is our largest border. Trump wants to increase our national security; increased understanding of our ocean enhances maritime domain awareness that underpins our naval superiority. Trump wants timely and accurate forecasts; ocean observations from both the sea and space provide critical data for accurate predictions.
“The Consortium for Ocean Leadership knows that no matter where you live, ocean science affects every American every day, and that the ocean is critical to our lives, lifestyles, and livelihoods. From before the Boston Tea Party to Pearl Harbor, from a shrimp cocktail in Las Vegas to the wheat harvest in Kansas, and from the Florida Keys to the Alaskan Arctic, the U.S. is and has always been a maritime nation. Americans will continue to depend on the ocean for security, energy, food, jobs, transportation, and more.
“A strong ocean economy drives a strong U.S. economy. The federal investment in ocean sciences ensure that decisions made for the management of the ocean are based in sound science so that Americans can depend on the sea today and tomorrow. We urge Congress to stand against these proposed cuts to federal ocean science investments, which threaten our security and our prosperity. We invite President Trump to any of our fine research institutions to help him better understand the ocean’s role in improving our nation’s security, promoting human health, building a dynamic workforce, maintaining our global science and technological primacy, fostering food security, and enhancing our economic prosperity.”