In response to President Trump’s nomination of Mr. Barry Lee Myers to be Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce and following on the heels of Rear Admiral (Ret.) Tim Gallaudet’s confirmation as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jonathan White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, released the following statement.
“Yesterday, the president announced his nomination of Mr. Barry Lee Myers to be the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). On behalf of the ocean science, education, and technology community and the members of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL), I want to express my appreciation to the president for taking this step to fill this critical leadership role and my gratitude to Mr. Benjamin Friedman for serving as acting administrator over the past ten months.
If confirmed, Mr. Myers will join Admiral Gallaudet at the helm of NOAA. This leadership team will bring fresh perspectives to the agency whose mission is to understand, predict, and share information about changes in climate, weather, ocean, and coasts and to manage and conserve our nation’s vast coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. NOAA supports our nation’s healthy and resilient communities, economies, and ecosystems through their robust science, management, and technology portfolio, which includes our ocean and coasts, the weather and climate enterprise, education, fisheries management, and the research and tools (e.g., satellites, ships, buoys, underwater gliders, high performance computing, and modelling) needed to observe and forecast our changing environment. Mr. Myers’ knowledge of the weather and climate enterprise will be complemented by Admiral Gallaudet’s extensive scientific and operational expertise in oceanography and meteorology. Their combined proficiency extends across the full spectrum of NOAA’s important missions from the deepest depths of the ocean to the heights of the atmosphere.
The U.S. is a maritime nation, with more ocean area in our exclusive economic zone than in our terrestrial 50 states combined. The ocean is an economic driver, and there are more than three million Americans who work in ocean and coastal industries (which are worth $359 billion annually). Our nation’s energy needs are met by the ocean’s production of 63 million gallons of oil every day from offshore drilling and could sustainably produce more than five billion gallons of algae-based diesel annually by 2020. The ocean’s role in food security is critical – it provides 20 percent of the animal protein we depend on for food, provides fishmeal that fertilizes the nation’s crops, and is the major driver of the weather and water cycle that bring warmth and water to inland farms. These and other issues underscore the importance of NOAA to the national and economic security of the nation as well as to the public safety of our citizens.
COL looks forward to working with Mr. Myers and Admiral Gallaudet on these vital issues, which depend upon a healthy and vibrant ocean science and technology enterprise.”