Alaska’s fishing-related programs got a mix of budget hits and gains for 2018 before Congress left for its five week recess.
On the hit list: total funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget was set at $5.6 billion – an $85 million cut – but far less than the $900 million cut proposed by Donald Trump.
Senate appropriators rejected Trump’s call for a 32 percent cut for climate, weather and oceans research, and instead provided a budget of nearly $480 million for those programs.
Also rejected were plans to gut the national Sea Grant program, which was funded at $65 million, a $2 million increase. which will support more than 20,000 jobs and nearly 3,000 American businesses.
Coastal Zone Management grants also were fully funded, and fisheries data collection, surveys and stock assessments were boosted to nearly $165 million.
Regional fisheries councils and commissions received robust funding of $36 million.
Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Funds were maintained at $65 million, and Pacific Salmon Treaty activities received a $2 million increase to $14 million.
Weather satellite programs at nearly $420 million reflect a $90 million funding increase and $239 million above the Trump administration’ request. That includes advancement of two Polar satellites, which provide 85 percent of the data used to forecast the weather.
The appropriations bill also provides $75 million to begin building a new NOAA survey vessel.
Finally, electronic monitoring programs got an extra $3 million to expedite implementation.