Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcorss, Panetta Introduce Legislation to Improve Oceanographic Research and Education

Jun 6, 2019
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ) joined Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) in introducing the bipartisan National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) Reauthorization Act.  The legislation will strengthen the program through enhanced resourcing and improved oversight.

"Reauthorizing this program will allow us to continue having the resources we need to keep our oceans and Americans safe while preserving key ecosystems that have environmental and economic value to our country," said Congressman Norcross, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.  "By obtaining accurate and timely information about our seafloor and international waters, we can protect our national security and enhance economic development opportunities. Oceans cover 71% of our planet and we must manage and conserve our key natural resources properly."

NOPP was established in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 to facilitate partnerships among federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic science community.  The program has funded more than 200 projects over a range of topics including ocean exploration, technology development, environmental monitoring, earth systems modeling, and resource management. 

The legislation will advance NOPP’s mission through oceanographic research and education projects supported by public and private resources. Additionally, the bill enhances congressional oversight with regular partnership project reporting, analysis, and accounting.

"For over 20 years, NOPP has facilitated public-private partnerships to address marine science priorities.  However, the program requires additional authorities to better achieve its mission.  The NOPP Reauthorization Act will support the national goals of assuring national security, advancing economic development, protecting quality of life, and strengthening science education through improved knowledge of the ocean," said Congressman Panetta.

The legislation is also cosponsored by Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Congressman Trent Kelly (R-MS). The legislation is endorsed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

"A strong, effective National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) is essential to our entire nation. NOPP’s advancement of collaboration and partnerships enables our many federal agencies with ocean interests to leverage resources and brings non-federal stakeholders in a united effort to grow our knowledge of ocean issues integral to our national, homeland, economic, food, water, and energy securities, as well as our human health and safety. NOPP has already allowed us to make great strides in ocean observations, education, resource management, and more, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds with a rejuvenated and revitalized program enabled by this reauthorization. I wholeheartedly thank Congressman Panetta for his leadership on this issue and for introducing this important piece of legislation that will grow our ocean understanding and safeguard our maritime nation and our future," said Rear Admiral (Ret.) Jonathan White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov