Larsen Applauds Funding For Mukilteo Research Station In President’s Budget

Feb 9, 2016 Issues: 114th Congress Accomplishments, ,

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today applauded President Obama’s decision to invest in marine science and the economic activity it supports by including $4.6 million in his FY2017 budget to support a new fisheries research station in Mukilteo. The new facility will be part of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, whose current Mukilteo research station is several decades old and needs major upgrades to continue to produce cutting-edge research. The research station is a facility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The Pacific Northwest has always been a leader when it comes to protecting our environment. We start a new chapter of environmental stewardship with a cutting-edge research station that will help keep our fisheries vibrant for future generations. From assessing fish stocks and protecting red abalone, which are vital to healthy ocean habitats, to better understanding algae blooms and changing ocean chemistry, the research our scientists are producing is critical to healthy fisheries and the tens of thousands of jobs they support.

“I want to see our region meet the emerging climate change challenges we face, like ocean acidification, with smart and innovative action based on sound science. Ensuring our scientists have access to modern, well-equipped facilities will position us to take on these challenges successfully.

“I applaud the President for recognizing the importance of marine science that fosters a healthy environment and economy in the Pacific Northwest and in other coastal regions nationwide,” Larsen said.

“The research station will be part of a redevelopment of Mukilteo’s entire waterfront, including beach access, trails, mixed use development and a multimodal transportation center. A modernized facility will not only enable significant marine research, but it will serve as an educational hub for students of all ages to learn first-hand about the value of science to our environment and our economy,” said Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson. “I thank Congressman Larsen for his efforts to ensure Mukilteo remains a leader on environmental research, and I am so pleased the President has recognized the value of the work that happens here.”

Larsen has long championed efforts to modernize the Center and the research station, whose scientists conduct fisheries research that has both regional and national economic impacts. Larsen also hosted NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan at the Mukilteo research station last year. Funds from the President’s budget would cover the design and environmental work needed to get the site ready for construction.

The Center’s research activities support commercial and recreational fisheries in the Pacific Northwest valued at more than $3 billion and supporting more than 60,000 jobs. The Center’s studies also support a regional shellfish industry worth more than $107 million, the largest in the country.