Lautenberg, Menendez Announce Significant Progress to Preserve NOAA'S Howard Lab at Sandy Hook

Lautenberg, Menendez Announce Significant Progress to Preserve NOAA'S Howard Lab at Sandy Hook

Washington - U.S.Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS), and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that the Subcommittee has taken an important step to save the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA)James J. Howard lab inSandy Hook.

"I'm proud to work through the appropriations process to ensure the Howard Lab at Sandy Hook remains open,"saidLautenberg. "The Howard lab's unique location allows scientists and researchers to study the impact that urban areas have on marine life and oceans. The research conductedatSandy Hookhas helped New Jersey'sfishing industry and our state's coastal economythrive. We will continue working tomaintainthis lab anditsvaluable research."

"It is gratifying to see our advocacy pay off and that we are one step closer to saving this national treasure," Senator Menendez said. "This lab is essential to support our fishing industry and fishing jobs, maintain the health of our oceans and understand the impacts of global warming. I met many dedicated professionals at the Howard Lab last week and I hope to see them remain there for years to come."

As a member of theCJSSubcommittee, Senator Lautenbergsecured theinclusionoflanguage to prohibit closure of the Sandy Hook lab in the SenateFY 2013CJSAppropriations bill, which fundsNOAAand was approved by the Subcommittee today. Senator Lautenberg inserted the language to save the labafter NOAA'sbudgetrequest proposedclosingit. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is expected tovote on the CJS appropriations bill on Thursday.

In February,Senators Lautenberg and Menendezcalled onSenateAppropriations Committee leaders toprovide the necessary funding to preservethe NOAA lab in Sandy Hook. Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and Representative FrankPallone (D-NJ-6) recently visited the lab andsent a letterto President Obama urging the Administration to reconsiderits decision to close it.

Currently, the Howard lab performs critical research onmaintaining healthy fisheries and protecting the ocean environment from the impacts of climate change. The labhas nearly 50 employees and toutsuniqueresearch facilities, including11 seawater labs, a 32,000 gallon aquarium, and a 49-foot research vessel.