Members of the Florida delegation led by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch successfully ensured that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries headquarters will remain in the Sunshine State.
With reports that the NOAA was looking to leave Virginia Key in South Florida, Deutch offered an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies appropriations bill to ensure federal monies would not be used to relocate the Fisheries research center.
On Tuesday, the House passed Deutch’s amendment on voice vote. Much of the South Florida delegation--Republican U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrats U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings and Debbie Wasserman Schultz--cosponsored Deutch’s proposal.
After the vote, Deutch weighed in on why it was important to keep the NOAA research facility in South Florida.
"Here in South Florida, with our extensive network of lakes, rivers, marshes, and bays, water is part of our identity," Deutch said. "For more than 70 years, NOAA has collaborated with South Florida universities and business councils on important research projects, like discovering new and better ways to restore the Everglades and protect the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary. Rather than disrupting these productive partnerships, we should do more to encourage public-private collaboration on oceanographic research projects to address health issues and bring benefits to people around the world. I appreciate the support from my South Florida colleagues on this amendment and I'm proud that it passed without opposition."
Based in South Florida since 1943, the NOAA facility works with the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, NOVA University, Florida International University, the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Alliance, the Beacon Council, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and other businesses and colleges in the region.
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