Full Committee Markup - H.R. 4174
Opening Statement By Rep. Bart Gordon
Today we are marking up two important bills.
The first bill we will is consider is H.R. 5618, The National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act.
H.R. 5618 was introduced by Delegate Bordallo [BOAR-doll-oh], Chair of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Oceans of the Natural Resources Committee.
Our Committee shares jurisdiction over the Sea Grant College Program with the Resources Committee and our staff have been working closely with them.
This bill reauthorizes and amends the National Sea Grant College Program Act of 2002 to implement changes recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.
The bill increases the interaction between the National Sea Grant Office and the individual programs, improves the programmatic performance reviews, and strengthens strategic planning for the program.
This program, created nearly 40 years ago has matured into a state-federal government partnership to improve the conservation, management, and utilization of our ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.
The research, education, and extension programs of Sea Grant have been very effective in training future scientists and resource managers, providing education to the general public, generating information to support sound resource management, and delivering applied research results to the people who rely on our coastal areas and the Great Lakes for their livelihoods.
Next, we will take up H.R. 4174, The Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, which was introduced by our colleague from Maine, Congressman Tom Allen, and co-sponsored by Dr. Baird and Dr. Ehlers.
This Committee has continued to be a leader in the discussion of climate change and its consequences. Ocean Acidification is yet another phenomenon caused by the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and it poses a significant threat to marine organisms and marine ecosystems.
Earlier this month, the Energy and Environment Subcommittee heard from a distinguished panel of ocean and atmospheric scientists, who testified in strong support of this legislation.
These witnesses provided a number of recommendations to improve this bill. The staff exemplified bipartisan cooperation by working together to craft an amendment to the bill in last week’s Subcommittee markup to incorporate the recommendations of the witnesses.
The bipartisan effort continued and is reflected in the final amendment that will be offered today.
I strongly support each of these bills, and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee to advance this important legislation.