WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Jamie Raskin (all D-Md.) announced $6,135,835 in federal funding for ocean education and outreach efforts. The funding, awarded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will go to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Foundation is a leading voice for U.S. protected waters, working with communities to conserve and expand those places for a healthy ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. In May of this year, the Senators announced the impending designation of Mallows Bay-Potomac River as the first ever National Marine Sanctuary protected by the Foundation in Maryland after many years of advocacy.
“The effects of climate change pose a growing challenge for coastlines and ocean ecosystems nationwide,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This federal investment supports the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s work to respond to this crisis through close partnerships with local communities, including at Maryland’s Mallows Bay. I will continue to fight for strong federal funding to protect our environment.”
“The earth’s oceans are central to our climate, the weather, and all life on earth. We must do everything we can to protect and preserve them, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is doing great work as part of this effort,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees. “This federal investment underscores our commitment to protecting our planet – despite the Administration’s efforts to the contrary.”
“America should lead the world in environmental education, which is essential to developing the right public policies to meet this crisis. This means investing in the science, advocacy and outreach needed to address rising sea levels, vanishing glaciers, accelerating loss of species, and the dangerous warming of the planet,” said Rep. Raskin. “I applaud NOAA’s leadership and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s efforts to protect the Earth’s waters and coasts and I’m proud to have them all in my district.”
NOAA, which is headquartered in Silver Spring, is a scientific agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere. This funding is a part of the Outreach, Education and Ocean Awareness Cooperative Agreement.