In September, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open and funded at roughly Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 levels until December eighth. The CR included first-infusion disaster response funds following Hurricane Harvey and in anticipation of Irma, but we know that will not be sufficient to address those storms, Maria, and others that come after.
As NOAA and other agencies assess the needs that have emerged in the wake of these natural disasters, NERRA is closely tracking their progress and advocating for support and supplemental funds to help our reserves recover. We’re also continuing to engage House and Senate appropriators and leadership as they hammer out the final FY 2018 funding for NOAA (and everything else) by December eighth.
In September the Digital Coast Partnership, NOAA, and honorary hosts Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (MD) and Don Young (AK) held a disaster preparedness and recovery briefing that was attended by more than 30 congressional staff. NERRA President Cory Riley, along with other Digital Coast partners, provided stories from the field. Also in September, Erica Seiden of NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management represented the NERRS at an Estuaries Expo for House staffers. Other programs represented included the National Estuary Program, the Office of Habitat Conservation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program.