WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, Justice, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded committee passage of the FY2017 CJS Appropriations bill. Murphy successfully fought to secure more than $20 million of federal funding to conduct critical aquaculture research and improve regulatory permitting that supports over 700 local jobs and helps to improve the health of Long Island Sound. Murphy also secured nearly $200 million for the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), which provides funding to the Milford Lab in Milford, Connecticut. The Milford Lab is one of just two NOAA labs nationwide supporting aquaculture research.
“As changes in the environment batter Long Island Sound and deplete our stocks of shellfish, we need to invest in groundbreaking research more than ever before. It isn’t just the right thing to do environmentally, it’s also the right thing to do for our economy,” said Murphy. “The bill we passed today sends a strong message about Congress’ commitment to the $30 million aquaculture industry in Connecticut. The men and women at the Milford Lab are at the forefront of creating jobs, growing our knowledge base about ocean health and climate change, and developing sustained populations of shellfish – which grows our economy and creates jobs.”
Highlights of the CJS bill relating to aquaculture include:
- $10 million for the Marine Aquaculture program, a $3 million increase from the President’s budget proposal
- $9.3 million for aquaculture research and more efficient regulatory permitting, a $3 million increase from FY 2016
- Language addressing concerns around staffing changes and funding cuts at Milford Lab
- $13.5 million for ocean acidification, an additional $3.5 million from FY 2016
- $64 million for the National Sea Grant College Program that support Connecticut’s Sea Grant Colleges programs at UCONN Avery Point