NOAA tells Congress it should stay in Gloucester
GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- August 18, 2012 -- U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s idea to relocate the Northeast Regional Office of the National Marine Fisheries Service from Gloucester to near NMFS’ headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., would be costly and “could be disruptive” and inefficient, NOAA reported to Congress this week.
“Relocating ... could be disruptive over the short term and could potentially degrade NERO’s ability to fully perform its mission, particularly as it relates to management of commercial fisheries in the region,” wrote Scott B. Quehl, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’s chief financial officer. The National Marine Fisheries Service is a division of NOAA.
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2013 spending plan for NOAA in April that included an amendment to close the Northeast Regional Office in Gloucester and move the bulk of fisheries management, administration and law enforcement to Silver Spring, Md.
Mikulski had no immediate comment on the report which was issued Thursday.
Opposition to the move locally was based on the economic impact of having more than 200 of NOAA’s mostly highly paid employees working and living in and near the city. The privately developed NOAA building, which opened in 2008, paid the city $169,185 a year in real estate taxes in 2011.
Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown and Congressman John Tierney all denounced the idea of removing from Gloucester the operational headquarters for the regulation and administration of U.S. waters from Maine to North Carolina. The federal government has been in Gloucester, the nation’s oldest fishing port, since the post-Civil War years.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Times.