March 20, 2017 — The national $73 million Sea Grant program, which includes about a dozen researchers affiliated with the University of Maine, could be eliminated if Congress approves drastic budget cuts proposed for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by President Trump.
Funding for the state’s Department of Marine Resources and for collecting weather and climate data in the Gulf of Maine also could be put at risk by the president’s proposal.
Paul Anderson, director of the Sea Grant program at University of Maine, said Tuesday that the money NOAA has funded for the program has been “money well spent” because it has helped draw additional funding to Maine and has helped spur economic development.
“I think [Trump] has just got a fundamentally different attitude about government,” Anderson said Tuesday, without going into further detail. “What [people can do to try to protect the program] is write to our congressmen and senators.”
Trump’s administration already is considering slashing funding for the U.S. Coast Guard, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, and for the Environmental Protection Agency, which provides about 20 percent of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection annual funding. Now, according to the Washington Post, the federal Office of Management and Budget is looking to cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 17 percent.