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NOAA Sandy Hook lab could close under Obama budget proposal
Months after celebrating its 50th anniversary, the storied federal fisheries laboratory at Sandy Hook is now marked for closing in the Obama administration’s budget plan, its 38 jobs to be reassigned at other National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sites in 2013, according to agency officials and White House budget papers.
Named the James J. Howard Marine Laboratory after the late Democratic congressman from Monmouth County — the lab’s longtime political patron — the facility is a center for research on coastal marine fish species and NOAA’s ecosystem studies.
Rep. Frank J. Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said he was “totally opposed” to closing the lab and would fight to keep it open.
“It’s a mistake on the part of the administration because that lab is very important,” said Pallone, a Long Branch Democrat whose district includes Sandy Hook. “There is a lot of research done there that is very important not only to New Jersey but to the whole northeast coast.”