NOAA Lab Closure Opposition Mounts
A resolution was passed at the March 12 Fair Haven Council meeting opposing the closure of NOAA's James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory.
At its March 12 Fair Haven council meeting, a resolution was passed officially voicing the opposition. The lab, which is an arm of the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is one on a list of those across the United States slated for the closure due to national budget constraints.
After the resolution was passed, Fair Haven council members voiced their opinions on the matter and compared it to Fort Monmouth.
"The fact is that the people of the state of New Jersey helped fund the placement of that facility," Council President Jon Peters said. "It is absolutely outrageous that the federal government is again going to leave our community in the dark."
Another point brought up by Peters, was the fact that if the facility closes, local students will lose access to a great learning facility.
Councilman Jerome Koch had a different opinion on the matter.
"Everybody should keep in mind that the federal government is in the same position we are in," he said. "Everybody’s programs are the best and nobody wants to live without them."
A leader of the cause is activist Steve Fromm, who forwarded the following statement to Middletown Patch:
"It is imperative that the lab remains here, because this location allows the lab to continue studies of marine resources, habitats and environment of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
"This location was recognized by Dr. Lionel Walford 50 years ago as being a unique opportunity to study the marine environment and the interaction of human encroachment.
"It provides direct access to one of the most important and urbanized coasts in the world and a direct path to habitat assessment and ecosystem based research that cannot be duplicated elsewhere.
"We have received tremendous support from Congressman Pallone and senators Lautenberg and Menendez."
Fromm added that on Tuesday, March 20, Pallone will seek an increase in NOAA's budget to fund the lab and prevent NOAA from diverting any funds to support the Sandy Hook facility, if appropriated.
"We need support from the citizens in the entire state to ensure that Congressman Pallone's letter to the House appropriators gets support from the NJ congressional delegation," Fromm said. "We need folks to contact their NJ congressmen and ask them to cosign the letter."
There is a Facebook page dedicated to the mission of trying to remove the closure of the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory from the list of NOAHH facilities slated for closure in the 2013 budget. The page states that NOAA is planning on closing the landmark facility in order to save $2 million a year.
Check out the video on the lab above, by Steve Rogers, and tell us how you feel about it in the comments section below.