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Pallone Secures $5.8 Million tor the Expansion of Marine Mammal Research in Central Jersey

December 8, 2003
Press Release

Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today announced the U.S. House of Representatives approved a giant Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 omnibus spending bill that included $5.8 million for expansion of marine mammal research in Central Jersey. The New Jersey congressman said he secured federal funding for the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Sandy Hook, and the Striped Bass--Bluefish Population Dynamics Research Program at Rutgers University. Pallone requested the funds for the three programs earlier this year.

Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

The House approved $3 million in federal funds Pallone requested for the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, the only reserve in the 25 reserve national system that extends its boundaries seaward to the Atlantic Ocean. The reserve, administered by the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, features an integrated program of research, coastal training and education that fosters informed decision-making with respect to coastal resources in New Jersey.

"The $3 million approved today will allow the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve to expand its program in both Monmouth and Cumberland Counties with the construction and renovation of facilities at Sandy Hook and Bridgeton," Pallone said. "These regional resource centers will provide programs and services that promote coastal management ideas that take into consideration both local and regional concerns."

James J. Howard Marine Sciences Lab

Pallone secured $2 million in federal funds that will be used to operate the lab over the next year. The funds were made available to the laboratory in Sandy Hook through the Commerce Departments National Marine Fisheries Service.

"The James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory is a state of the art facility that is currently working on exciting and cutting-edge research projects important to our understanding of fish habitat," Pallone said. "The funds approved by the House today will allow the Sandy Hook lab to continue to provide valuable information for fishermen along the Jersey Shore and all around the nation."

Pallone said the lab, which bares the name of his predecessor in Congress, is currently working on research regarding the Bluefin Tuna, as well as preparing background data on essential fish habitat under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act for the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Regional Councils. The lab is also working to identify critical inshore coastal habitat for commercial and recreational fishery species for the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England states.

Striped Bass --Bluefish Research Program at Rutgers University

Pallone also secured $827,000 for Rutgers Universitys Striped Bass-Bluefish Research Program. The funds will allow the program to expand coast-wide in order to better understand the factors that determine variability in bluefish populations, including potential competitive interactions between bluefish and striped bass.

All three projects were included in the $328.1 billion spending bill that combined seven appropriations bills into one omnibus bill funding domestic programs and foreign operations for FY 2004, which officially began on October 1, 2003. The Senate is expected to approve the omnibus bill in January, and then it will be sent to the president for his signature.