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NOAA selects Newport, Ore., for ship base
Newport

Newport. ORThe National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has chosen Newport, Oregon, to be the new base for its research ship operations on the West Coast. Factors in selecting the site included NOAA’s infrastructure needs, proximity to maritime industry resources and NOAA labs, quality of life for civilian employees, officers and crew, and the ability have the site available by July 2011 in addition to lease cost, the agency said

NOAA plans to base four research ships and up to two visiting ships at the new port, beginning in 2011, pending the signing of a 20-year lease. The base in Seattle currently has about 175 employees, including 110 officers and crew assigned to the ships. Newport beat out proposals submitted by Port Angeles, Bellingham and Lake Union, all in Washington state. The fleet is currently based in Lake Union in Seattle. The move will bring 175 full-time employees to the Oregon Coast and an estimated $19 million annually in economic benefits.

NOAA’s requirements for the new site include office and warehouse space, berthing for the four NOAA ships homeported at the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific and up to two visiting ships, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified, environmentally sustainable main buildings. The move is contingent on the signing of a 20-year lease between NOAA and the port.

Along with Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Coast Aquarium and a very involved fishing, NOAA’s project makes Newport a center for science and research.

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