SPECIAL UPDATE: The President's FY2007 NOAA Budget Request

(Posted 2-28-06)


This update was originally sent out as an e-mail message to AGI's member societies.

On February 9th, Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher presented the fiscal year (FY) 2007 budget request for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that totals $3.7 billion, a 5.8% decrease from last year’s allocation. Most of the Line Offices are slated for a decrease with the exception of the National Weather Service that would receive $881.9 million (+4%) and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service that would receive $1 billion (+8.6%). The National Ocean Service would receive a total of $413.1 million, a 30% decrease from last year’s funding level, and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would receive $348.7 million, a 8.2% decrease. The NOAA budget reports its Line Office funding split between the Operations, Research and Facilities (ORF) account, which supports most of the research activities at the agency, and the Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC) account, which supports some research in areas such as supercomputing and the development of a national tsunami warning system.

Within the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) the PAC account is slated for an increase of 10.8% to total $10.4 million that will be used primarily for supercomputing research for the Climate Change Computing Initiative. Other activities in OAR are supported by the ORF account that would be decreased by 8.6% overall for a total of $338.3 million. Climate Research, one of the four themes in the OAR request, would total $181.2 million, a 6.8% increase from last year. This amount includes $125.7 million for the Competitive Research Program that includes activities such as drought impact research to support the National Integrated Drought Information System and a new climate reanalysis datasets to improve operational climate prediction. Also funding within the Competitive Research Program is the Integrated Ocean Observing System that has requested a $6.1 million increase to continue to build and maintain the Global Ocean Observing System. This amount, according to the budget document, will allow for the completion of 59% of the planned system and will keep the program on track for completion in 2010. The requested $6.3 million for Climate Data and Information is more than double of last year’s allocation and funds programs such as the Climate Reference Network and the Global Climate Observing System. The Weather and Air Quality Research request is $41.2 million, a 39% decrease. This account includes $38.2 million for laboratories and cooperative research and $3 million for the Tornado/Severe Storm Research (Phased-Array Radar). The OAR budget also includes $103 million for Ocean, Coastal and Great Lake Research, an 18.7% decrease, that supports the National Sea Grant College Program ($54.8 million), the National Undersea Research Program ($9.2 million), and Ocean Exploration ($15.1 million). Funding for Information Technology, Research and Development and Science Education would more than double for a total of $12.9 million that will focus primarily on high performance computing for improved forecasts.

The Office of National Ocean Service (NOS) requested $394.5 million, a 20% decrease from last year’s funding level. Activities related to Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment would receive $126.4 million (-40%) that funds the Ocean Assessment account ($54.7 million), the Reponses and Restoration account ($24.7 million), and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science ($47 million). Funding for the Ocean and Coastal Management activities would total $127.9 million and includes $66.1 million for Coastal Zone Management grants. Also within NOS is $24.3 million, a 23.5% decrease, for the Geodesy program.

The National Weather Service requested $881.9 million, which includes $98.4 million from the PAC account for system acquisition and construction. The remaining funds are focused on operation and research programs. Funding for Local Warning and Forecasts would total $28.7 million and includes a range of activities: weather data buoys, strengthening the U.S. tsunami warning program, transferring the Wind Profilers from research to operations, expand efforts to improve aviation weather services, support of the Air Quality Forecasting Program, support for the Space Environment Center, support for the U.S. Weather Research Program, and continued implementation of the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Services.

The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) would receive $1033.9 million, of which comes more than half from the PAC account. This $884.3 million includes $439.6 million for the Geostationary System (GOES), $89.9 million for the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite Systems (POES), and $337.9 million for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite Systems (NPOESS). The ORF funding for NESDIS would total $149.6 million, a 15.8% decrease from last year’s allocation. This decrease in part reflects the agency’s attempt to reduce the operational support for non-NOAA satellites. The request includes a $0.7 million for Coral Reef Monitoring. NOAA’s Data Centers and Information Services requested $51.9 million, a 26.9& decrease from last year’s allocation.

Additional information on the Department of Commerce geoscience-related programs is available at http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis109/appropsfy2007_commerce.html

 

Special update prepared by Margaret Anne Baker, Government Affairs Staff

Sources: NOAA budget documents

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.

Posted February 28, 2006