NOAA announced today that it will be moving its base of operations from Seattle’s Lake Union to Newport, Oregon, starting in 2011. The Associated Press has the story here.
NOAA has based ships at Lake Union for decades. A spectacular fire on July 4, 2006, severly damaged one of NOAA’s docks.
The AP says NOAA’s new Newport base will have room for four ships and two visiting ships. Currently, 175 people work at the Seattle base.
Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, who has been working on this issue since 2006, said in a press release that she is “tremendously disappointed to learn that the NOAA Marine Operation Pacific will be leaving Seattle. I continue to believe the selection of Seattle as a homeport remains the best choice for NOAA and for the future of ocean research.”
Godden noted that: “Seattle offered a site on Lake Union where NOAA vessels, in the past, have been able to moor in fresh water, an enormous advantage for ocean-going vessels. Furthermore this site – unlike others under consideration — has the advantage of completed environmental assessment.”
The Seattle Times has coverage here.