The U.S. President's proposed budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, released Feb. 13, seeks to trim expenses from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The cuts could mean the closure of NOAA Fisheries' Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Pacific Grove.
NOAA's West Coast operations are asked to save $5 million, mostly through cuts at the regional offices. Officials aren't yet sure, however, how exactly that will look on the ground—or if the cuts will even be a part of the final budget, which needs Congressional approval.
The announcement came in a letter from Cisco Werner, director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, which has offices in La Jolla, Santa Cruz and Pacific Grove. The proposed cuts, according to Werner, would close the P.G. lab, close the Northwest Region facilities and consolidate the two West Coast regional offices into a single unit.
The P.G. office has drawn the ire of nearby residents because of its 24/7 lighting and chain-link perimeter fence, which doesn't conform to the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood. Last month, Congressman Sam Farr wrote NOAA a letter requesting modification of the offensive lights and fence. The office also features a colorful sea-life mural, pictured in the above NOAA photo, by renowned artist Ray Troll.