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NOAA Announces FY 1998 Budget (fwd)

Contact:  	Lori Arguelles	   			FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                	(202) 482-5647				2/6/97
               	Scott Rayder (Scott.C.Rayder@noaa.gov)
		(202) 482-3137

	The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
today announced its FY 1998 budget, which is designed to help reach the 
Clinton Administration's goal of balancing the federal budget by the year 
2002.  The NOAA request of  $2 billion reflects an increase of $78.5 
million, a 4 percent increase over last year's request.

	"This budget reflects the need to downsize the federal government, while 
at the same time preserving the Administration's priorities in sustaining 
investments in science and technology and environmental protection," said 
D. James Baker, Commerce Department under secretary for oceans and 
atmosphere.  "We have carefully scrutinized NOAA's mission of  prediction 
and protection in our natural environment, and used  the President's 
priorities to determine how we can best distribute our budgetary 

	These increases in priority program areas are offset by reductions in 
other areas totaling $174 million, which leaves the NOAA budget with a net 
increase of  $78.5 million.  Areas where savings are being realized include 
construction projects that have been completed and completion of the 
current series of polar satellites, along with reductions in some other 

	"NOAA has always contributed to efforts to make government work smarter 
and we will continue to do so," Baker added.  "Our investment in the 
convergence of civilian and military satellite programs is a prime example 
of how we can do more with less."

	The Administration has proposed a new Capital Assets Acquisition Account, 
representing $503 million of NOAA's 1998 budget request, that will include 
for current projects.  Also, advance appropriations of $723 million within 
this account have been requested for FY 99 to complete these projects.

	"We believe that multi-year funding will provide the certainty to allow us 
to more effectively plan and manage these major acquisition projects.   By 
providing the resources necessary to maintain essential services, 
facilitating continued progress in critical investment areas, and 
addressing statutory obligations, the President's FY98 request for NOAA 
affirms the importance of the agency's role in sustaining our nation's 
investment in science and technology and environmental protection," Baker 

Highlights of the FY 98 budget include:
--$22.5 million increase for continued investments in a converged civilian 
and military polar orbiting satellite program, which will ultimately save 
taxpayers more than $1 billion over the life of the program.
--$66 million increase for continued development of next generation 
geostationary weather satellites that provide weather forecasters with 
vital information on severe weather events, including thunderstorms and 
--$22 million increase for NOAA's role in the Clinton Administration's 
Clean Water initiative, which includes $18 million for state grants, 
technical assistance and demonstration projects under the Coastal Zone 
Management Act and $4 million for the Community-Right-to-Know Project on 
--$16.6 million increase for restoring the health and wealth of America's 
fisheries and protecting species in danger of extinction, including West 
Coast salmon.  Funds will also be used to carry out mandates under the 
newly authorized Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act.
--$5 million increase to ensure systems critical for production of climate 
forecasts that benefit all sectors of the economy by providing an advanced 
picture of likely weather patterns.
--$11 million for restoration to base funds to allow the National Weather 
Service to maintain functions necessary to perform its primary mission of 
 forecasting weather to protect life and property.
--$17 million increase for deployment of the National Weather Service 
Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System, which will allow 
forecasters to integrate a variety of vital weather information in a 
--The transfer of the Aeronautical Charting Unit to the Federal Aviation 
Administration, which will be accomplished over a two-year time frame.

 NOAA's FY 98 budget proposal is available in its entirety on NOAA's 
 Internet web site at:  http://www.noaa.gov


NOTE:  NOAA constituents can send an e-mail to Scott.C.Rayder@noaa.gov, or 
fax to (202) 501-2953 to get releases and other material electronically 
rather than by fax transmission.