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December 24, 2015
Contact: Teri Frady
Phone: 508.495.2239
Cell: 774.327.9404

Statement from Paul Doremus, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Operations at NOAA Fisheries on Recent Press Regarding Relocation of NOAA Fisheries Woods Hole Laboratory

On December 23, 2015, the Falmouth Enterprise published a story that NOAA “is exploring the possibility of relocating the Northeast Fisheries Science Center to a new facility outside of Woods Hole.” While the story suggests that relocation may be imminent, we are in fact very early in the process of considering how best to update the buildings and associated operations of the 54-year-old Woods Hole complex. The Enterprise story also contains statements from a Science Center employee that do not represent the views of the agency. At this point, NOAA has not made a decision to relocate the laboratory and will only pursue a recapitalization option after extensive analysis and consultations with the Administration and Congress.

Right now, NOAA is conducting a large-scale study that will evaluate all of our options for upgrading the Woods Hole complex. Studies like this are a normal business practice for long-term planning. This type of study requires the agency to evaluate multiple options to inform the overall decision-making process.

While NOAA Fisheries is fully committed to maintaining its scientific capabilities in the Northeast, the condition of that laboratory, built in 1961, will make it increasingly difficult for NOAA to continue its tradition of world-class fisheries science in the region into the future.

The current study will be completed sometime in the spring. Starting with this study, Fisheries will continue to work with NOAA and the Department of Commerce to ensure they have everything they need to evaluate our options, including information on potential community impacts, costs and benefits to our mission, and the ability for our Agency to continue to do our scientific work in the Woods Hole area.

We look forward to working further with the Administration, with Congress, and with all of our partners in the region as we evaluate our options for upgrading our facilities and providing the best long-term support for our scientific work in the Northeast.

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