World Ocean Whirlwind

As always, the week surrounding World Ocean Day is a whirlwind of announcements. Here’s a brief summary of some of the major news from the biggest week in ocean policy, 2021:

NOAA Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget Request

On Wednesday, NOAA released the Congressional Justification for its FY22 Budget Request. This detailed document provides policy and budget-line level details for funds requested in President Biden’s FY22 Budget. NOAA is requesting almost $7 billion, a ~$1.5 billion increase from its FY21 budget. The increased funds would support the agency in measuring, predicting, and adapting to the impacts of climate change, investing in ecological restoration and community resilience, achieving the Biden Administration’s offshore wind expansion goals, integrating equity across NOAA, and investing in observational infrastructure.

Here are a few details that stood out to us:

  • Offshore wind - NOAA would use $20.4 million to support the Administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use.

  • Uncrewed systems - $4 million would go towards innovative research and development to move ideas to testable technologies and eventually to operational use within NOAA. This program is new in the FY22 budget.

  • Aquaculture - $17.7 million would be used for the implementation of the National Aquaculture Development Plan and the ongoing Aquaculture Opportunity Area process. This request is up $378,000 from FY21.

  • IUU fis