Monday, November 08, 2010

NOAA Fleet Still in Seattle For Now

NOAA Fleet Still in Seattle For Now
Photo & Text © 2010 Kim- Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved; no use, alteration, reproduction or republishing in any media.
A controversial decision to relocate the longtime Seattle-based fleet of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from its Lake Union docks when the lease is up in 2011 to a new home port in Newberg Newport, Oregon has raised contention and close congressional scrutiny that has left things up in the air for now. Contributing to NOAA's decision to move was a dock fire that severely damaged its leased Lake Union facilities in 2009. NOAA has been a significant part of the maritime economy of Seattle for over 50 years. Only about 60 employees would move with the fleet, but the loss of business to local shipyards and suppliers is thought to be a particularly hard blow to hundreds of others who service and support NOAA. This photo is not of Lake Union, but of NOAA's Sand Point headquarters on Lake Washington which will remain and is not part of the controversy. It looks at present like the move will go forward, but not without a few more rounds in the ring.

The two ships you see were built in the 1960s and have long, adventure-filled histories. The one on the right is the David Starr Jordan and is heavily used in marine mammal research. It is named for the first president of Stanford University, a naturalist whose investigations and explorations of salmon migration and the Pacific seal fur trade led to saving these populations from near extinction. The ship on the left appears to me to be the Miller Freeman, one of the largest research trawlers in the world. It is dedicated to oceanographic and fisheries research. It accommodates 7 NOAA Corps officers, 27 crew, and up to 11 scientists and is capable of operating in any waters on earth. I would speculate that these two ships would have been docked at Lake Union pre-fire, but I don't know.


Anonymous said...

Great pic, as always! But I think NOAA is going to NEWPORT, OR, not Newberg. Newport is on the coast, and Newberg is SW of Portland in Oregon's wine country. A great little town, tho!

Kim said...

Anon, thank you so much! I'm going to have to start paying my great copy editors for catching my faux pas.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Your header photo is very vry beautiful. i like the way you potgraph the reflection of the lights. Great job.

Small City Scenes said...

I wish they would stay at Sand Point where all the work is being done as I understand. .

Kim said...

Glad you like it, Ann :-).

MB, part of the operation (about 100 employees) is staying put at Sand Point, no matter the NOAA fleet's ultimate location. Looks like they are making do for these ships at Sand Point, and I've read there is available federal space up on the Duwamish waterway off Elliott Bay for their ships to dock as well.

Randy said...

Beautiful Fall colors.