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The Lab at Sandy Hook may be shut down

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My son is a MAST student. My info comes from him.

Let's be honest here, everybody screams for government cutbacks in order to reduce the tax burden right up until the moment that their pet project is threatened. Hopefully the state and the feds can negotiate a fair deal that will allow the Howard lab to stay open. If not then let the chips fall where they may.


is the spanish teacher still smoking hot?

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If it's sponsored by the liberal jersey government, it's probably just political science.



Originally Posted by bunker86 View Post

Republicans don't believe in science.


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My youngest son graduated MAST 27 years ago. Today he is the Managing Director for a large German Containership company. He lives in Sydey, AUS and heads up 5 of their companies in AUS & NZ whilst running their Pacific Region operation. Tell your son to set his sights high.


Pete's first reason for going to MAST was the chance to wind surf almost every day, before and after class.:D Then he got bit by the Big Boat Bug and he went to Texas A&M's Galvesten, TX, Ocean Campus and came out of there with a Business Degree called Marine Administration. He has been with the Germans for 14 years. NJ, Hamburg, GR, Miami, FL and 8 years in Australia. If I remember correctly, he graduated in Class No. 2.


MAST is a JNROTC military school. Texas A&M at Galveston (TAMUG) used to be the Texas Maritime Academy and it still produces Merchant Marine Officers + A&M has expanded the college courses to Ocean Sciences and Business.


A good school and it is possible to go there for 4 years wearing flip flops and shorts. You don't have to be in the Merchant Marine course to be a student. Go Aggies! ;)

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But back in 1997, an audit report from NOAA’s inspector general called for closing the Milford, Conn., laboratory and shifting its jobs to Sandy Hook. The proposal to streamline the federal fisheries science establishment would have made the James J. Howard Marine Laboratory a receiving point for research and jobs from other labs, a move that auditors back then calculated would save the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration $5 million over five years.

That’s the opposite of a new plan revealed last week that would shift 38 Sandy Hook jobs to Connecticut to save rent money paid to the state of New Jersey

NOAA hands over “the second-highest rent that we pay in the nation” at $36 a square foot, said Sam Rauch, the agency’s acting assistant administrator for fisheries, during a Friday briefing on NOAA’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013.

NOAA pays a total of $3 million in current lease and other facilities costs for the Sandy Hook lab, said John Ewald, an agency spokesman.

The Sandy Hook lab cost $19 million when it opened in 1993, including an $8.5 million commitment in lease payments from NOAA, according to Asbury Park Press stories from the period. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey contributed $6.5 million to construction, and New Jersey put in $4 million.

It’s a tough budget that holds fisheries spending at $880 million, the same as this year’s budget. It includes cuts in grants to groups that rescue stranded whales and sea turtles, and much less money for Chesapeake Bay and Pacific salmon restoration.

“Every one of these programs is valuable,” Rauch said, but “we had to make tough choices, this is where we decided to make them.”

The cuts help NOAA focus on core missions like maintaining its life-saving satellite systems and National Weather Service, Rauch said. There’s also an additional $13 million for critical fisheries management, including more for fish stock assessments and observers to keep on eye on commercial vessels, he said.

Fishermen upset

The move to close the Sandy Hook lab is rankling fishermen.

“This would be a disaster to close,” said Bruce Freeman of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, who pointed out the lab was created in 1961 as a commitment to support recreational fisheries.

But Rauch said the work of Sandy Hook scientists and the 49-foot research vessel Nauvoo can be relocated to other NOAA sites, along with the Howard lab’s research library.

In 1997 auditors wrote that NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service would realize benefits by going in the other direction with merging the Milford, Conn., lab at Sandy Hook

“Maintaining the Milford lab and continuing its programs at current levels represents an inefficient use of agency funds. Our analysis and site visits have identified the James J. Howard lab as a suitable host facility for Milford’s programs and personnel,” the report says. “The lab contains a sophisticated seawater system with a modern suite of wet, dry,  and analytical labs and is running under capacity.”



   Not 100% on this, but it seams like a big shell game here.

Shifting research work to Sandy Hook cost savings.....................: $ 5,000,000.00

Rent paid to NJ. .........$3,000,000.00

What about rent cost elsewhere,first its a savings & then its not. Go Figure.

Nationally, conservation groups are raising red flags over the Obama administration’s intent to move NOAA out of the Department of Commerce — where it takes about about half the budget —and over to the Department of Interior.

It seems to me red flags are being raised everywhere under Obama administration.Thank him the next time you go to fill your car up.The man preached on how he was going to create jobs,yet stops the pipeline from Alaska to Texas that would have created thousands upon thousands of jobs. For almost a quarter of the way around the world. Talk about a boost in the economy. Instead the man pours hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars,Into some solar company just to find out in less than one year later all of the money is gone, the company is bankrupt, and nobody has a clue what is going on,or where all that money went. The man is printing money like toilet paper,and for the most part that's right where it is going. Right down the toilet with nothing to show for it. Where talking in excess of 13 w / a Capital T Trillion dollars here. Social Security is down the crap er. Our own US Postal service is on the verge of going under.

  It seems to me if you where driving down the highway and a worker was waving a red flag, you would stop ?  ( Right ) Know imagine red flags going up on every highway, in every state, throughout the United States.

  I just hope election day comes,before all the red flags go up. Think about it. I can only hope our new Commander and Chief is a workaholic,with a plan to make America strong.

  May God Bless America


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Update APP Kirk Moore March 17


Local supporters are trying to flex enough political muscle, in addition to employing their powers of persuasion, to keep open a marine laboratory at Sandy Hook which they see as crucial to the Shore’s environment and thus its economy.


With federal officials still moving toward closing the James J. Howard Marine Laboratory, the advocates are trying to get New Jersey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to negotiate the lab’s future.


One argument they make is the lab’s legacy of distinguished contributions to protecting the Shore environment. Founded in 1961 expressly to study the region’s economically important recreational fishing, the lab has a close relationship with the region’s sport angling and diving communities and science institutions.


“Based on my 40, 45 years of experience, I can tell you that once this lab is moved, all those studies will go away,” said Bruce Freeman, a retired marine scientist and adviser with the Jersey Coast Anglers Association. “To lose this laboratory, right in the center of one of the most important areas on the East Coast, and in the nation – I just find that intolerable.”


NOAA officials want to close the Howard lab and move its 38 staff jobs to labs in Milford, Conn. on Long Island Sound, and Oxford, Md. on Chesapeake Bay. Budget planners say that will save the agency $2.8 million it now pays New Jersey in rent for the laboratory building.


But that lease is up at the end of 2013, when New Jersey’s 20-year construction bond for the building is paid off. Lab supporters say NOAA and the state could renegotiate the lease.


“Very simply, it’s the lease payments. It has nothing to do with the quality or the caliber of the science there,” said Michael DeLuca, senior associate director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.


Rutgers “has a very longstanding and productive relationship” with the Howard lab, with scientists from both institutions working closely together on projects ranging from ocean pollution to Barnegat Bay, DeLuca said.


One project is a collaborative exploration of the Hudson Canyon, the undersea gorge that extends from off New York Harbor to the edge of the continental shelf. “It’s a very rich habitat for fish, and serves as a conduit for both nutrients and contaminants from the Hudson River and Raritan Bay to the deep sea,” DeLuca said.


Rutgers contributes deep sea geologists and oceanographers to the project. “We wouldn’t be able to get out to that site without the Howard lab and its access to federal research platforms – big ships,” DeLuca said. In turn, Rutgers provides federal scientists with access to the university’s fleet of remote-controlled and autonomous underwater vehicles.


Its Sandy Hook location makes the Howard lab one of a few positioned to study “problems associated with large urban areas,” DeLuca said. That gave NOAA scientists a big role in discovering industrial toxins in fish during the 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, Howard scientists described the environmental effects of ocean dumping and contaminated harbor sediment, leading to major policy changes that cleaned up the ocean.


“We were hearing that ocean disposal of dredge material wouldn’t be a problem, that it would be diluted. Guess what? It still was a problem,” recalled Freeman, who back then was a research scientist with the state Department of Environmental Protection.


“You need that information to demonstrate the complexity of the problem, and the economic impact to the coastal economy,” he said.


Given the lab’s proven usefulness to New Jersey and its value to that larger coastal economy – far beyond the 38 jobs at stake – DeLuca said he wonders if New Jersey could find a way to transfer the lab building to NOAA once the construction bond is paid off next year.


The lab was established in 1961 with the mission of studying sport fisheries, Freeman said, and it began a network that expanded in the 1960s to include labs in Rhode Island, Florida and California.


But as federal agencies went through reorganizations, recreational fishing became less of a priority, and those other labs were redirected to other missions – leaving Sandy Hook, the original lab, as the last one, Freeman said.


Now, NOAA “contends that this closure meets its core mission priority by supplying the science that informs management decisions and reflects long term investment in scientific capacity,” Freeman writes in an article he’s preparing for the Jersey Coast Anglers Association newsletter. “This was one of the principal reasons for the establishment of the lab to begin with, but now this philosophy is being used as justification for its closure.”


Moreover, Freeman says, the proposal runs counter to recent commitments from NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, who promised more science support for recreational fisheries.


“She made a commitment a couple of years ago to do more for the recreational side” after seeing a report from recreational advocacy groups, Freeman said. It’s unrealistic to think Howard lab can be simply reconstituted elsewhere to continue that work, he added.


“If you have to move these people, the costs are far in excess of what it’s costing to keep them there,” he said. “They would have to try to sell homes in this market. It’s an impossible situation.”


DeLuca said the Howard lab is “one of the few labs in the country equipped to study ocean acidification,” a little understood consequence of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. With its ocean water intake, and intricate systems for adjusting acidity levels in test tanks, “it took two or three years to put that facility together,” DeLuca said. “If they move that to Milford or Oxford, it would take years to get it up and running again.”


Meanwhile, fishing and environmental groups are working with members of Congress in a bid to keep the Howard lab funded through the appropriations process, said Thomas P. Fote, legislative chairman of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association.


Another example of the Howard lab’s usefulness is already looming, Fote noted. Atlantic sturgeon populations based in the Hudson and Delaware rivers are to be added to the federal endangered species list April 6, putting New Jersey in the center of a scramble to figure out how to avoid catching sturgeon without shutting down fisheries.


“We need a resolution of this right now,” Fote said, adding that emergency meetings are under way. “If they’re cutting the budget and getting rid of labs, how are we going to deal with problems like this?”


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Given the lab’s proven usefulness to New Jersey and its value to that larger coastal economy – far beyond the 38 jobs at stake – DeLuca said he wonders if New Jersey could find a way to transfer the lab building to NOAA once the construction bond is paid off next year.



Transfer to Noaa? You mean like give it to them? After we paid for it?


I must be reading that wrong.

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squidlips, maybe you're reading it correctly! 



Originally Posted by squidlips View Post


Given the lab’s proven usefulness to New Jersey and its value to that larger coastal economy – far beyond the 38 jobs at stake – DeLuca said he wonders if New Jersey could find a way to transfer the lab building to NOAA once the construction bond is paid off next year.

Transfer to Noaa? You mean like give it to them? After we paid for it?

I must be reading that wrong.

It was also said about this issue:


  • But that lease is up at the end of 2013, when New Jersey’s 20-year construction bond for the building is paid off. Lab supporters say NOAA and the state could renegotiate the lease.

  • “Very simply, it’s the lease payments. It has nothing to do with the quality or the caliber of the science there,” said Michael DeLuca, senior associate director of the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.


Maybe there will be a negotiation!     cwm13.gif    Like when unions and management first come to the table.    cwm27.gif

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Open House!  --like what a real estate guy would have?   headscratch.gif



Dept. of Commerce

Woods Hole


Milford, CT


Sandy Hook, NJ

J.J. Howard


Narragansett, RI Laboratory







NOAA Fisheries Service

Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Conserving Our Nation's Living Oceans For Over 125 Years

James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory

@ Sandy Hook

***OPEN HOUSE May 20, 2012 11am - 3pm***



Sandy Hook photo



Center Research

Programs and


Lab History

Lab Seawater







Search NOAA



Lab Research | Walford Library | Seminars



The Lab...

The James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory, located on the New Jersey shore at Sandy Hook, is a state-of-the-art marine research facility shared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the State of New Jersey. Federal research at the laboratory is conducted by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The primary mission of the Howard Laboratory is to conduct research in ecology, leading to a better understanding of both coastal and estuarine organisms and the effects of human activities on nearshore marine populations. For more see Lab brochure.


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IMHO, based on what what we just saw happen with Ft Monmouth - forced to close and move all operations to Maryland under what turned out to be completely false claims of savings - the state of NJ does not have the political clout to keep the Howard research facility here.

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Real Estate? 

Can anyone say NJDEP does it againView Post

Can anyone say The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority?


This is one authority that will not be targeted for elimination.   View Post



  • This one is to. "Advance the general prosperity and economic welfare of the people in the affected communities and throughout the state." (see more below);

  • D&R Commission, in part, is to produce and administer a plan for the regulation of land use (and, quite frankly, it is a hobble on development); and,

  • Something will need to be done in reaction to losing jobs, if NOAA pulls out of Sandy Hook.   biggrin.gif  


Can anyone say, "... achieve a better balance between protecting the public and nurturing free enterprise"?



This is what I say:  I understand the importance of "economy," but I feel like I'll surely be flung from the scale when the desired "balance" is reached.  Shipweak saya "mark my words."  I say I didn't like the look of things when beach access--Public Trust Rights--were being tossed onto the other pan of the balance.   redface.gif


Fees to boat launch into the Delaware?  I wonder if the "maintenace costs" of oceanfront communities are about to skyrocket.   headscratch.gif




The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) was created to provide investment, continuity and economic growth to the communities impacted by the federal government's decision to close Fort Monmouth. FMERA will replace the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority and advance that entity's Reuse and Redevelopment Plan for economic development, growth and planning, with a focus on technology-based industries, for the 1,126 acres of real estate at Fort Monmouth following the base closure in September 2011.

The Fort Monmouth Reuse and Redevelopment Plan forwarded by the dissolved planning authority is a highly collaborative blueprint for action to:

  • Promote, develop, encourage and maintain employment, commerce ,economic development, and the public welfare

  • Conserve natural resources; and

  • Advance the general prosperity and economic welfare of the people in the affected communities and throughout the state.




Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority.

Latest Updates

March 19, 2012

Proposed Plan Amendment Process

February 15, 2012

DRAFT Proposed Plan Amendment [pdf 3.4MB]

January 10, 2012

Surveying Services RFQ-P Addendum [pdf 1.1MB]

January 5, 2012

Professional Services Qualification Statement [doc 235kB]

November 4 , 2011

RFOTP Q&A [pdf 0.5kB]

more >






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Update Kirk Moore APP April 12


SANDY HOOK — Nearly two months after revealing a plan to close the James J. Howard Marine Laboratory, top officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have yet to explain how much it would cost to relocate scientists and their projects to other sites in Connecticut and Maryland, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., said Wednesday.


NOAA leaders say much of that work can be done elsewhere, but Pallone said NOAA admits it will give up some assets at the Howard lab — including its signature 32,000-gallon saltwater tank, an aquarium used to study fish behavior and the largest of its kind on the East Coast.


The saltwater tank was a centerpiece of the design when NOAA and New Jersey collaborated to rebuild the lab after a devastating 1985 fire. New Jersey still owns the lab building that opened in 1993, and the 20-year building bond will be paid off in 2013.


New Jersey rents the lab to NOAA and closing it would save the agency $2.8 million in rent, at a time when NOAA is scrambling to find more money for its satellite programs, agency managers have said..


But lab supporters point out the rent includes $1.18 million to pay back the 1993 construction bond — in effect, a mortgage that will be paid off next year. New Jersey paid to build the state-of-the-art lab building in a joint venture with NOAA and supporters say the state can re-negotiate a more favorable lease next year.


“We’re working very closely with the governor's office on this,” Pallone said.


Pallone and Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both D-N.J., spoke at what was billed as a press conference and tour of the Howard lab, which took on the trappings of a rally as supporters from local environmental and fishing groups made up most of a crowd of 150. Several carried signs, such as “JUST SAY NOAA TO CLOSING THE HOWARD LAB.”


New Jersey’s senators pledged to seek permanent funding in Congress to keep the lab open and prohibit the NOAA from any further attempt to close the lab.


“We really need the permanence of legislation to preserve what’s here,” said Cynthia A. Zipf, the executive director of Clean Ocean Action the Sandy Hook-based environmental group.


Zipf recalled how as a youngster “I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau.” While a student at the University of Rhode Island, Zipf scored a summer internship at Howard, working as a “lab rat” alongside scientists studying the potential effects of offshore oil drilling on fish.


“I wanted to use that science in an advocacy role,” Zipf said.


It was science coming out of the Howard lab that helped put an end to ocean dumping, and will be critical to future problems like saving the newly-endangered Atlantic sturgeon, Menendez said.


Closing the lab would be a loss to the nation as a whole, and “we cannot allow a national treasure to close,” he said.


Pallone, who quizzed NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco and her assistant Eric Schwaab at a congressional hearing, said he got no explanation of moving costs then and has not heard anything new since.


Lab supporters say that without looking at moving costs, it’s impossible to tell whether closing the Sandy Hook lab really saves any money. The closest estimate that lab advocates have in a 1985 NOAA document, which back then looked at moving the lab to Rhode Island rather than rebuilding from the fire.


Moving costs then were estimated at $2 million to $3 million — around $4 million to $6 million in 2012 dollars.


“There’s been no numbers, clearly no thoughtful analysis of what the real costs will be,” said Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society, an ocean conservation group that has a decades-old relationship with the lab.


NOAA officials are “under tremendous pressure to fund the satellite program, and fund it quickly,” Dillingham added. “The state has a lot of decision making power here. I can’t imagine it’s in the state’s interest to have an empty lab on Sandy Hook.”


“This team is going to resist,” said Lautenberg, who sits on a Senate committee that allocates spending money for NOAA. “Ocean life and health are under assault, and this lab is our early-warning system.”


Just months after the lab celebrated its 50th anniversary, NOAA officials announced plans to close it, and move its research and jobs to older NOAA labs at Milford, Conn., and Oxford, Md.


With its aquarium and lab system for studying ocean acidification, and central position between an urban coast and the deep sea, the Howard lab is unique among NOAA facilities, backers said.


“I was astonished that anyone would close” such a valuable asset, said Frank Steimle, a fisheries biologist who retired from the lab after a career that included linking ocean dumping to toxins in fish.


Steimle said he can't believe NOAA managers seriously think they can get the same work done “in Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound backwaters. This is where the action is.”


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Lautenberg Press Release April 12


NEWARK, NJ — Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) toured the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) James J. Howard lab in Sandy Hook to highlight its importance to New Jersey's coastal economy and environment. The Fiscal Year 2013 budget request released by NOAA in February proposed to eliminate funding for the lab, which would result in its closure. During a press conference today outside the lab, Lautenberg, Menendez and Pallone vowed to work through the congressional appropriations process to protect funding for this critical research facility.


“Closing this lab would jeopardize important efforts to protect New Jersey’s shore and coastal areas across the country,” said Lautenberg, who is a member of the Appropriations Committee and serves on the Subcommittee that funds NOAA. “The Howard Lab is a blessing for our state's economy and a boon for our environment. It has helped New Jersey's fishing industry and our state's prosperous coastal economy thrive. From my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will fight to keep the Howard Lab open.”


“For more than 50 years, the Howard Lab has been a unique and invaluable resource for our fisherman, scientists, students, the surrounding communities and the nation. Our fishermen and our scientists need to know what is happening here to scup, to black sea bass and to summer flounder. Our regional economy needs the good jobs that are sustained through the important research performed here. And our nation needs the critical scientific understanding of how we can best maintain a clean and sustainable ocean environment,”


said Menendez.


“The Howard lab at Sandy Hook is the only one of its kind in the region and is doing critical scientific research to keep our waters clean and fishable and improve the health and safety of coastal communities,” said Pallone. “I am committed to doing everything possible to keep this important facility open and functioning at full capacity and to make sure that the lab has the necessary funding to continue its important work.”


In February, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez and Representative Pallone sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to reconsiders its decision to close the lab. Senators Lautenberg and Menendez have also called on Senate Appropriations Committee leaders to provide the necessary funding to preserve the NOAA lab in Sandy Hook.


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