Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Block: Protect San Diego’s leadership in worldwide climate research

SACRAMENTO—Senator Marty Block today announced that $5 million was included in the state budget by the Joint Conference Committee to replace the aging Nimitz Marine Facility (MarFac) pier maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

The funding is from Proposition 40, approved in 2002. Proposition 40 allowed the state to borrow up to $2.6 billion for parks and other projects. The $5 million will be used to draw down federal funds.

“MarFac has served well beyond its original lifespan,” Block said. “It was constructed more than 50 years ago and designed to serve 25 to 30 years with the U.S. research fleet mission requirements of the time. Today, replacement is critical to meeting future research demands and to support the U.S. Navy’s R.V. Sally Ride which is scheduled for delivery in 2015.”  The Sally Ride will engage in a broad scope of science studies in physics, chemistry, biology, geology and climate science, including research missions with Navy relevance.
Scripps’ pier and wharf play a valuable role in marine research and education because of their geographical, logistical and infrastructure advantages. Each year, more than 1,200 UC scientists sail on Scripps research vessels on more than 90 individual research missions.

Currently, MarFac employs more than 150 technicians, engineers, crew and administrators for ship operations. A proposed pier and wharf restoration project is expected to support approximately 440 direct jobs and include up to 150 onside construction jobs. Other benefits to the state include:

·         The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) which studies the marine environment along California’s coast and monitors El Niño and climate change.

·         The UC Ship Funds Program – unique to California that offers students leadership opportunities at sea and supports the development of the next generation of UC-trained scientists.
 “San Diego is a vital part of the state and nation’s science hubs; we are the idea incubators and job creators of the future,” Block said. “MarFac is a key element of our research prowess, and we must maintain its ability to serve the needs of the many scientists, educators and students who use the facility to benefit California and the U.S.” 
Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado

No comments: