Jun 23 2005

COMMITTEE PASSES CJS APPROPRIATIONS BILL; SHELBY STEERS MILLIONS TO SOUTH ALABAMA

Appropriations Committee Approves Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC --- U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), today announced Appropriations Committee approval of important projects in South Alabama included in the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. Following today’s action by the committee, this bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Senator Shelby said, “This legislation includes a number of important projects in Alabama and across the nation. The committee’s action on this bill reiterates our commitment to funding these projects and advancing numerous, nationwide initiatives.”

Earlier this year, Senator Shelby assumed the Chairmanship of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee. The subcommittee's jurisdiction includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Department of Justice among others.

Gulf shrimp bycatch and reduction research - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $1 million for this important fisheries research project to protect and maintain the red snapper fishery.”

Mobile Bay Oyster Recovery Program at the University of South Alabama - $2.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “The University of South Alabama, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Conservation, will use the $2.5 million included in this legislation to continue conducting surveys and work on the reseeding program in Mobile Bay. The program will attempt to restore productive oyster reefs in areas that have experienced reef loss due to environmental and harvesting factors. A resurgence of the oyster beds will significantly impact the water quality and clarity in Mobile Bay, as well as assist the Bay in fostering survival of sea grass meadows and marine species such as blue crab, sea trouts, and some snappers and grouper.”

Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force - $12,081,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes over $12 million for the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (RFTF), which will be headquartered in Birmingham with sub-offices in Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama as well as Jackson and Oxford, Mississippi. The purpose of RFTF, which operates under the United States Marshals Service, is to combine the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives and assist in high profile investigations.”

Fishing Effort Research - $2.3 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $2.3 million for the Southern Shrimp Industry

Alliance to conduct research, collect data and provide analyses to determine and document shrimp industry fishing efforts in the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic.”

Gulf Coast Fisheries and Ocean Research Facility - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that these funds were included for the construction of a NOAA fisheries lab at Dauphin Island. This new facility will focus on the issues and concerns associated with the Gulf and Mexico and its fisheries. The housing of the facility on the campus of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab will provide increased opportunities for collaborative research among federal, state and university researchers.”

Orange Beach Coastal and Estuarine Land Acquisition - $800,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $800,000 for the City of Orange Beach to acquire 84 acres of fringe marsh wetlands and wet pine flatwoods. This land acquisition will protect this area from development, while providing the potential to use this site as a wetlands mitigation site.”

Coastal Ecosystems - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $5 million for land acquisition, from willing sellers only, along the Perdido River in Baldwin County and coastal wetlands near Grand Bay in Mobile County. This project would protect biologically sensitive lands in coastal Alabama including coastal wetlands, water quality and wildlife habitat. In addition, these funds will help increase recreational opportunities by providing more public access for hunting, fishing, and canoeing.”

SURA Coastal Ocean Observing System - $2.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “Included in our bill is $2.5 million for the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Coastal Ocean Observing System. The goal of this program is to implement a system to provide comprehensive, real-time access to observational data and numerical forecasts of coastal hazards and threats as well as phenomena of routine interest to a host of operational stakeholders.”

Baldwin Educational Program - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “The $1 million included in our bill will provide the funds for the development of estuarine educational programs in coordination with Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Dauphin Island Sea Lab.”

Gulf Coast Exploreum - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center is an important regional science center providing interactive science exhibits and films dedicated to fostering science literacy. This is an important project that will increase opportunities for local students to learn more about science through hands-on activities.”

Wild American Shrimp Marketing - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill provides $5 million for the Southern Shrimp Industry

Alliance’s marketing campaign to conduct research and develop new products and improve quality assurance of domestic wild shrimp from several southern states including Alabama.”

Coastal Weather Research Center at the University of South Alabama - $475,000

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $475,000 for the University of South Alabama’s Coastal Weather Research Center. These funds will be used for weather monitoring equipment to measure wind gusts, water surge and rainfall levels, being particularly necessary in the event of a catastrophic event such as a hurricane. I believe this type of monitoring equipment is essential as we learn from the damage and destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan.”

National Maritime Center of the Gulf - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for educational exhibits and programs focusing on the ocean and the ecosystems it contains. I am pleased our bill includes these funds for these important programs at the National Maritime Center of the Gulf.”

Gulf State Consumer Education Program - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will be used for the Gulf state regulatory agencies and Gulf state non-profit business associations to implement an effective education program focusing on Vibrio Vulnificus within their respective states. The industry council has proven the ability to produce and distribute invaluable information to consumers on the concerns with oyster consumption. In working with state regulatory agencies, the non-profits will be able to provide important information to educate the consumer and ensure that “at-risk” populations are properly informed and that the general public is an educated consumer.”

Gulf Oyster Industry Program - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased this legislation includes $1 million to research new, innovative ways to grow and strengthen the Gulf oyster industry. This research is integral to the success of the Gulf oyster industry.”

Coastal and Inland Hurricane Monitoring and Prediction Program - $1.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased we provided $1.5 million to be used for hurricane intensity research in coordination with NOAA, the University of South Alabama and the National Data Buoy Center in Mississippi.”

Village Point Park Preserve - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $1 million to be used for land acquisition for Village Point Park Preserve along the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. This 54-acre historic park is home to seven Alabama State Champion trees, and its pristine natural beauty is available to the public.”

The following State and nationwide projects and programs are slated to receive funds in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006:

NOAA Weather Radio Receivers - $50,000
Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes $50,000 which will provide weather radios for 1000 Alabama schools. These radios will provide our schools with up-to-the-minute information about storm warnings and ensure that our schools are prepared in the event of a dangerous weather event.”

Hydrology Study - $1 million
Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $1 million for researchers at the University of Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Auburn University, Alabama A & M University, and Tuskegee University to begin in-depth hydrology research to determine whether large-scale irrigation is a viable option for the Southeast. This study will also provide critical information for both farmers and local government regarding the health of the State’s water resources.”

Inland Waterways Study - $750,000
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to explore how transportation, particularly the use of Alabama's inland waterways, can better enable U.S. manufacturers and producers to compete for new trade opportunities. Greater use of our inland waterways for the transport of freight has the potential to reduce the number of trucks required and therefore alleviate some of the highway congestion motorists currently encounter.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quality Growth initiative - $7 million
Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $7 million for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quality Growth initiative. This nationwide program will continue Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ record of commitment to ensure that at-risk children have caring adults in their lives.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters is comprised of over 450 local agencies, eight of which are in Alabama, serving youth between the ages of five and eighteen. They serve over 225,000 children in community, school and site based mentoring programs to provide children with meaningful, mentoring relationships.

Victims of Crime Act fund
Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill maintains the Victims of Crime Act fund as it was in previous fiscal years. This ensures that important women’s shelters, children advocacy centers, and Violence Against Women’s Act related activities are maintained.”

Boys and Girls Club - $85 million
Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $85 million for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The important programs of the Boys and Girls Clubs provide our nation's youth with a safe place to learn and grow in a fun environment.”

Methamphetamine Enforcement and Clean-up - $60.1 million
Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $60.1 million for State and local law-enforcement officials to combat methamphetamine production and distribution. This program will also work to target drug hot spots and remove and dispose of hazardous materials at clandestine methamphetamine labs.”

FBI’s “Innocent Lost” initiative - $1.604 million
Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the FBI’s “Innocent Lost” initiative, which addresses the growing problem of domestic child prostitution. The FBI, in coordination with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, aggressively identify, investigate, and prosecute crimes of this nature.”

Missing Children Programs - $48 Million
The following missing children programs will receive funding:

  • $24 million for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • $3 million for Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center
  • $15.5 million to combat internet crimes
  • $1.5 million for Missing Children Office within the Department of Justice
  • $4 million for the AMBER alert program

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes this funding, as we must continue to invest resources in these programs to ensure the safety of our nation’s children.”

Hollings’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program - $106 Million
Senator Shelby said, “The Hollings’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program continues to be a success story by partnering federal, state, public and private entities in order to assist small and mid-sized American manufacturers modernize so that they may compete in the global marketplace.”

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) - $515,087,000
Senator Shelby said, “The COPS grant program aims to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing. COPS funding helps law enforcement agencies across America meet an ever-increasing range of challenges with community policing. Many police departments in Alabama have taken advantage of these grants, and I am pleased we included these funds in our bill.”

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grants - $1,078,350,000
Senator Shelby said, “The State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grants is a partnership among federal, state and local governments to create safer communities. I am pleased that over $1 billion has been included in our bill for this important program.”

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - $350 million
Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill provides $350 million for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.”

Economic Development Administration - $314,924,000
Senator Shelby, “The Economic Development Administration provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies for public works, planning and other projects designed to facilitate economic development. I am pleased that within these funds includes $16 million for trade adjustment assistance.”

Regional Information Sharing System - $40 Million
Senator Shelby said, “The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program is composed of six regional centers that share intelligence and coordinate efforts against criminal networks that operate in many locations across jurisdictional lines. Typical targets of RISS activities are drug trafficking, terrorism, violent crime, cybercrime, gang activity, and organized criminal activities.”

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) - $112 million
Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $100 million in funding for EPSCoR within the National Science Foundation and another $12 million within NASA to strengthen research and education throughout Alabama and other states across the country and to broaden the research base of the Nation.”

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