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Availability of NOAA Real Property on Virginia Key, Florida

Location: Washington, DC

AVAILABILITY OF NOAA REAL PROPERTY ON VIRGINIA KEY, FLORIDA -- (House of Representatives - September 13, 2004)

Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 4027) to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to make available to the University of Miami property under the administrative jurisdiction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Virginia Key, Florida, for use by the University for a Marine Life Sciences Center, as amended.


Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4027. This is an important bill to my constituents, indeed to the people of all of south Florida.

Madam Speaker, this bill makes available to the property on Virginia Key, Florida, under the jurisdiction of NOAA for use by the University of Miami for a marine life science center. This property may be made available to the University via easement, lease, license or long-term agreement.

Madam Speaker, Virginia Key, Florida, which is located just a few miles from downtown Miami, is the site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric's National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center. It is also the home for NOAA's Office of Atmospheric Research Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, as well as the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

Due to their proximity and because they overlap in research interest, NOAA and the Rosenstiel School have had a close working relationship for many years. This legislation is designed to maintain and strengthen that relationship.

Located on a 16-acre campus on Virginia Key in Miami, the Rosenstiel School is the only subtropical applied and basic marine and atmospheric research institute of its kind in the continental United States. Rosenstiel's research interests include satellite oceanography, with particular emphasis on remote sensing and satellite imagery, as well as experimental fish hatchery. It also leads in the field of global marine and atmospheric chemistry program, comprehensive oceanic and atmospheric numerical modeling activities, sedimentary geology and marine geophysics groups with considerable expertise in seismic methods, and has an innovative ocean acoustics program.

In short, Madam Speaker, the Rosenstiel School is a proud and indispensable establishment for all of us in south Florida, in the State of Florida and indeed throughout the Nation.

The genesis of a new University of Miami and NOAA marine science complex will bring together expertise in environmental and fisheries research, assessment and management, and facilitate the intellectual exchange of ideas and results. H.R. 4027 is a critical first step in reaching the goal of establishing a new marine science complex.

Madam Speaker, I am proud to have introduced this important legislation and am most appreciative of the consideration and focus of this vital project in my congressional district.


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