NOAA's Pacific Research Fleet Moves to Newport

Business Oregon teamed with local Newport officials to land the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) relocated research fleet despite fierce competition from several Washington ports.

Business Oregon's Infrastructure Finance Authority (IFA) gave Port of Newport officials a $25,000 grant from its Port Planning Fund to help local officials prepare their successful application. The project means Newport will be home port to four ships, and host visiting ships as well. It will mean hundreds of family-wage jobs, and it's expected to pump $19 million into the local economy every year.

In addition, the project will utilize $2.1 million in urban renewal bonds and $200,000 in additional funding from the Port of Newport, Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Department of Transportation. In addition, Business Development Officer Dennie Houle worked to help the Port secure a $1 million Immediate Opportunity Fund (IOF) grant from ODOT to help fund the city's completion of its South Beach transportation plan. The transportation improvements will ensure accessibility at the heavily used entrance to the area.

The $38 million, five-acre project opened in August 2011, with a staff of 175, including 110 officers. The Port of Newport was able to make the winning bid largely because of $19.5 million in Oregon Lottery funds, appropriated by the state Legislature, which allowed it to offer a 20-year lease for only $2.4 million per year.