MEDIA ADVISORY: Sen. Gregg Holds Press Briefing March 18 to Announce Funding for New NOAA Research Vessel to be Based at UNH Pier in New Castle

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau

March 12, 2002

WHAT: U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) will announce $5 million of initial funding for a new $14 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessel that will be permanently based in New Castle, N.H., at the University of New Hampshire Coastal Marine Laboratory pier. This new vessel represents a radically new design for coastal survey and research purposes, described by the acronym SWATH for Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull.

WHEN: Monday, March 18, 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Coast Guard Station in New Castle. The press event will take place in the mess hall.

BACKGROUND: The SWATH will be the first vessel of its kind for NOAA, and the only one of its kind to be based in the Northeast. It provides a very stable platform capable of working effectively in much rougher seas than a traditional vessel of the same size. This capability will expand both the working area and the effective operating season, while also allowing access to important near-shore areas. It is ideal for both NOAA mapping purposes and to enable NOAA to test and demonstrate innovative technologies developed at the NOAA-UNH Joint Hydrographic Center established by Sen. Gregg in 1999.

The SWATH vessel complements the new pier and coastal marine laboratory to be built in New Castle with $14 million obtained last year by Sen. Gregg. UNH officials will update the press on the progress of these two projects. At the conclusion of the event, Sen. Gregg will discuss coastal defense issues with the local Coast Guard unit and inspect a new Coast Guard boat for which he also helped obtain funding. Photo opportunities will be available.

CONTACT: Sharon Keeler at 603-862-1566 to indicate if you will be attending.

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