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12 SECTION A • The Ocean/Marine Market • BG 2017 www.sea-technology.com defueled nuclear power plant on board the former nuclear ship Savannah. State maritime academies have been allotted $29.6 mil- lion to provide federal assistance for education and training of merchant mariners and support MARAD's role in the Na- tional Response Framework for the continued support of the maintenance and service life extensions of existing training ships. To maintain commercial vessels that allow a presence in commerce overseas, the Maritime Security program has a budget request of $186 million. This amount would allow for $3.1 million to go toward each of the program's 60 ves- sels. For the 2017 budget, the Title XI loan portfolio will be supported by $3 million. ST Status of Fisheries and Aquaculture I n the waning days of the Obama Administration, commer- cial fishermen on both U.S. coasts, along with environ- mentalists and a wide range of stakeholders representing a variety of ocean interests, were carefully monitoring propos- als to create or expand marine monuments off Hawaii and in New England. Multiple environmental groups were aggressively push- ing the Obama Administration to use executive authority under the Antiquities Act to designate an offshore monu- ment in the Atlantic, which would potentially be the first such designation off the continental U.S. Also, as his second term drew to a close, President Obama was considering a request to more than quadruple the size of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to 580,000 sq. mi.—an area as large as the states of Texas, California and Montana. Commercial fishermen were particularly vehement in their opposition to the Atlantic proposal, which would per- manently close roughly 5,000 sq. naut. mi. to any commer- cial fishing activity. The area in discussion, about 100 mi. south of Cape Cod, would most likely include five deepwater canyons and four seamounts. Though the area is not considered prime fish- ing ground, the impacts of making commercial fishing off limits would be significant to the already beleaguered New England industry. Specifically, productive fisheries such as Loligo squid, butterfish, red crab, bluefin tuna, swordfish—and even lob- stering—would potentially be banned from the vast area. Opponents of the monument proposal have contended that any such large-scale protection/management decisions The budget will include $512 million to support research and education in innovative renewable and alternative en- ergy sources for electricity and fuels; the collection, conver- sion, storage and distribution of energy from diverse power sources; and energy materials, use and efficiency. Environmental Protection Agency The FY 2017 budget has allotted $8.267 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further key work in addressing climate change and improving air quality and protecting U.S. waters. The budget prioritizes climate action with $235 million to support EPA efforts to address climate change through commonsense standards, guidelines and voluntary pro- grams. The budget includes $25 million in grants to help states implement their Clean Power Plan strategies. Aging systems and the increasing impacts of climate change create opportunities for innovation and new ap- proaches for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The budget includes a combined $2 billion for EPA's Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and $42 million in technical assistance, training and other ef- forts. For State and Tribal Assistance Grant funding, the bud- get provides $3.3 billion, including increases of more than $77 million for state categorical grants and opportunities, to jointly tackle environmental challenges. Maritime Administration To support shipping and port operations, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) has requested $423.1 million, an increase of $16.3 million from FY 2016. The operations and training budget request is $194.1 million. This includes the Merchant Marine Academy, as well as MARAD operations and programs. For the Merchant Marine Academy, $99.9 million was requested. Academy operations and the Capital Asset Man- agement program have been appropriated $74.9 million and $25.1 million, respectively. The request for academy operations includes funding for an upgrade to the simulator program, increases to contracts for food and medical services, and requirements for training vessels. The ship disposal program has requested $20 million, a $15 million increase from FY 2016. This includes $9 million to support continued obsolete vessel disposal actions, with priority emphasis on the three remaining ships in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet to meet a California court consent decree. This also includes $8 million to begin decommissioning the "NOAA's FY 2017 Budget includes funding for community resilience."