Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $3,500,000 for a coastal research deployment facility for the University of New England in the draft Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill. The bill, which was officially released by the full Senate Appropriations Committee today, must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House.
“The ocean is a vital part of Maine’s economy and heritage, sustaining jobs that strengthen our coastal communities,” said Senator Collins. “UNE is a leader in efforts to study and improve the health of our oceans and the Gulf of Maine, which is vital to preserving the health of the entire global ecosystem and the livelihoods of thousands of Mainers. This funding would help expand and enhance UNE’s research as well as create new educational opportunities. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to champion this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”
UNE currently has floating docks that are removed seasonally, precluding access to Ram Island and other areas of the Gulf of Maine in the critical winter and spring months.
This funding would support the University of New England’s project to construct a permanent, four-season pier directly adjacent to the Arthur P. Girard Marine Science Center on its Biddeford campus. This coastal research deployment facility would expand UNE’s experiential learning and research opportunities in the marine ecosphere.