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Begich Named Chairman of Oceans Subcommittee


Jurisdiction includes fisheries, Coast Guard, NOAA, Arctic

With Alaska fisheries one of the state's leading industries, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich was today named to chair the Senate panel with prime jurisdiction over that industry and other ocean and coastal issues.

Begich was named chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The subcommittee is responsible for legislation and oversight of matters impacting our oceans, coasts, and climate, including: coastal zone management; marine fisheries and mammal management; ocean science, weather forecasting; and overseeing NOAA. The subcommittee is also responsible for overseeing the Coast Guard, whose responsibilities include defending America's maritime domain, protecting life at sea by regulating shipping and conducting search and rescues, and the enforcement of laws to support maritime commerce and protect marine living resources. 

"With Alaska fisheries such a vital part of the state's economy, producing over half the seafood landed in the nation, this is a key assignment for Alaska," Begich said. "Management of these fisheries as well as protection of the oceans and the Coast Guard's work on fisheries enforcement and search and rescue are also critical functions for our state."

Begich added the importance of the weather service functions of NOAA for safe air travel and marine activities add to the value of chairing this important committee.

Additionally, Begich is now serving on the following subcommittees of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee:

·         Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations;

·         Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security;

·         Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight.
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