Pingree Delivers $12 Million to Bigelow Lab for New Ocean Innovation and Education Wing
Senior House Appropriations Committee Member Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced more than $12 million she championed in the Appropriations bill for the 2023 fiscal year has been disbursed to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. One of 15 First District community projects funded by Pingree totaling $34.5 million, $12,326,000 will support the construction of a new Innovation and Education Wing at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.
“This year, we have endured the hottest temperatures ever recorded on Earth, making one thing very clear: climate change is happening before our eyes, and we must act before it’s too late. The bright minds at Bigelow Laboratory understand that we must harness the ocean’s potential to improve the future for all life on Earth, and that to do that requires science, research, and cutting-edge innovation,” said Pingree. “Bigelow Lab is committed to turning the tide on climate change by fostering innovative, science-driven solutions, and I am thrilled to see these funds I fought for delivered to help support their mission.”
“Our oceans are precious – essential to all life on our planet and brimming with opportunities for inspirational education and innovative research,” said President and CEO Deborah Bronk. “All of us at Bigelow Laboratory are grateful for the support of Representative Pingree as we build this transformative center to deliver solutions that will allow Maine and the nation to thrive in our rapidly changing world.”
The new wing will house laboratory space for four additional senior research scientists, increasing scientific productivity and understanding of the foundations of global ocean health.
The federal funding secured by Pingree will also allow Bigelow Laboratory to add two additional classrooms and teaching laboratories that will serve high school and undergraduate students across the state of Maine and around the world.
Each year, the United States Congress considers and enacts annual appropriations bills that provide the federal government with the funding it needs to operate. In 2021, the House Appropriations Committee revitalized Community Project Funding after the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress found that congressionally directed spending boosted bipartisanship, facilitated member-to-member cooperation, and gave members an equal stake in the success of appropriations bills.
Pingree secured millions of dollars in federal funding for 10 community projects in Maine’s First District for the 2022 Fiscal Year.
For the 2023 Fiscal Year, each member was permitted to submit 15 projects for consideration, which had to be thoroughly vetted and publicly disclosed on their website.
Pingree has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee since 2013 and is Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.