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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.


NEWS RELEASE February 28, 2002


Congressman Robert A. Underwood's amendment to the bill to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program Act passed in the House Resources Committee today, with funding to bring Guam and the rest of Micronesia closer to attaining Sea Grant status.

According to Underwood, while Guam has been included in Hawaii's Sea Grant Program in the past, the amendment he introduced today would provide $2.7 million in grants for the development of new programs required to meet the qualifications for Sea Grant College designation.

"It allows for the orderly growth of a Sea Grant Program for our part of the world.

"What we have is an area of ocean in Micronesia that is as large as the lower 48 states," the Congressman said. "It's a great irony that in our region we have several Land Grant institutions. We have a special obligation to ensure that a Sea Grant be given to the region."

The amendment directs the Secretary of Commerce to provide administrative and technical assistance to the Pacific Islands Regional Consortium, which consists of the University of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands College, the College of Micronesia-Federated States of Micronesia, the College of the Marshall Islands and the Palau Community College, Underwood said.

"This is excellent news on a number of fronts. It is excellent news for those people who are interested in protecting our environment, and at the same time utilizing the economic potential for our environment, for people interested in doing things on a regional basis, and for those who are interested in seeing the University (of Guam) continue to grow as a regional institution, mindful of its regional responsibilities," the Congressman said. "Along those three fronts, I think this amendment will be very helpful and beneficial for Guam and the region."

H.R. 3389 will now head to the House Floor, and if passed, will proceed to the U.S. Senate, Underwood said.

Joseph E. Duenas Office of Congressman Robert A. Underwood, M.C. Guam District Office 120 Father Duenas Ave., Suite 107 Hagåtña, Guam 96910 Phone: (671) 477-4272 Fax: (671) 477-2587

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