Statement from Acting NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan on the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg

June 3, 2013

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sen. Frank Lautenberg. He was a true statesmen, advocate for his constituents, and champion of our nation's oceans, habitats, and coastal communities.

Our oceans are critical to the economic prosperity of millions around the world. Early on, Sen. Lautenberg recognized that the changes and stresses our oceans are experiencing needed to be better understood. He was a pioneer in the efforts to protect critical ocean habitat, such as deep sea corals.

In 2009, Congress passed legislation authored by Sen. Lautenberg to focus research efforts on rising ocean acidity. NOAA has taken this mandate seriously and continues to work to understand how ocean acidification could potentially devastate all ocean life from the smallest organism to the largest whale.

My thoughts are with Sen. Lautenberg's family, staff, and constituents. He will be sorely missed, but all of us who share his commitment to the health of our oceans will work every day to ensure that his legacy will live on.

Dr. Kathryn Sullivan
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere
and NOAA Administrator