Strong Advocate for Healthy Oceans and Ecosystems in Pick of Spinrad to Lead NOAA

EDF statement from Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Ecosystems and Oceans

April 22, 2021
Tad Segal, (202) 572-3549,

(WASHINGTON – Apr. 22, 2021) President Joseph Biden Jr. has nominated Dr. Richard Spinrad as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a key role in advancing administration-led efforts to reduce and understand climate impacts and promote healthy oceans, coasts and fisheries. The following is a statement from Eric Schwaab, Senior Vice President, Ecosystems and Oceans and a former administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service at NOAA under the Obama administration:

“I congratulate Dr. Spinrad on his nomination to be the 11th NOAA administrator once confirmed by the Senate. President Biden knows how important this agency is to each and every business and community that depends on it for weather and climate forecasting, management of our fisheries, stewardship of our ocean and coasts, safe navigation of our seas and so much more.

“Dr. Spinrad is an internationally recognized scientist with more than 35 years of experience in government and academia. Dr. Spinrad served as NOAA chief scientist in the Obama Administration and served at the head of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Ocean Service.

“As the nation’s premier science and marine resource management agency, NOAA is in a critical position to help deliver on the Biden administration’s climate, conservation and economic agendas. I had the privilege to work alongside Dr. Spinrad during my time at NOAA, and I saw firsthand how dedicated he is to NOAA’s mission and its people. He understands and consistently communicates how critical NOAA is to the nation and to each citizen. After four years of neglect and denial of science, Dr. Spinrad is the perfect person to bolster the spirits of the NOAA workforce, align them around the critical work before us, and personally lead the way forward. The women and men of NOAA — the scientists and resource managers, the ship captains and airplane pilots, the disaster response experts and weather forecasters — couldn’t ask for a better leader to restore scientific integrity and honor the agency’s mission.

“All of us at EDF look forward to working with Dr. Spinrad, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and the incoming team to tackle a host of issues long ignored by the outgoing administration. We are encouraged by the selection of Karen Hyun as chief of staff and other key appointments. NOAA’s diverse responsibilities — across weather, climate, fisheries and more — make the team as important as the leadership. The coming years will be crucial for coastal communities that face serious threats from rising seas and more intense hurricanes. Strong leadership at NOAA can help ensure federal, state and community leaders have the best available science to make decisions that create a more resilient future.

“Nowhere is this more true than in the management of our critical resources like U.S. fisheries. This country has some of the best managed fisheries in the world and is poised to usher in a new era of climate resilience that will give our fishermen and women new tools to help secure their futures. We can also bring America’s fishing industry into the 21st century by developing and implementing new technologies to capture vital data, increase communications between ships and shore, and ensure fish stocks are sustainably managed. And we can finally reach the goal of promoting sustainable aquaculture here at home, which creates healthy seafood, economic opportunity and sustainable use of the ocean.”

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