Oregon legislators ask NOAA not to decommission Port Orford weather buoy

PORT ORFORD, Ore. – Three Oregon legislators sent a letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration saying they are against the agency’s plan to decommission weather buoy 15 off the coast of Port Orford.

“This is a safety issue, plain and simple,” said Rep. Val Hoyle (OR-04). “For anyone who lives, works, or enjoys time outside on Oregon’s South Coast, you are relying on accurate and timely weather forecasts. Buoy 15 provides forecasts and wave patterns for our local communities and coastal economies in Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District. If funding is what NOAA needs to keep this buoy, we’re happy to work with them, but eliminating this buoy isn’t an option when public safety is at risk.”

The letter, written by Rep. Hoyle, Sen. Ron Wyden, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, says without buoy 15, the National Weather Service would produce inaccurate weather models and wave observations, impacting the life and safety of fishermen and mariners in the area.

Buoy 15 is the only NOAA weather buoy between Crescent City and Newport, providing weather forecasts for hundreds of miles along Oregon’s South Coast.

“We want to ensure that [the National Data Buoy Center, the National Weather Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] are making these decisions with full context and information, and not making cost-cutting decisions based on reading spreadsheets in Washington, DC, or Silver Spring, Maryland,” wrote Hoyle, Wyden, and Merkley. “We strongly urge you to maintain and repair buoy 15 and not decommission it, and we are ready and willing to work with NOAA to ensure the agency gets the funding it needs to maintain and repair essential buoys, including buoy 15.”

The full text of the letter to NOAA is here.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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