WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen announced a nearly $3 million federal grant for the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems.

The grant will help ensure maritime businesses and coastal communities in New Hampshire have accurate, real-time information on weather and ocean conditions.

The grant is an increase in funding of $425,000 from last year and will help advance the development of NERACOOS’s observing and forecasting system, which has been operating since 2001. Additional funds will be used for observations in the Gulf of Maine, as well as to support high frequency radar to improve accuracy in observing the regions ocean surface currents.

“Maritime products and trade is integral to New Hampshire’s economy and we must do everything that we can to ensure that our fishermen and commercial shippers have the most up-to date, accurate information regarding weather and ocean currents,” Hassan said. “I am pleased to announce this federal grant for NERACOOS, which will help improve their observation system and support maritime businesses and our coastal communities in New Hampshire.”

Shaheen said NERACOOS does important work to monitor the health of the ocean and coastal waters throughout the Northeast and provides early warning of weather conditions.

"This increase in federal funding will allow for NERACOOS to improve its efforts as it serves this critical mission to our local economy and the sustainability of our Seacoast. I appreciate NOAA's recognition of these efforts in New Hampshire,” said Shaheen, the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee that approved this funding.

Earlier this year, Shaheen and Hassan helped secure critical New Hampshire objectives in the bipartisan America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 that urges the Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize mitigation efforts at Hampton and Portsmouth harbors. In March, Shaheen and Hassan called on the White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James to include emergency dredging for Hampton Harbor in the OMB and the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2018 work plan.

NERACOOS’s mission is to produce, integrate and communicate high-quality information that helps ensure safety, economic and environmental resilience and sustainable use of the coastal ocean. For more about NERACOOS, visit www2.neracoos.org/about.