NOAA floats Newport’s ship-related businesses

Having NOAA’s homeport in Newport means work for contractors that repair vessels, income for the suppliers that provide those contractors with equipment, and potential improvements to air service to and from Newport.

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It also could mean an influx of all kinds of new businesses to build on the growing collaboration between the government and the ocean researchers already here at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

[NOAA will] need repairs to the ships, which is good timing for the Port of Toledo’s pending purchase of a shipyard, Port Manager Bud Shoemake said. NOAA’s ships are too big to make it up the Yaquina River to Toledo, and there is no shipyard in Newport. But Toledo’s revitalization of its shipyard, which has been shuttered since its Reedsport-based owner walked away from it in November 2008, means there’s a working maritime service industry in the region.

“We can go to them,” Shoemake said. “Ships that are 65 feet and bigger need an average of $350,000 a year in maintenance alone, and that’s not counting diesel and oil. We want to make sure we’re capturing that.”

Read the full story in today’s Register-Guard.

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