NOAA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY20

On March 11, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the U.S. Government in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. Under the budget proposal, funding for the Department of Commerce (DOC) would increase by $1 billion or 9.3 percent, compared to FY2019 levels.

While total funding for DOC would increase, several key research programs would face cuts. In particular, the budget proposal would eliminate funding for “several lower priority” programs currently operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including “Sea Grant, Coastal Zone Management Grants, and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.” The budget proposal indicates that “[t]hese eliminations would allow NOAA to better target remaining resources to core missions and services.”


On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1158 -- the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 -- into law. Title I of Division B of H.R. 1158 provides $5.4 billion in funding for NOAA in FY2020. That represents a 1 percent decline compare to FY2019. Notably however, H.R. 1158 increases funding for several NOAA research programs, including:

  • Climate Research, which will receive $170 million in funding in FY2020, up 7 percent from FY2019 levels; and
  • Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes Research, which will receive $229 million in funding in FY2020, up 5 percent from FY2019 levels.