NOAA gets boost from stimulus

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The federal government plans to invest millions of dollars to support efficient marine navigation and create jobs as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

On Thursday, U.S. Commerce Department secretary Gary Locke will announce contracts to help the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map the seafloor, collect data in critical coastal areas and update nautical charts of about 2,000 square nautical miles in the Chesapeake Bay and other areas along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

Locke will hold a press conference announcing the initiative at the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center in Norfolk, Va. Others planning to attend the press conference include John H. Dunnigan, assistant administrator of NOAA's National Ocean Service, and Capt. Steve Barnum, director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey.

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