By Press Release

After a decade of making their case to the U.S.

National Science Foundation (NSF), scientists planning a major project for remote monitoring of the oceans thought they had cleared the final hurdle in December.

That's when an external panel blessed the $331 million venture, called the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), and told NSF officials “to enter into the detailed

design and construction phase” to build it. “We were ready to go, and the reviewers agreed,” says Steven Bohlen of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in

Washington, D.C., which is managing the project.

So Bohlen and his colleagues were shocked last month when NSF omitted building funds for OOI and two other

long-running projects on the verge of construction–the $100 million National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the $123 million Alaska Region Research

Vessel (ARRV)–from its 2009 budget request to Congress.