NEWPORT — The U.S. Coast Guard's air facility in Newport will stay open through the coming year.
Oregon's congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici — announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Congress passed legislation that will keep the Coast Guard's air facility in Newport open until January 2016.
The Coast Guard announced in September it planned to close its air facilities in Newport on Dec. 1 and consolidate all of its aviation resources to North Bend and Astoria. The majority of calls would go to North Bend which would take the Coast Guard about an hour to get Newport.
Newport is one of the busiest ports on the Oregon Coast, and thousands of people have questioned the safety of those at sea and vehemently opposed the Coast Guard's decision.
The Newport Fishermen's Wives, a nonprofit organization, started a petition to convince the Coast Guard to reverse its decision. The petition currently has about 22,000 signatures.
Members of the Oregon delegation were able to convince the Coast Guard to delay the closure until Dec. 15 so the Coast Guard could assess the impact of closing the facility.
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