SALEM, Ore. -- Governor Kitzhaber praised the decision by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul F. Zukunft to defer the closure of the Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter facility at Newport from November 30 to December 15.

"Oregon's emergency response capability is best served by this facility staying open permanently," said Governor Kitzhaber. "The delay provides breathing room to find a way to make that happen and avoid increased risk to the safety of mariners along the Oregon coast. I commend the extraordinary efforts of Oregon's Congressional delegation and the tireless advocacy of Newport Fishermen's Wives, commercial fishermen, coastal first responders, and local government officials and citizens who have worked together to bring about this welcome action."

The Coast Guard's closure delay allows for a more extensive and thorough consideration of risks to Oregon's fishing and research fleets and recreation users on the coast of Oregon and options to preserve aerial search and rescue operations at Newport.