WOODS HOLE, Mass. (WPRI) — U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo visited Massachusetts on Friday to tour the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

The former Rhode Island governor, who left state government midterm to join the Biden administration in March, said her work with NOAA started in the Ocean State, as the University of Rhode Island has long collaborated with the federal agency.

“I am not stranger to the quality of work and science that happens at NOAA,” she said. “I have long admired the work that NOAA does, having been the governor of the Ocean State.”

Raimondo announced the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $470,000 grant to WHOI to develop a waterfront research infrastructure resiliency plan.

“I am thrilled to be able to say that the EDA and commerce are investing half a million dollars into that to keep the world renowned research exploration and education institution operational in the event of future storms,” she said.

Raimondo praised U.S. Senator Ed Markey’s commitment to climate change, adding that President Joe Biden’s budget includes significant funding to NOAA.

“President Biden is deeply committed to the work that is happening here,” she said. “It’s good for the nation to have a president who prioritizes science, respects science, values the ocean and is ready to be bold as it relates to climate change, and that includes all things ocean.”

Raimondo is now heading home to Rhode Island for the weekend, before going back to Washington D.C.