January 6, 2011, Stony Brook, NY - Late last year, the National Sea Grant Advisory Board released a first-ever comprehensive annual report of the state of Sea Grant college programs throughout the United States.
In accordance with the 2008 Sea Grant Act (PL110-394), the Advisory Board, a federal advisory committee established by Congress, is required to prepare such reports to Congress on the state of Sea Grant. Included in the 36 page document (pdf) are mentions of:
- New York Sea Grant (NYSG)'s partnering efforts with other Sea Grant programs in the Great Lakes to keep drugs out of drinking water (page 10)
- NYSG's leadership role in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) training for the U.S. seafood industry (page 17).
As discussed in the report, in the last year alone, Sea Grant programs across the country have created or retained a total of over 3,500 jobs and 650 businesses, assisted 160 coastal communities to adopt or implement hazard resiliency practices, and supported nearly 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students to develop a diverse, highly qualified workforce.
The report also provides a background on Sea Grant, which was established by Congress in 1966 to bring practical scientific information from the nation’s universities to coastal businesses, citizens and all levels of government in order to capture the economic and social benefits of the nation’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes in a sustainable way. In its first four decades, Sea Grant has worked with thousands of public and private partners across the country to create and preserve coastal jobs, balance economic development and resource protection, and create an informed coastal citizenry.
Other topics featured include Sea Grant's national priorities and impacts, which aligh with NOAA agency-wide focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable coastal development, safe and sustainable seafood supply, and hazard resilience in coastal communities. The outlook and recommendations for the Sea Grant programs is also discussed, which is challenged primarily by population growth, climate change, increased pressure on coastal and marine environments and more conflicts related to the use of limited natural resources.
"To respond effectively," according to the report, "Sea Grant must be a strong, well-integrated national program that concentrates its energies where it has the most to offer. The program needs to support research in high priority areas and serve as a leader in engagement activities. Sea Grant must bring its broad base of academic expertise to coastal crises whenever and wherever they occur."
New York Sea Grant is part of a nationwide network of 32 university-based programs that work with coastal communities. The National Sea Grant College Program engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training, and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.
The State of Sea Grant 2010: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities (pdf)
Biennial Report to Congress by the National Sea Grant Advisory Board, November 2010