On November 1, 1971, The New York Times ran the headline “New York Sea Grant Program Receives Initial Funding.” New York State had just received its first $600,000 grant under the new National Sea Grant Program and funding would be used to explore development of the state’s thousands of miles of coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean, Lakes Erie and Ontario. Dr. Donald F. Squires at the State University at Stony Brook would head the program, starting a long tradition of choosing only the best high quality research projects and disseminating the results through a specialized extension staff.
During the last four decades, New York Sea Grant has funded more than 600 research projects and funded more than 600 graduate students. "We did the calculation one time and found that each research project produced, on average, one-to-two scientific peer-reviewed publications," says NYSG's Assistant Director, Cornelia Schlenk. "Of the 600 graduate students that we supported, many are in positions of influence relative to the marine and Great Lakes areas both in government jobs, academia and in industry."
The New York Sea Grant program - one of 32 designated programs federally funded under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the Department of Commerce - evolved as a cooperative program of the State University of New York (SUNY) and Cornell University, the state’s federally designated Land Grant College, with offices and personnel across the state. Today’s forward-thinking goals revolve around the themes of healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable coastal development, safe and sustainable seafood, and hazard resilience in coastal communities.
In this video, we take a look back not only at the 40 years of coastal research, extension and education that New York Sea Grant has provided, but also at the celebrations undertaken by the program in 2011 to commemorate the anniversary.