About 100 people were on hand to celebrate New York Sea Grant's first 40 years of "Bringing Science to the Shore" at the Long Island Maritime Museum on Great South Bay in September 2011. Attendees included NYSG's partners, advisers, business owners, researchers, graduate students, educators and staff. All enjoyed the sunshine, refreshments and music after two tropical storms had torn through much of New York just days before, reminding us of the coast’s vulnerability.
In this segment from the "LI Maritime Museum Reception" video series, NYSG's Assistant Director, Cornelia Schlenk examines the program's origins.
"The program first received money in 1971 but, actually before that, there was discussion and planning actually originated by Cornell University [who] first thought of having a multi-institutional Sea Grant program," she said. "So they combined with the SUNY system and then actually assigned the Director of the Marine Sciences Department to put pen to paper and develop what now has become the New York Sea Grant program. When Sea Grant started, its first administrative offices were in Albany and the idea was that they were close to the state offices, close to our elected officials, [and the heads of a different flavor or that time] but it was funding research, funding extension and education so those components have been parts of Sea Grant since the beginning."
"It’s an exciting program ... there’s always something new, there’s always something different ... I think the program itself, as well as the researchers that we fund, have been responsive and visionary and have done a lot of good in addressing the coastal problems and opportunities for New York, both in the Marine District and up in the Great Lakes. And our contributions to science, both in terms of information and people, I think, have been pretty phenomenal."