Nat. Sea Grant Program to be Eliminated

The Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget includes cuts for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration that would eliminate funding for the 50-year-old national Sea Grant program, starting Oct. 1.

According to the Sea Grant website, the program’s mission is to “provide integrated research, communication, education, extension and legal programs to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources through informed personal, policy and management decisions.”

The Sea Grant model integrates research and outreach (including extension, communication, and education) for science with real-world impacts. It also engages in public outreach to explain new research discoveries, engage citizens in decision‐making processes, and empower stakeholders to address national, state, and local issues.

Sea Grant currently receives $73 million in federal funding to support coastal research through 33 university programs. Roughly $62 million goes directly to state programs to be disbursed locally. In Maine, the program supports 18 full-time jobs.