Bipartisan Bill Would Reauthorize National Sea Grant College Program

Nov 15, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Congressmen Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) have introduced legislation to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program through 2023. The program, first established in 1966, guides the federal government’s collaboration, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with a network of states and universities on research.

The bipartisan bill – called the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act – “would advance the long-running program’s capability to train generations of coastal and ocean scientists and to address regional and national issues in partnership with states, universities, researchers, and local resource managers,” LoBiondo explained. “The legislation would also require that the Sea Grant fellows are equitably distributed, to the maximum extent practicable, among political parties and both chambers of Congress.”

LoBiondo commented, “For coastal communities in South Jersey and across the nation, a better understanding of the ecological and economic impacts of rising sea levels and climate change is critical. Sea Grants are an outstanding example of how public-private partnerships can better assist communities in long-term planning. I have long supported the Sea Grant program and am pleased to join with my colleague Rep. Huffman on this bipartisan legislation.”

In 2016, the program reported $575 million in economic impact, a 907 percent return on the federal investment of $67.3 million. Additionally, Sea Grant’s work has created or sustained 2,900 businesses and 20,770 jobs.  —J.K.-H.

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