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NOAA National Sea Grant

Partnerships enable Sea Grant to expand its effort and scope. Sea Grant has established state-federal partnerships with great capabilities forpromoting coastal economic growth, improving the quality of coastal environments,educating students in marine sciences, solving critical marine and Great Lakes resource problems.

Here is a sampling of national Sea Grant partnerships that are serving our nation:

Law Center
The Sea Grant Law Center was founded to disseminate information about marine laws and policies, coordinate ocean and coastal law researchers, and provide the Sea Grant College Program and its constituents a source of critical analysis of marine laws and policies. One of its primary focuses is contributing to the legal analysis by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy of the laws that affect the Nation's oceans and coasts (as mandated by Congress in the Oceans Act of 2000). Other research includes fisheries law, marine habitat conservation, non-indigenous species and current issues in wetlands law and policy. To learn more, visit the center’s website at:

Ports & Harbors
Sea Grant has two ports and harbors specialists through Texas A&M University and the University of Southern California, who serve as focal coordinating points for expanding Sea Grant College Program activities on state and national ports and harbors, and related marine transportation issues. These new positions will lead overall efforts in ports and harbors issues, coordinate with individuals within the Sea Grant network on specific matters, and promote the growth and development of Sea Grant leadership in ports and harbors issues at the national level. Read more about ports and harbors.

Earth Grant
Because of common goals related to improved environmental decision-making, the National Sea Grant Office has initiated discussions with senior administrators from NASA’s Space Grant and USDA’s Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service. The partnership, dubbed “Earth Grant,” has led to a cooperative funding arrangement to establish a geospatial extension specialist position located at the University of Connecticut. The specialist provides NASA geospatial information to the national network of Sea Grant coastal community development specialists.

Coastal Community Development (CCD) Program
This new Sea Grant program element focuses on the critical importance of community planning and growth management in coastal areas. The initiative will provide services to coastal communities to aid in efforts to protect their environmental amenities, strengthen their economies and improve their quality of life. The goal of the Community Development Program investment is to realize a significant step-up in Sea Grant’s engagement at the coastal community decision-making level (municipalities, counties, state agencies, watershed management districts, etc.) by providing the enhanced science-based support needed to balance environmental, social and economic considerations.

Smart Growth
Over the past several months, under the auspices of the NOAA Sea Grant Coastal Communities and Economies Theme Team, representatives from NOAA, the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) and the Sea Grant network have met with managers and staff at EPA’s Office’s of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds and Policy, Economics and Innovation to discuss mutual interests in coastal community development. EPA is interested in developing relationships with Sea Grant extension specialists associated with the coastal community development (CCD) program for the purpose of enhancing education and training opportunities to local decisionmakers. Significant partnership opportunities are available by coupling EPA’s national smart growth expertise and resources with Sea Grant’s locally based extension and education infrastructure. To initiate the partnership, EPA is making available an in-depth training opportunity to be held November 3-7, 2003 in Washington, DC. The workshop will provide basic smart growth information, educate Sea Grant CCD specialists on smart growth project planning, and assist participants in drafting a work plan that directly seeks to implement some aspect of smart growth in their community. EPA will provide a small amount of seed funding for each Sea Grant program to implement the work plans generated at the training session. To learn more about Smart Growth, visit EPA’s website at:

Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE)

Sea Grant programs throughout the network and the national office have been engaged in substantive collaborative education efforts with CORE for several years. One such collaboration that has benefited thousands of high school students and their coaches (teachers) is the annual Ocean Sciences Bowl, a series of regional and national competitions. Sea Grant programs are leaders in conducting the regional competitions. The winner of each then competes at the national competition, which is supported in part by the National Sea Grant Office. In addition, as CORE has developed its vision for education, Sea Grant educators have been instrumental in informing the development of an education white paper and priorities for CORE to promote.

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)

Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence: NOAA Sea Grant has been at the nexus of a major initiative in marine education in cooperation with the National Science Foundation (NSF). This initiative, called the Centers for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE), seeks to increase and enhance collaboration and communications among ocean scientists, educators and the general public. Working with NSF and other NOAA programs, the National Sea Grant Office has played an integral role in conceptualizing and realizing the COSEE vision and is a partner with CORE on the central coordinating office. The seven COSEE centers around the U.S. (five of which are partnered with Sea Grant programs) are working to facilitate the integration of research into high quality educational activities, programs and materials in order to engage students and their teachers, and develop their interest into a mature understanding of the relevance of the oceans to their lives.

Bilateral Aquaculture Agreements
NOAA Research has provided funding for Sea Grant’s participation in International Bilateral Agreements with Japan, China and Korea for 2003. Jim McVey, the National Sea Grant Office’s aquaculture program manager, is the chairperson for all three bilaterals and will be working with the state Sea Grant Directors to participate in these important interactions with each of the three countries.

Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

NEMO was developed as a collaborative effort between Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. NEMO is an effort to help local officials use technology such as GIS and statistical analyses to link land use and water quality in planning decisions. Several NOAA programs have shown increasing interest in utilizing the NEMO network (a confederation of 27 programs in 26 states that educate local land use decision makers about the links between land use and natural resource protection) to achieve NOAA coastal environmental health goals. Staff representing these programs in NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) and NOAA Research have met to coordinate existing and plan new activities related to NEMO. Through our Extension Program, Sea Gant supports NEMO activities in approximately half of all coastal states. In addition, numerous Sea Grant research projects provide the science that forms the basis for building science-based extension education programs. Sea Grant investments in water quality and watershed management programs have grown significantly in recent years. Recently, Sea Grant initiated the $1.5 million per year coastal community development (CCD) program in order to enhance NEMO-like activities in all 30 Sea Grant programs. In partnership with NASA, Sea Grant has also agreed to fund a full time technical specialist to be located at NEMO offices at the University of Connecticut for the purpose of providing NASA geospatial information to NEMO and CCD extension specialists. To learn more about NEMO, visit:

Rip Currents Task Force
In a new multi-agency collaboration, NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program and the National Weather Service (NWS), along with the U.S. Lifesaving Association (USLA) have partnered to leverage the expertise and resources of each organization to address the dangers of rip currents. The task force has developed a unified and consistent public education message and campaign, and is working to increase the dialogue among local beach patrols, coastal NWS forecast offices and Sea Grant Universities. The task force has developed a national rip current brochure, a public service announcement and an outdoor sign in English and Spanish. These materials, and additional information about rip currents can be found at:





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