Sea Grant Program Faces Possible Elimination

By Kiera Morgan

Oregon Sea Grant serves the state, region and nation through an integrated program of research, outreach, and education that helps people understand, rationally use and conserve marine and coastal resources. Those who work for Sea Grant apply the best available science to timely and important ocean and coastal issues, and engage with coastal stakeholders to help them reach informed decisions. They support scientific innovation, foster new generations of marine scientists and encourage ocean science literacy among people of all ages.

Sea Grant’s main funding is through the national network of NOAA Sea Grant College Programs. Now, they face elimination if President Trumps budget goes through. According to the Washington Post the President’s budget would call for a 17% cut to NOAA and complete elimination of the Sea Grant program Nationally.

Shelby Walker Director of Oregon Sea Grant said this would greatly hurt not only Sea Grant but also Extension programs and have a big economic hit to the area as well. “We generate about over $8-million in economic benefits annually through a variety of things. And so that is a pretty big economic benefit for our communities and for Oregon as a whole.”

Walker pointed out the many ways that Sea Grant is involved in Lincoln County includes managing the visitor center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The loss would also affect marine education programs, tsunami and earthquake preparedness programs plus supportive research on things like ocean acidification, working with the fishing fleet and supporting student learning in science. Those who would like to see the Sea Grant programs remain funded are encouraged to contact a member of the congressional delegation.

Those who would like to learn more about Sea Grant and what they do can go online to http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/