Shifting Sands of Sea Grant in a Changing World

Dr. Leon M. Cammen, Director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program began this plenary session with a heartfelt thanks to the Louisiana Sea Grant and an acknowledgment to the Sea Grant programs as a whole for the way they have come together to assist in the Gulf of Mexico and noted that this reflects really well on Sea Grant leadership and demonstrates Sea Grant’s usefulness as a part of NOAA.

He followed with a welcome to the program representatives from the international programs and remarks on our history of working internationally in peer exchange, capacity building and institutional development.

He presented a national vision for Sea Grant as a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, with it’s true univesity/federal partnership covering local regional and national priorities, showing a strong impact at all levels.  National stories, measures and metrics  were cited as tools to garner support for Sea Grant.

With 32 separate programs in the states and the universities, we need to make sure that we fly together as a true national program and that we are really greater than the sum of our parts.


  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

The Natural Order

  • Strategic Focus Areas!
    Ad hoc White Papers

Focus Team Roles and Responsbilities:

  • Facilitate planning, implementation, synthesizing and reporting of SG activities and accomplishments. Example:  1) Social Science Research not being accomplished  2) Emerging success story on Sea Grant accomplishments in wind power siting.
  • Identify new opportunities and directions for Sea Grant national and regional initiatives

The point is – get involved!

  • Catalyze cooperative efforts among SG and partners
  • Provide a mechanism to furter solidity SG’s local, regional and national identity, for example, organizing and/or sponsoring national level conferences, symposia and other educational initiatives, developing a national medial event to showcase Sea Grant contributions and success on a topic of interest.
  • Telling a National Story – using National Performance  Measures and metrics, to be used by NOAA leadership, DOC, OMB, Congress, State of Sea Grant Report, NOAA, Climate Portal, web and program use and more.
  • Critical for positioning the program as a national player.

Performance measures and metrics equal National Success Story.  In 2009:

  • Sea Grant helped create or retain over 3,500 jobs and 650 businesses.
  • 27,748 stakeholders (fishers, consumers and seafood industry) modified practices using knowledge gained in fisheries sustainability, seafood safety and health benefits of seafood.
  • 435 coastal communities adopted or implemented sustainable development practices and and policies. (SCD focus area)
  • 186 coastal communities restored degraded ecosystems as a result of SG activities (nearly 32,000 acres). (HCE Focus area)
  • 160 coastal communities adopted or implemented hazard resiliency practices to prepare for and respond to/minimize coastal hazardous events. (HRCC Focus area)
  • 1560 resource managers used ecosystems-based approaches in the management of land, water, and living resources.
  • Sea Grant supported nearly 1,700 undergraduate and graduate students to develop a diverse highly qualified workforce.
  • 380,875 K-12 students and 406 curricula were developed.
  • Sea Grant published 212 peer-reviewed journal articles.
  • Sea Grant staff gave 4,283 public or professional presentations, reaching 517,616 attendees.
  • Certified 563 Clean Marinas
  • Certified 2,955 people in HACCP
  • Logged 167,477 volunteer hours


Sea Grant uses highly-effective local programs to create a strong national presence with recognized success!

We have to keep up the good work!

The next few years, despite the disasters that may happen in the national budget, Sea Grant will sustain a slow and gradual growth. The most imporant thing is for you to keep doing what you do out there – that’s what gets us our support.  Keep it up!


About Waurene Roberson

Web and print design and development for the National Sea Grant Law Center
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