Sea Grant Week wrapped up Wednesday morning with a quick review of discussions at the four Focus Area breakout sessions the afternoon before. Groups had been asked to consider:
- Where we are heading
- What is Sea Grant’s “niche” in this topic and how can we develop strategies for funding and collaboration?
- Ideas for future National Strategic initiatives
- What are we missing?
Their reports, briefly:
Sustainable Coastal Development
- Need better coordination to avoid duplication, form partnerships
- Social sciences are our niche; however proposals can be hard to move because of lack of reviewers.
- Build a national SG panel of qualified social science reviewers?
- Need a centralized communication strategy for advancing the agenda of the focus areas
Safe and Sustainable Seafood
- Heading toward regionalization, integration across focus centers, professionalizing the seafood/fishing industry with training and coursework
- Our niche: As the engagement arm of Sea Grant
- NSI ideas: “greening” of the industry
- Missing: Impacts. Need clear examples and guidance. Decouple impact reporting from the annual report; impacts should be reported over time, not on an annual basis
- How can the national office best handle and make use of all the reporting data? How do we know what’s been reported?
- Focus teams need to communicate with the network (and NOAA, and constituents) – and vice versa.
Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
- Programs need more information about the roles and activities of focus groups.
- Review focus team membership so all programs and networks are represented; maybe outside partners and funders, too.
- There’s no need for new teams, but we could improve integration across teams.
- NSI ideas: Evaluation of long-term restoration efforts
- Value and evaluation of restoration and ecosystem function work
- Environmental literacy
- If we are aligned well with the NOAA plan, we need to communicate that
- Better communication between focus teams and network
- National impact statements do not always communicate the whole of the network’s effort
- SG needs to take focus groups to a higher level and better integrate them with programs. Teams should serve as “think tanks” for give and take
- Perhaps we should map our strategic plan to NOAA’s.
- Sea Grant is moving beyond flood insurance as a resilience technique
- Need more emphasis of integrating social science into physical science “to see the whole picture.”
- Niche: Working with community “movers and shakers” – need better approaches to educating them.
- We need better predisaster planning and stronger response liaisons.
- NSI: how to predict, prepare for, mitigate and adapt to hazard vulnerability” on a local scale
- No need for a separate climate focus team, but climate change needs to be better integrated into all teams.
- We need a better idea of SG climate activities, goals and priorities
- A standing working group with people from other focus areas and funding for meetings would facilitate this.
- SG needs to focus on climate variability as well as change; it helps engage stakeholders because they understand variability regardless of their positions on longterm change.
- Need to improve our visibility and connections with vulnerable communities.
- We’re uniquely qualified to help NOAA meet its goal of a climate-literate public.
- Not every program is represented on every focus team; people could become more interested as the teams become more critical to what we do
- Need a means of communicating team activities to the network to keep people engaged
- There’s a lack of understanding of the teams’ roles and relationship to NOAA.
- Energy is an outlier. some programs are engaged in the topic but we aren’t sure where our niche is. Perhaps it fits in sustainable communities.
- Topic is not ripe for an NSI