Chair Huffman Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize National Sea Grant College Program

April 30, 2019

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Chair of the Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee, introduced the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program through 2025. The Sea Grant program, first established in 1966, allows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to collaborate with a network of states and universities on important research on issues facing America’s ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.

“The Sea Grant program is key to effective, science-based management of America’s waters and coasts, which supports our coastal communities and the nation’s economy, and promotes sustainable coastal ecosystems,” said Rep. Huffman. “Through my work with the Sea Grant program in Congress and in California, I have seen firsthand the impacts of NOAA’s Sea Grant research. Now more than ever, we need the expertise of the Sea Grant program to help us find solutions to the complex problems facing our coastal resources.”

Huffman’s bipartisan bill will 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 local resource managers, researchers, states, and universities. The program supports community-based work in coastal resiliency, fisheries management, ocean science, water quality improvement, and economic development through Sea Grant Extension programs, including ocean acidification monitoring in Humboldt Bay and salmon research in the Russian River.

Since it was created in 1966, the National Sea Grant College Program has used research, outreach, and education to address economic and social sustainability needs related to America’s oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes. In 2017 alone, the program reported $579 million in economic impact from a federal investment of $72.5 million. Additionally, the Sea Grant program’s work has created or sustained 2,500 businesses and 12,500 jobs nationwide.

The National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act would provide continued stability for the program and enhance the management of the nation’s coasts and Great Lakes by:

  • Authorizing federal appropriations for National Sea Grant College Program from FY2020 through FY2025;
  • Changing reporting requirements to better reflect agency needs; and
  • Clarifying the Sea Grant fellowship program to increase benefits to fellows and host offices.

In addition to Rep. Huffman, this legislation is cosponsored by Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), John Katko (R-NY), Don Beyer (D-VA), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) , Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Ed Case (D-HI), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chris Pappas (D-NH), and Bill Keating (D-MA).