Reps. Huffman and LoBiondo Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Reauthorize National Sea Grant College Program

Nov 13, 2017

     Washington, D.C. - Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) today introduced the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program through 2023. The Sea Grant program, first established in 1966, guides the federal government's collaboration, through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with a network of states and universities on important research into issues facing America’s oceanic, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.

     “Building resilient coastal communities and economies is critical to families in my district who depend on sustainable coastal ecosystems, and that’s why the Sea Grant program is so vital,” Huffman said. “Through my work with the Sea Grant program in Congress and in California, I have seen firsthand the impacts and results of NOAA’s Sea Grant research. I’m grateful to Rep. LoBiondo for joining in this bipartisan effort to save the Sea Grant program and allow these Sea Grant experts to find solutions to the problems facing our coastal resources.”

     “For coastal communities in South Jersey and across the nation, a better understanding of the ecological and economic impacts of rising sea levels and climate change is critical. Sea Grants are an outstanding example of how public-private partnerships can better assist communities in long-term planning. I have long supported the Sea Grant program and am pleased to join with my colleague Rep. Huffman on this bipartisan legislation,” said LoBiondo.

     The bill would 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 states, universities, researchers, and local resource managers. The legislation would also require that the Sea Grant fellows are equitably distributed, to the maximum extent practicable, among political parties and both chambers of Congress.

     In 2016 alone, the program reported $575 million in economic impact, a 907% return on the federal investment of $67.3 million. Additionally, Sea Grant’s work has created or sustained 2,900 businesses and 20,770 jobs.