President’s Budget Proposes Eliminating Sea Grant Funding

The 2019 President’s budget has called for defunding of the College Sea Grant Program. This is the second year in a row that the program has been left off the budget. Last year funding was restored due to support from 95 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 28 U.S. senators. The program’s proposed cut is part of a $1 billion one to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Trump administration’s budget proposal. Specifically, the Sea Grant program falls under the NOAA Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes research sub-program, which could see a budget decrease of $99,286,000. Other cuts in the sub-program are to ocean observations and monitoring, integrated ocean acidification, ocean exploration, marine aquaculture and genomics research.

NOAA reports that Sea Grant produced $575 million in economic benefit and created and sustained 20,0000 jobs in 2015. The program was instituted in 1966 to fund research and education to support the health of U.S. coasts and economies. Sea Grant’s federal budget is matched each year by the partner institutions or states that host them. There are 33 Sea Grant programs located in coastal states and territories.

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