WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced more than $1.24 million in federal funding for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Sea Grant Program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG) projects have produced significant results that aid fishers, businesses, policy makers, and conservation volunteers in Maryland and throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed region. While President Trump’s budget proposed eliminating the program, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen supported and helped secure strong federal funding through the appropriations process.
“By bringing everyone from scientists and students to local business and community leaders to the table, the MDSG program creates the kind of collaboration that is needed to preserve our state’s most valuable natural resources,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Investing in the Chesapeake Bay will benefit the regional economy and the environment for years to come.”
“Maryland’s economic and environmental well-being are dependent on a thriving Chesapeake Bay. That’s why we can’t back off of our efforts to clean and restore its waters. This funding will allow the Maryland Sea Grant Program to continue its work to improve the condition of the Bay by conducting research, outreach, and educational programs,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “I will continue fighting in Congress to provide funding for Bay restoration so that Marylanders can enjoy all that it has to offer for years to come.”
“We are proud to see that the NOAA has continued funding for Maryland Sea Grant’s important work in research, education, and outreach related to the marine and coastal environments, including the Chesapeake Bay. Their impact, from the smallest communities to the largest research institutions, ranks Maryland’s program as one of the best in the nation,” said Peter Goodwin, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
The Maryland Sea Grant is a University System of Maryland program administered by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and is a part of a network of 33 National Sea Grant programs. Locally, the program utilizes educational outreach, scientific research and public awareness to support the preservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s coastal waters. Through these initiatives, the MDSG has contributed $7.4 million to Maryland’s economy and helped create 140 jobs and 25 businesses in 2016. Maryland Sea Grant awards grants and funding to support researchers in emerging areas of science. Their recent research has helped develop new approaches in oyster aquaculture businesses and contribute to the increase of the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population.
The Maryland Sea Grant mission, consistent with the objectives and standards of the National Sea Grant College Program and the University System of Maryland, is to conduct a locally responsive and nationally eminent program that supports research to address key questions important to environmental management; support and enrich marine education for students of all ages; and support outreach efforts that clarify for key audiences the applications of research findings to science-based management of the watersheds and coastal ecosystems in Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the nation.