Pennsylvania Sea Grant Achieves College Status
The Department of Commerce will award Penn State with the highest status a Sea Grant program can achieve
On April 1, the Department of Commerce will award Penn State with Sea Grant College status, the highest status that the National Sea Grant College Program provides. This award is based on the success of Pennsylvania Sea Grant, based at Penn State, Behrend in Erie, PA. Pennsylvania Sea Grant is the 29th of 33 programs in the National Sea Grant College Program Network to reach this status.
NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Spinrad will make the formal presentation. “The work of Sea Grant is integral to NOAA’s capacity to partner regionally and deliver locally meaningful services.” said Dr. Spinrad. “The research, outreach, and education efforts by Pennsylvania Sea Grant have contributed to sustaining aquatic ecosystems, coastal shorelines, and the jobs and businesses that depend on a healthy environment.”
PASG student-built ROV is deployed from the RV Environaut into Lake Erie to monitor porcupine cribs. Image: Shelley Readel, Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Pennsylvania Sea Grant works with organizations to support 127 projects with $1.8 million in federal, state, and university funds. The program led efforts to develop a statewide management plan for invasive species such as Asian carp. This led to over $6 million in funding for rapid and coordinates responses to invasive species restoration. Pennsylvania Sea Grant has also helped restore over 1600 acres of recreational and open space, including 2.6 miles of Lake Erie shoreline. Additionally, efforts to protect fishing access along Lake Erie led to the permanent conservation of over 20 acres of new parkland. Since the Sea Perch Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Program began in 2009, over 300 students have built 144 Sea Perch units, which have been developed to assist with the sampling and monitoring of the Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie watersheds. Other topics that Pennsylvania Sea Grant works on include water quality, marine archaeology, and economic sustainability.
The National Sea Grant College Program is a network of 33 university-based programs in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, Lake Champlain, and Guam. Sea Grant engages with over 3000 scientists, engineers, educators, students, and outreach specialists on fisheries and aquaculture, healthy coastal ecosystems, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development. Sea Grant is a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a bureau within the Department of Commerce.
Read the full press release here.