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Category: Resilient Communities and Economies

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Images of Sea Grant's work in research, education and extension provided by (from left to right) Wisconsin, Guam and Florida Sea Grant programs. Design by Hallee Meltzer | National Sea Grant Office.
Alabama

Sea Grant takes center stage in Oceanography special issue

NOAA Sea Grant-funded research and work with coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation are being highlighted in a special issue of “Oceanography,” the official journal of The Oceanography Society. 

This special issue, published in April 2024, features 36 articles contributed by Sea Grant authors across 29 programs and the NOAA National Sea Grant Office. 

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(top left) A hand holding a pen traces a map for determining flood risk; (top right) an aerial view of waterfront property flooding; (bottom left) a walkway to docked fishing boats on the left and right; (bottom right) a person speaking and pointing to a flipchart while other participants listen.
Climate

NOAA Sea Grant Advances Resilient Coastal Communities with $4 Million in Support

Sea Grant programs across the U.S. are scaling up capacity to support additional hands-on, collaborative engagement to advance the sustainability of coastal and Great Lakes communities. Sea Grant awarded $4 million in fiscal year 2023 funds to its grant-based programs nationwide to continue or expand ongoing work or address new opportunities for coastal climate adaptation and resilience for the communities that Sea Grant serves.

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Image of plastic debris on Oregon’s Clatsop Beach by Tiffany Woods | Oregon Sea Grant.
Extension

Sea Grant announces funding opportunities to support community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

Sea Grant announces $19 million in federal funding opportunities to address the prevention and removal of marine debris. These opportunities are a component of nearly $3 billion in targeted investments for NOAA in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience and weather forecasting infrastructure through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
 

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

Biden-Harris Administration announces $60 million funding opportunity to help create a Climate-Ready workforce as part of the Inflation Reduction Act

Today, the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opened a competitive funding opportunity for the Climate Ready Workforce for Coastal States, Tribes, and Territories Initiative to connect people across the country to good-paying jobs, such as landscape technicians, heat health outreach specialists and climate equity officers, that tackle the climate crisis and boost local resilience. NOAA will invest $60 million total from the Inflation Reduction Act for the initiative — a $50 million competitive funding opportunity and $10 million for technical assistance to support applicants and grantees.

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Education

NOAA Sea Grant announces $27M to further community-engaged marine debris removal and prevention

NOAA Sea Grant is pleased to announce $27 million in projects that will address the prevention and removal of debris in marine and Great Lakes environments throughout the U.S. Using Sea Grant’s partnered approach to bring science together with communities for solutions that work, the projects will support transformational research and the creation of local coalitions to address urgent marine debris prevention and removal needs.
 

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Woods Hole Sea Grant collaborates with NOAA Climate Program Office on coastal monitoring website

Those interested in monitoring shoreline change in their communities have a new resource to help them get started – a web-based inventory of citizen science efforts to track coastal change in the U.S. The site, Communities Tracking Coastal Change, was created by NOAA Climate Program Office’s Coastal Inundation Risk Team and Woods Hole Sea Grant.

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Georgia Sea Grant partners with the Department of Defense to build resilience in the Southeast

Georgia Sea Grant secured funding from the Department of Defense and the National Sea Grant College Program to hire Michelle Covi as the country’s first Coastal Resilience DOD Liaison in 2021. For the last year, Covi has created a suite of reports and resources that are now being used by Sea Grant programs, military installations, and coastal resilience specialists across the region to inform collaborative resilience projects.

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Education

Sea Grant and U.S. Coastal Research Program invest in strengthening resilient coastal communities

Through a joint competition with the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP), ten new projects were selected for a total of $3.9 million in funding to translate research into application for communities. Additionally, Sea Grant programs across the nation received an additional total of $4.2 million in NOAA Sea Grant funds to increase local capacity, engagement, research, and implementation for addressing resilience challenges. 

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Great Lakes

Sea Grant advances investigation of contaminants of emerging concern

Contaminants of emerging concern, like pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and microfibers, pose risks to the Nation’s drinking waters and aquatic life, but they are often excluded from monitoring programs and published water quality standards. Two new projects recently funded by Sea Grant aim to enhance research and monitoring efforts for this class of chemicals and materials while strengthening strategies to reduce their presence in aquatic environments.
 

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Climate

Community climate planning projects underway in 4 Connecticut cities

Four Connecticut cities have joined a pilot project to boost community participation in climate change planning. Community activities in Bridgeport, New Haven, New London and Norwich are being led by Connecticut Sea Grant with support from NOAA, and will focus on climate risk communication and planning for community resilience.

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Extension

Sea Grant, DOE, NOAA Fisheries fund six projects for the coexistence of offshore energy with Northeast fishing and coastal communities

The Northeast Sea Grant Consortium—in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office, and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center—today announced six projects to advance social science and technology research on offshore renewable energy in the Northeast United States. This funding opportunity, which awarded over $1.1 million in federal funds, seeks to catalyze research for the coexistence of marine energy—including wind, current, tidal, and wave energies—with Northeast fishing and coastal communities.

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Connecticut Sea Grant partners with Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program to help local leaders navigate climate change questions

Questions poured in by the dozen after the morning session of the 2015 Adapt CT legal workshop—six pages worth, in fact. The workshop was part of a series on climate adaptation hosted by Connecticut Sea Grant and the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research, known as CLEAR, through their joint organization Adapt CT. Legal issues had starkly emerged as another area being reshaped by the broad sweep of the changing climate, as effects are felt across fisheries, agriculture, health, infrastructure, wildlife and economies.

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Alabama

Bareford named national Sea Grant Water Resources Lead

The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium has announced a new two-year project that will develop a roadmap for Sea Grant water resources initiatives and improve communication and coordination on water resources efforts within the network and among key partners. Karen Bareford, of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and The University of Alabama’s Alabama Water Institute, will serve as the Sea Grant Water Resources Lead.

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

NOAA Sea Grant Liaisons address critical research areas across federal agencies

NOAA Sea Grant, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey, announces six new partnership positions. The Sea Grant Federal Partnership Liaisons will integrate Sea Grant extension expertise with science, products and services from NOAA labs and other publicly supported scientific research programs. These jointly-funded positions expand on a key component of Sea Grant’s work, extending science to end users and doing so through collaborative partnerships.
 

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Beach Ambassadors, including CEI intern, fill vital role on Milwaukee beach

This summer on Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, swimmers might notice people in light blue T-shirts pushing an ice cream cart across the sand. Instead of frozen treats, the cart contains brochures and other information that beachgoers need to keep safe. The cart is part of a new Beach Ambassador Pilot Project run by Wisconsin Sea Grant, Milwaukee Water Commons, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Coastline Services LLC and the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center.

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Education

Encouraging Diverse Perspectives

Mona Behl, the Associate Director for Georgia Sea Grant and a co-lead in Sea Grant’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion community of practice is interviewed by 2021 Knauss Fellow, Amara Davis. Mona discusses her journey to Sea Grant, the important work Sea Grant is doing to make the sciences more equitable, and what we can all do to facilitate a more inclusive future.

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Climate

Minnesota Sea Grant Study Shows Protecting Local Water has Global Benefits

New research, led by Minnesota Sea Grant Director John A. Downing, demonstrates why keeping local lakes and other waterbodies clean produces cost-effective benefits locally and globally. The authors found that adding up global financial benefits of clean water shows that keeping water clean can help slow climate change, saving trillions of dollars.

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Education

Community Resilience from Start to Finish

For Sea Grant, resilience is more than a buzzword. As a network of 34 university-based programs, Sea Grant brings together experts in coastal processes, hazards, climate change, and urban planning to support cutting-edge research and outreach. Sea Grant is involved in every aspect of climate resilience planning and implementation, from start to finish. Tour some of Sea Grant’s latest projects and on-going efforts to sustain diverse and vibrant coastal economies.

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Extension

Sea Grant Recognizes Best in Program

As 2020 draws to a close, Sea Grant is reflecting on its best moments of what has been an especially challenging year. Several Sea Grant projects and people were recently recognized by the Sea Grant Association (SGA) for their exceptional work. 

 

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Education

Sea Grant responds to COVID-19-related challenges across the country

As the country adapts to changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal and Great Lakes communities, too, are rethinking how to resume what were once normal activities. Sea Grant programs are leading efforts to provide relief to the communities they serve. Read about a few of the initiatives Sea Grant created or enhanced in recent months.

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Safety First: Tips for a Safe Summer from Sea Grant

It’s almost time for summer fun outdoors and on the water, and that means it’s time to remember, safety first! Sea Grant programs across the nation share information and advice related to safe practices in coastal environments.

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Extension

Citizen science in shifting sands

In a changing climate, sea-level rise, storm surge and erosion all threaten our coasts’ sandy beaches. Teams of volunteer citizen scientists from New Hampshire, Maine and California Sea Grant programs are helping researchers keep a finger on the pulse of the shifting sands.

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Focus Area

Sea Grant addresses water issues nationally

Freshwater is a precious resource that requires conservation and protection. From water quality to water availability, Sea Grant is addressing key water issues and helping to enact sustainable water management practices throughout the country.​

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Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

NOAA, partners release harmful algal bloom forecast for western Lake Erie

The Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Seasonal Forecast, produced by NOAA and released with Ohio Sea Grant, gives coastal managers, lake users, and drinking water facility operators a general sense of the potential severity of the upcoming bloom season. NOAA is forecasting a large bloom for 2019, with a severity index greater than 7. The index is based on the bloom’s biomass – the amount of harmful or toxic algae – over a sustained period.  Last year’s bloom had a severity of 3.6 and the 2017 bloom had a severity of 8.

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Extension

In Puerto Rico, investing in lifeguards keeps beaches safe and sustains coastal tourism

Since the 1960s, surfers from the United States have been going to Rincón, Puerto Rico to catch the best waves of the winter season. The trend has been so consistent that the town has slowly built its economy along its approximate eight miles of beautiful coastline, now famous with tourists. Yet, as the surfing community continues to swell, the beaches get crowded, and the same waves that keep the local economy afloat also put tourists and locals at risk of losing their lives.

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Education

Hurricane Preparedness: Building Resilient Homes, Plans, and Effective Warning Systems

How do people prepare for hurricanes before the season begins? When a hurricane is looming, how do people receive warning, decide to take action, and prepare for the storm? As part of the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Preparedness Week, Sea Grant programs have been highlighting their work that aims to answer these questions. Resources developed by Sea Grant and partners can help communities and individuals prepare for storms well before hurricane season even approaches as well as when a storm is approaching.

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Coastal Hazards Preparedness

Looking to the Past to Understand Future Tsunami Threats

Scientist Carrie Garrison-Laney, a coastal hazards specialist for Washington Sea Grant and liason to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, pieces together stories of past tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest. Understanding the destruction caused by past tsunamis can prepare vulnerable coastal communities for future events. 

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Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development

Sea Grant Highlights: November 2018

With so much awesome work happening within Sea Grant, it can be hard to keep up! Here’s a look back at some of Sea Grant highlights you may have missed from this month.

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2014-2017 Focus Areas

Resources for Hurricane Florence

With hazardous weather approaching the southeastern US, Sea Grant programs throughout the region are providing contacts and resources to help their local communities stay safe.

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Extension

Rising above the tide

Recent work from Washington and Hawai’i Sea Grant programs highlights Sea Grant’s role in preparing coastal communities across the country for rising sea levels.

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Climate

Sea Grant Helps Communities Navigate the Program for Public Information Process, Potential Discounts on Flood Insurance

Sea Grant programs in the Gulf of Mexico and Georgia help communities better understand how to create a Program for Public Information (PPI) and earn outreach points under the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System (CRS). Points earned through the CRS help improve a community’s rating and can lead to discounted flood insurance premiums.

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Georgetown Working Waterfront
Extension

Five unique towns, one common goal: to work as a community and preserve their working waterfronts

Working waterfronts in South Carolina are hotspots for tourists to enjoy the local seafood and immerse themselves in nature. This has not always been the case, however, with most waterfronts historically focused around commercial businesses and industry. While some communities embrace this change towards a more recreational focus, others fear that commercial fishing and the “traditional identity” of the town will suffer.

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Great Lakes

Shipwreck Trifecta

Within a span of three days, Wisconsin Sea Grant-funded researchers found three shipwrecks in an area of Lake Michigan currently under consideration to become a NOAA National Marine Sanctuary. 

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Aquaculture

Hanging by a Thread

Mussels dominate rocky coastlines and support aquaculture worldwide. Now Washington Sea Grant-supported researchers at the University of Washington are investigating climate-related threats to the amazingly tough mussel threads that anchor them to wave-pounded rocks and docks. 

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Climate

Water Cities: Can We Climate-Proof the Coast?

South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is based in Charleston, S.C., one of the U.S. cities most threatened by a rising global sea level. More intense rainstorms combined with unusually high tides have communities rethinking traditional flood control structures. 

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Alabama

A Collaborative Effort Against Sea Level Rise

In the spirit of the collaborative nature of NOAA's Sentinal Site Program, Sea Grant provides coordinators to foster relationships among the various partners studying sea level rise and addressing community resilience. 

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Climate

Connecticut Shoreline Change Analysis – 100 Years of Erosion and Accretion

An important part of coastal resilience is understanding the dynamics of the shoreline, particularly, “How has the shoreline changed?” With funding from NOAA and National Sea Grant, a team from Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn CLEAR, UConn Extension and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection took on an ambitious project designed to understand and quantify shoreline change in Connecticut over the last 100 years.

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Education

Why Dunes are Important Lesson Plan

Using modeling techniques, students discover how coastal dunes form and how they can protect coastal areas from erosion and flooding during storms and harsh weather events. Students will make predictions and observations, then come to their own conclusions about the importance of dunes and how they can make coastal areas more resilient against storms.

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Education

Shrinking Shorelines Lesson Plan

In this activity students will build a model of a salt marsh and the land surrounding it out of clay. Students will use this model to see what happens to salt marshes when the sea level rises and how the slope of the land and the location affect the marshes survival.

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Education

Dune It Right Manual

The Dune It Right manual explains dune ecology. This tool is for anyone undertaking a dune restoration or rehabilitation project. It explains what species uses what parts of the beach, how to avoid damaging habitat and how to avoid creating a monoculture.

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Climate

Needs Assessment of New Jersey Business Owners

As part of the National Sea Grant Coastal Communities Climate Adaptation Initiative (CCCAI), NJSGC is developing and implementing an education and outreach campaign designed to promote long term planning that will educate waterfront property owners and associated businesses about the need to gain an understanding of climate change and consider the potential impacts associated with it when planning for the future. 

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Climate

Special Magazine Report Examines Sea Level Rise and Coastal Hazards

Along much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, sea levels are rising faster than the global average. This trend has already been linked to intensifying storm surges, shoreline erosion, and the loss of wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay region. To educate residents of Maryland about the impacts of sea level rise and climate change in the Chesapeake region, Maryland Sea Grant formed a unique partnership with the regional news magazine, Bay Journal. This partnership resulted in a special issue of Maryland Sea Grant’s magazine, Chesapeake Quarterly, that was published in October 2014 and titled “Come High Water: Sea Level Rise and Chesapeake Bay.”

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Coastal Climate Adaptation Initiative

Woods Hole Sea Grant funded a climate adaptation project designed to provide regional and local predictions of future coastal storm activity and sea-level rise to user groups within the region and to promote wise utilization and conservation of resources. 

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