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Guidance, Forms, Templates, Policies

This page contains guidance, forms and templates for carrying out the work of Sea Grant. Click on the tabs at left for more information on each topic. 

Current Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (PIE) Policy
Archived 2014-2017 PIE Policy and Reporting Guidance
PIER Information

Access PIER



Forms and Templates
Sea Grant Logo and NOAA Emblem Requirements

Beginning with the 2024-2027 omnibus awards, all Sea Grant awards will have a Specific Award Condition added to them that gives permission to awardees to use the NOAA emblem and Sea Grant logo in award-related products and requires their use in award-related products.

The requirements for use of the NOAA emblem and Sea Grant logo outlined in the Specific Award Conditions are consistent with what was shared with programs in Spring 2023, as stated in the Use and Style Guidance on the Inside Sea Grant Communicator’s page.

Outside of this, the major requirements of the Specific Award Conditions are:

  1. Use of the NOAA emblem or Sea Grant logo in an official press release/media advisory must first be approved by NOAA Research Public Affairs, with whom NSGO Communications works closely. NOAA Research would like greater awareness of these communications, even if infrequent, to help support and amplify them.
  2. The license to use these graphics is exclusively for the awardees, meaning your programs. Sharing the license with a third-party, like a vendor for purchasing outreach materials, is allowed but requires the approval of NSGO Communications before any manufacturing and distribution. In other words, before finalizing the purchase of promotional items using the graphics, the use of the graphics on those items must be approved by NSGO. This is to ensure brand integrity and that the Sea Grant logo is being used appropriately.

Note: While the NOAA emblem and Sea Grant logo are required to be used on all award-related project deliverables and products, requirement 1 (above) only applies to official press releases/media advisories that contain either/both the NOAA emblem and Sea Grant logo (in any form), and requirement 2 (above) only applies to outreach materials (e.g. swag, staff gear) that use the Sea Grant logo (in any form) and require a vendor to receive a high-resolution file of the Sea Grant logo (in any form). The NOAA emblem should not be used on state program merchandise/swag (see Use and Style Guidance). Requirements 1 and 2 will not apply to web stories, websites, research posters, or factsheets.

The process for receiving the needed approvals will be to email NSGO Communications at NSGO Communications will work with NOAA Research Public Affairs to coordinate approvals. The email record of notice and subsequent approval will suffice for meeting these requirements.

View the full text for the Specific Award Condition (PDF)

Answers to general questions:
Why are these terms necessary?

The NOAA emblem and Sea Grant logo are trademarked graphics, and this Specific Award Condition is necessary to bring Sea Grant up to standard with NOAA and Department of Commerce policies.

These terms are meant to protect Sea Grant from bad actors and afford us protection should we need to take action to ensure brand integrity, like for example, impersonated social media accounts. Sea Grant programs’ attention to these requirements and guidance greatly supports us in this goal.

The terms go into effect once the omnibus award reaches your program/university but the requirements will apply to all program communications that use either/both the Sea Grant logo and NOAA emblem. This Specific Award Condition will become a standard addition to all Sea Grant awards, including awards to non-Sea Grant programs.

For press releases: we anticipate about a 1-week turnaround to receive and share approval/feedback from NOAA. For promotional/vendor-purchased items: we anticipate a few-day turnaround to share approval/feedback from our office (NSGO).

Note: We suggest that you share press releases with us at the same time as they go to the university/supervisors for approval, that way the processes can work concurrently. As long as you do not anticipate major edits in the version NOAA reviews, that will be fine.

Yes. The revised item should be resubmitted to receive official approval for use of the Sea Grant logo or NOAA emblem in the item.

If a press release does not include the NOAA emblem or the Sea Grant logo, the terms/requirements for approval do not apply. However, NOAA wants to elevate Sea Grant stories across the agency and to the public, and they would welcome the opportunity to see all press releases going out. We don’t want these terms to discourage the use of the visual identifiers or the sharing of stories with our partners.

For any printed and distributed items that require a “sub-license” to a vendor (a high-resolution, standalone file for printing), NSGO will need to approve this first. We anticipate that this would most often apply to promotional and branding materials. We do not anticipate this requirement will apply to files in which the logo is encapsulated (such as a booklet, PDF, research poster or banner).

Regarding logos that are on file with vendors for repeat purchases of items like nametags, shirts, hats, etc., you should send to

  1. a digital preview of how the logo looks on the kinds of items that will be purchased from a vendor with a standing contract (like Lands’ End, etc), and
  2. specify how the logo is to be used in that standing relationship with the vendor (i.e. what items will the logo be used on).

These would suffice for receiving a standing approval. This will need to be done for each vendor. As long as the use of the logo and the items purchased remain essentially the same, we would not need to approve each individual purchase from that vendor. If the type of items being ordered with the Sea Grant logo changed significantly or required a new vector file to be shared with the vendor, then a new request for approval would need to be submitted.

For programs where staff are using personal funds to purchase or monogram items, these items need to be limited to what has been approved by NSGO. We would not be able to approve unlimited use of the Sea Grant logo on any personal item.

Note: The approvals are only required for use of the Sea Grant logo, including the Sea Grant logo with the program or network name below it. We do not need to approve anything with only the text of the program name.

No. Staff, including extension personnel, should not be wearing unofficial NOAA gear. Sea Grant programs are also not permitted to use the NOAA emblem on gear/swag. If staff require gear to identify their role, that should be coordinated with the NOAA contact for that incident or staff should wear NSGO and Sea Grant program-approved gear.

Sea Grant host universities/institutions are listed as the recipient within awards and will have received information on this Specific Award Condition when the award was accepted. They are not considered a “third-party”. The Specific Award Condition for instances of required approval by NSGO Communications or NOAA Research Public Affairs will apply to Sea Grant host universities/institutions in the same manner as Sea Grant programs and any other awardee of future Sea Grant awards.

Sea Grant programs should do their best to be aware of university/institution activities in which the Sea Grant logo and/or NOAA emblem will be used, and make NSGO Communications aware of these activities if an approval is needed. However, as the award recipient, the responsibility is on host universities/institutions to follow the terms of this Specific Award Condition.

NSGO does not need to approve Sea Grant program-partner use of the Sea Grant logo on partner websites/communications. If the partner will engage in a sub-license with a vendor (i.e. need to share a high-resolution file for printing items to be distributed like tote bags or t-shirts), then yes, NSGO does need to know the intentions for and approve the use. This requirement could be stipulated before/when a Sea Grant program shares a logo file with partners.

Note: The NOAA emblem is not permitted to be used on Sea Grant program or partner-produced gear/swag.

Yes, the PNG and JPG files may be shared in this way. It is understood that this is meant to encourage the appropriate use of the Sea Grant logo by students, researchers and affiliated staff, like on research posters or presentations. These PNGs and JPGs are usually not considered high quality enough for vendors. If an individual requires a high-resolution file, such as an Adobe Photoshop file, they should connect with your Sea Grant program directly to ensure that the appropriate requirements are met.

The NOAA emblem or Sea Grant logo may not be used in any communications related to lobbying or other political activities, or any personal communications. If you need to communicate with project partners (like officials or other federal agencies) about project-related activities, in an email for example, there is no issue with using the Sea Grant logo in your signature line.

As it relates to Hill visits and follow-ups, it is fine to have the Sea Grant logo/NOAA emblem on factsheets and publications, as you would normally with these public products, and share them with legislative staff. It would not be appropriate to use the Sea Grant logo/NOAA emblem on letters or communications with programmatic requests (lobbying). This would likely fall under the SGA and their logo could be used, if desired.

Leaving NSGO-approved “swag” with only the Sea Grant logo during Hill visits is permitted. The NOAA emblem is not permitted to be used on Sea Grant swag. Please connect with NSGO Communications if there is a specific need.

Yes. As we live into this process we will do our best to be responsive to needs, and we will assess the process and make adjustments if necessary.

Network Visioning

In 2016-2018, Sea Grant launched a “network visioning” initiative to define 10-year visions as well as direction and priorities for work in several key areas that could benefit from further defining Sea Grant’s niche. Many of these vision and road map documents have active communities of practice. 

Topic-Specific Sea Grant Network Vision Documents:

Aquaculture (PDF)
Aquaculture Communications (PDF)
Community Science (PDF)
Coastal Tourism (PDF)
Community Response to Flooding (PDF)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice 2.0 (PDF, updated 2021)
Environmental Literacy (PDF)
Integrated Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Seafood (PDF)
Traditional and Local Knowledge (PDF)
Water Resources (PDF)
Weather and Climate (PDF)

Network Visioning Background document

Community of Practice Sharing Spaces 

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