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July 2024 Desk of the Director

Dear Sea Grant Colleagues, 

The summer season is here in full force, and I hope that you are finding ways to keep cool and are enjoying or looking forward to your summer plans. There is no doubt that it has been an incredibly busy time for the network and for us at the National Office and I cannot overstate my gratitude for all your hard work. As always, there are many moving parts, and I would like to call attention to a few recent happenings and address a number of questions that we have been receiving from the network: 

  • FY25 Budget Update

We continue to track what will undoubtedly be a drawn-out FY25 federal budget process. You are likely aware of the angst and uncertainty created by the FY25 President’s Budget, which called for a 10% (-$8M) decrease in Sea Grant core funding and the elimination of the Sea Grant Aquaculture program (-$14M) this past spring. I am pleased to share that this past Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee released its report accompanying the House Markup of the FY25 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, referred to as the House Mark, that recommends FY25 appropriations for Sea Grant equal to those we received in FY24 ($80M + $14M for Aquaculture = $94M). While this is only the second volley in the appropriations process, we are heartened by the support for Sea Grant shown in the House and look forward to seeing the Senate Mark in late July/early August if things hold to schedule.

  • Grant Award Updates 

I want to share that all but one (of 34) Omnibus and seventeen (of 85) Knauss awards have been approved and signed by the NOAA Grants Management Division (GMD). Please work with your sponsored programs offices to confirm these awards are signed on your end as well (guidance). The one remaining Omnibus to be signed currently has partial funding and is awaiting full funding, which we expect to be finalized by next week. The seventeen Knauss awards are with GMD as we continue to work through account coding challenges associated with the new BAS finance system that has been particularly difficult to resolve for funds coming from outside of NOAA. 

Also, while we cannot provide an exact timeline currently, additional awards (e.g., BIL/IRA; competitions; pass-throughs) remain a high priority for GMD’s review this summer. While GMD’s review volume is undoubtedly high, we are seeing progress as NOAA and GMD have significantly advanced through what has been a steep eRA transition curve. The NSGO will continue to push the prioritization of these awards within GMD’s capacities. We will keep you posted, and continue to be deeply appreciative of the support that our program/hosts’ have provided to mitigate the delays.  

  • State of Sea Grant Report to Congress

The National Sea Grant Advisory Board’s Committee on the Biennial Report to Congress, also known as the State of Sea Grant Report to Congress has been hard at work crafting this year’s document. The Biennial Report is the network’s opportunity to highlight our accomplishments, impacts, and opportunities to Congress – which can have an impact on congressional perception of Sea Grant. Crafting the report is not a light lift, and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the committee, and to the network as a whole for your responsiveness to their calls for input and information. 

  • Site Review Team (SRT) Visits

The programs scheduled for SRT visits from October – December are in full swing planning for their reviews. To assist preparation, NSGO staff have been rolling out the PIER SRT report in order of the scheduled SRT visits and addressing any questions or data clean-up that needs to happen in PIER. Given our staff capacity, after we resolve what is needed for these initial programs we will continue to connect with others in the order of your site review dates. Here is the SRT guidance (see SRT Evaluations tab) and please send any questions to

  • Reporting

We continue to work to support the various reporting processes that we, and NOAA and the federal government, have in place. This is a particularly complicated year as a result of it being an Omnibus transition year and also because of the new eRA Grants Management System and we appreciate your attention and questions concerning 2023 and 2024 Sea Grant reporting and the government wide Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) reporting as we continue to navigate and streamline these processes to the greatest degree possible.

  • 2023 Annual Reporting

Thank you for submitting your annual reporting information to the PIER database and the Sea Grant Collection at the NOAA Library. NSGO staff are currently reviewing your information and validating it and will be reaching out to you if they have any questions. Your program officers are reviewing your leveraged funding and level of effort information, Jess Dupree is reviewing your impacts and accomplishment narratives, and Susan Holmes is reviewing your performance measures and metrics. Please look for their emails and we appreciate your timely responses so that information is ready to go for your PIER SRT reports and SRT visits. 

  • 2024 Annual Reporting

As a reminder, please continue to report your publications year-round to the Sea Grant Collection at the NOAA Library. At this time, please refrain from reporting 2024 annual reporting data into PIER, until we notify the network otherwise. The PIER database is being updated with new pages to address the changes that were made to narrative reporting on projects and the collection of new performance measures. We will plan to host a webinar in the new year with information on the PIER database changes, reflecting the guidance previously provided and summarized earlier this year. 

  • Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs)

Highlighting information shared in a June 27th email to the network, semi-annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) will be due again in July/August (depending on your award start date). You can continue to use the Interim Supplemental Information for Submitting Sea Grant Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) (see Grants Progress Reporting/RPPR tab). Appendix B in the document gives examples of RPPR reporting schedules for your reference.

Also please note that we’ve just received confirmation from the eRA team that awards, depending on the start date, may require an interim RPPR due AFTER a final RPPR given the automatic features of eRA. We will continue to work with eRA on how we can streamline this reporting and will update our guidance into the future. In the meantime, please just generally use the final RPPR information for this last interim RPPR (understanding there are some small differences between what is requested). You will need to submit all requested RPPRs prior to final closeout.

  • Introducing New Interns/Fellows to the National Sea Grant Office

I would like to invite you all to welcome four new Interns/Fellows to the National Sea Grant Office: 

    • EPP/MSI Summer Interns:

      • Ainsley Vanderhyde comes to us from Barry University and will be analyzing Sea Grant’s engagement with underserved communities and its marine debris funding opportunities.

      • Amy Deatherage is a rising junior at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and will be working on a project focusing on improving educators’ access to K-12 educational material created by Sea Grant programs

      • Hazelanne Stuart of Alaska Pacific University will be helping our communications team create engaging cooking videos that emphasize the importance of sustainable seafood consumption, making this crucial concept accessible to all.

    • 2024 Knauss Fellow (joining our three current Knauss Fellows)

      • Hameed Ajibade is a Coastal Physical Oceanographer who comes to us through the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Hameed will be supporting the National Sea Grant Office’s work on Renewable Offshore Wind Energy.

Please join me in extending our warmest welcome to them and look for updates on their backgrounds and project results as they near the end of their time with us.

As always, I am deeply appreciative of your dedication and hard work. The Sea Grant network’s impact is a testament to your collaborations and expertise. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the season, and I look forward to seeing many of you at Sea Grant Week! 

Warm regards, 


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