The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Sea Grant College Program announce the designation of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program as a Sea Grant Institute.
Lake Champlain Sea Grant earned the honor as an Institutional Program by demonstrating excellence in research, education and public service dedicated to the environmentally responsible management and development of the Nation’s marine, coastal and Great Lakes resources.
“Lake Champlain Sea Grant has clearly shown a high level of achievement and can now increase its contributions to the mission of the National Sea Grant College Program to enhance the practical use and conservation of Lake Champlain resources,” commented Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator of NOAA Research.
The designation as an Institute makes Lake Champlain Sea Grant eligible for increases in federal research funds up to $1 million to support its strategic goals. The program first began as a Sea Grant outreach project in 1998 and was elevated to a Sea Grant Coherent Area Program after positive performance review in 2012.
“I am pleased Lake Champlain Sea Grant has reached this important milestone and have full confidence that the elevation to institutional status will bring positive impacts to the communities served by Lake Champlain Sea Grant well beyond the federal investment in the program,” said Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.
The mission of Lake Champlain Sea Grant is to develop and share science-based knowledge to benefit the environment and economies of the Lake Champlain basin. The Institute is a cooperative effort of the University of Vermont and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and operates through partnerships with UVM Extension and numerous local organizations. Projects supported have included green infrastructure research used to inform the state’s stormwater guidance and an educational program, Watershed Alliance, which has educated over 9,000 students about the impacts of land use on water quality.