From the office of Rep. Dylan Fernandes
In the face of a proposed cut from the Trump administration, Representative Dylan Fernandes passed a House resolution defending the decades-old Sea Grant College Program. Based locally out of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Sea Grant Program is a network of 33 federally-funded programs throughout the country designed to promote sustainable economic development and oceanic conservation. The resolution was introduced with fellow legislator Rep. Livingstone, whose district is home to the Sea Grant College Program housed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The Sea Grant Program has helped our communities guard against natural disasters, promote our blue economy, and develop our oceanic resources in a sustainable way. The program has been an indispensable asset to our region and eliminating it is unacceptable.” Remarked Fernandes following the resolution’s passage.
The program was established in 1966 with the signing of the Sea Grant College and Program Act by President Johnson, with the aim of emulating the success of land grant colleges. The Woods Hole Sea Grant program traces its history back to 1971, and has since then worked with local communities to build sustainable aquaculture programs, promote coastal resiliency, and educate the public on environmental issues. An initial budget proposal from the Trump administration last month called for the complete elimination of the program.
Citing the $142 million in economic activity that the program is estimated to generate yearly, the resolution urges level funding through fiscal year 2019. A copy of the language will be sent to every member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, as well as to the White House Office of Budget and Management.