The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reauthorized funding for its Sea Grant program, and the University of Delaware is set to get $685 thousand.
UD operates one of the 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide tasked with conserving marine and coastal resources.
With this latest grant, funding for UD’s program now totals $2.1 million for the year—with the federal government footing about two-thirds of the bill.
Chris Petrone is Director of the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. He says the dollars go towards things like research, education and extension work preparing Delaware communities for sea level rise.
“It allows us to get out on the ground and figure out what problems our stakeholders are having, and what issues we can address. And allows to do the work to address some of those issues as best we can, using the best science available,” said Petrone.
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) praises Sea Grant for its benefit to the environment and its economic impact in Delaware. He says investment in the First State’s program produces an 825% return in economic impact to the state.
“We want to make sure we’re getting a good return on taxpayer’s investment and the return is over 800% on Sea Grant dollars at the University of Delaware and other colleges and universities. That’s the kind of investment you don’t see every day,” said Carper.
NOAA started the Sea Grant Program in 1966.
President Trump’s initial budget proposal sought to zero out the program’s funding.