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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) today announced $490,300 in federal funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Sea Grant Program. Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG) projects have produced significant results that aided fishers, businesses, policy makers, and conservation volunteers in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay region. Senators Cardin and Van Hollen fought for and secured significant funding for the Sea Grant Program after President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposed eliminating the program and its funding entirely.
“A healthy Chesapeake Bay means a healthy economy, and maintaining the Bay is a team effort. The MDSG program has been an important contributor to this mission by bringing together environmental scientists, students, local business owners and community leaders to preserve our coastal waters and improve the health of our state’s most valuable natural resource,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This federal investment will help ensure that MDSG can continue to develop sustainable solutions that will keep our Bay and our economy healthy for generations to come.”
“The Maryland Sea Grant Program is essential to efforts to improve the health of the Bay,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees. “This funding will help ensure this crucial work will continue – from scientific research, to community education, to stakeholder outreach. A clean and thriving Bay is vital to Maryland’s economy, wildlife, and environment, and I will continue to fight for those priorities in the Senate.”
“Maryland Sea Grant is excited to continue our efforts to support science and community engagement to help sustain healthy and economically vibrant coastal waters and resources for all Marylanders,” said Dr. Fredrika Moser, Director of the MDSG program.
The MDSG program is a University System of Maryland program administered by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and is a part of a network of 33 National Sea Grant programs. Locally, the program utilizes educational outreach, scientific research and public awareness to support the preservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s coastal waters. Through these initiatives, the MDSG has contributed $7.4 million to Maryland’s economy and helped create 140 jobs and 25 businesses in 2016. Maryland Sea Grant awards grants and funding to support researchers in emerging areas of science. Their recent research has helped develop new approaches in oyster aquaculture businesses and contribute to the increase of the Chesapeake’s blue crab population.
The program’s mission, consistent with the objectives and standards of the National Sea Grant College Program and the University System of Maryland, is to conduct a locally responsive and nationally eminent program that supports research to address key questions important to environmental management; support and enrich marine education for students of all ages; and support outreach efforts that clarify for key audiences the applications of research findings to science-based management of the watersheds and coastal ecosystems in Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the nation.