U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D, 5th) has secured a $1,000,000 federal appropriation for St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM), which will fund the renovation of the College’s aquatic lab. The lab, which is over 30 years old, provides critical research opportunities for students and faculty in the marine science, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry programs.

Congressman Hoyer expressed his pleasure in securing the funding, stating that investing in schools is important to ensure that students have the tools they need to thrive in their fields of study. He also commended the work that SMCM is doing to enhance programs and research opportunities for those pursuing careers in the sciences.

Credit: St. Mary's College of Maryland

The aquatic lab is used for both teaching and research and has the infrastructure to maintain living aquatic organisms. It has both freshwater and saltwater systems, allowing students to study tropical oceans to freshwater lake environments year-round. Notably, the lab has a flow-through river-water system from the nearby St. Mary’s River, providing the opportunity to study the local estuarine system in a laboratory environment.

Dr. Randy Larsen, Associate Dean of Faculty and Coordinator for the marine science program, emphasized the importance of hands-on learning and research experiences for marine science and other majors. He added that SMCM’s location and local connections make it uniquely positioned for students interested in pursuing a marine science major, as the Chesapeake Bay is globally renowned and locally cherished.

The College’s marine science program was launched in the fall of 2021 and is the only undergraduate program of its kind in Maryland. Rep. Hoyer has also secured an additional $900,000 appropriation in support of the marine science program in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus bill, which will fund the purchase of a purpose-built research vessel and associated equipment.

In a statement, Dr. Tuajuanda C. Jordan, President of SMCM, thanked Congressman Hoyer for his ongoing support of the College and its students, stating that SMCM is fortunate to have such a longtime supporter who recognizes the value of what the College provides to Southern Maryland and the nation and world at large.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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