Environmental stewardship, long-term economic development and responsible use of America’s coastal, ocean and Great Lakes resources are at the heart of Sea Grant’s mission. Sea Grant is a nationwide network (administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]), of 32 university-based programs that work with coastal communities. The National Sea Grant College Program engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training, and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources.

Sea Grant is NOAA’s primary university-based program in support of coastal resource use and conservation. Our research and outreach programs promote better understanding, conservation and use of America’s coastal resources. In short, Sea Grant is “science serving America’s coasts.”

Over the next five years (2009 – 2013), Sea Grant will concentrate effort in four areas:

These four interrelated focus areas emerged from the strategic planning process as areas of critical importance to the health and vitality of the nation’s coastal resources and communities. They respond to issues of major importance to NOAA, are consistent with the work of the NOAA coastal program integration effort, and are topical areas in which Sea Grant has made substantial contributions in the past and is positioned to make significant contributions in the future.

In each of the four focus areas, Sea Grant has identified goals to pursue and strategies designed to take advantage of its strengths in integrated research, outreach, and education, and its established presence in coastal communities. Understanding relationships and synergies across focus areas is vital to achieving the focus area goals. Sea Grant is one of many partners working to address these complex and interrelated issues. Understanding how activities in one area can support and complement other activities, and using partnerships to accomplish shared goals, are strategies inherent to Sea Grant, and will be central to achieving the goals outlined in this plan.

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