Shea-Porter, Shaheen, and Hassan Announce $218,000 Federal Grant for New Hampshire’s Sea Grant Program
WASHINGTON, DC— Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), and Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, today announced that the New Hampshire Sea Grant program will receive a $218,000 federal annual operating grant.
“The New Hampshire Sea Grant Program provides essential guidance and research to our local marine-based businesses and stakeholders,” said Shea-Porter. “I am pleased that the Department of Commerce will continue to support this fantastic program, which is doing important work to promote the sustainable development of our coastal economy. I thank Dr. Erik Chapman and his entire team for their dedication to this important goal and for their ongoing work on behalf of our fisheries, aquaculture businesses, and our beautiful Seacoast environment. I will continue to oppose efforts to eliminate the Sea Grant program.”
“These federal dollars will be put to good use in the New Hampshire Sea Grant program, which brought more than $6 million in economic benefit to our coastal region in 2016,” said Shaheen. “In that same year, this critical federal-academic research partnership helped create or retain 17 local businesses. I’m very pleased to see that additional resources will be headed its way, and through my position on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting to secure the funds we need to continue this important investment.”
“Our coastal communities in New Hampshire are integral to our economy and our high quality of life, and we must ensure that our Seacoast businesses have the support they need to sustainably develop our Seacoast economy,” Senator Hassan said. “The New Hampshire Sea Grant Program is critical to those efforts, and I am pleased to announce this federal grant that will provide local stakeholders with the scientific research they need to continue boosting economic development in the region. I will continue standing up against the Trump Administration’s reckless efforts to eliminate this vital program, and to ensure that our businesses and people in our coastal communities have the support and resources they need to thrive.”
The New Hampshire Sea Grant program is a partnership between the University of New Hampshire and the Department of Commerce, specifically the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, that fosters the sustainable development of New Hampshire’s coastal resources. A defining characteristic of the Sea Grant approach is to engage local stakeholders and to connect them with unique expertise and balanced scientific information to better inform decisions and actions that affect coastal and marine resources. Sea Grant focuses its efforts in four interconnected areas: 1) environmental literacy and workforce development, 2) healthy coastal ecosystems, 3) coastal communities and economies and 4) sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Recent work in New Hampshire has focused on connecting local businesses with University research in a range of topics, including aquaculture, marine biotechnology, seafood processing, and the development of marine products. The President’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request proposed eliminating the Sea Grant program.
“In addition to a broad range of education, extension and outreach programming, this funding will launch 6 new research projects, all of which focus on a critical aspect of safe and sustainable seafood production and healthy coastal ecosystems,” said Erik Chapman, Acting Director of the New Hampshire Sea Grant program. “These projects will not be carried out in isolation on campus, but will engage a broad community of people and organizations that are working on a fundamental challenge that matters to the people of New Hampshire: sustaining our coastal economies and maritime heritage while conserving our coastal resources.”
Shea-Porter recently hosted a roundtable discussion on the impacts of the Trump administration’s proposal to open all of New England’s shores to offshore oil drilling. Chapman participated in the panel and expressed his concern that seismic blasting and drilling would put New Hampshire’s coastal and marine environments and fisheries at risk.
Senator Shaheen, the lead Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, helped secure an additional $2 million for the Sea Grant Program in the bipartisan funding bill approved by the committee in July. Shaheen also fought to increase funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration at the University of New Hampshire.