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University of Guam reaches milestone toward establishing NOAA Sea Grant College Program
/ Categories: Research Headlines, 2012

University of Guam reaches milestone toward establishing NOAA Sea Grant College Program

Contacts: John Ewald (NOAA), 301-734-1123; and Dr. Laura Biggs (UOG Sea Grant), 671-777-6609

The University of Guam (UOG) is one step closer to creating a NOAA Sea Grant College Program. UOG Sea Grant’s excellent performance since 2004 has earned it a promotion in the four-tiered system NOAA follows to establish new Sea Grant College programs, which are funded by NOAA to promote the wise stewardship of coastal resources.

UOG Sea Grant is a part of a national network of programs located at coastal and Great Lakes colleges, administered by NOAA. NOAA and the University of Guam established Guam Sea Grant as a “Project” in 2004.

Since then, its achievements have met the requirements for advancement to the level of “Coherent Area Program.” With its new status, UOG Sea Grant will be able to further its efforts to improve the understanding and management of western Pacific coastal regions for long-term environmental health and sustainable economic development.

“The University of Guam earned this designation by demonstrating its ability to apply our best science to coastal management issues in Guam. It has also demonstrated strength in its ability to advise coastal residents and businesses on resource conservation strategies,” said Robert Detrick, Ph.D., NOAA assistant administrator for the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.

“This significant achievement is due to over a decade of dedication to conducting meaningful local extension activities and developing environmental education curricula for use in the community and public schools,” said UOG Sea Grant Director Lee Yudin, Ph.D. “We are on our way to establishing UOG as a Sea Grant College.”

The Guam shoreline

The Guam shoreline

With its new status, University of Guam Sea Grant will be able to further its efforts to improve the understanding and management of western Pacific coastal regions. Credit: Guam Sea Grant

Guam, located within the Mariana Islands archipelago, is home to many species of seabirds, fish, plants, wildlife, and growing communities. Partnerships with other universities, government agencies, local businesses, and community organizations have produced a wide range of programs such as invasive species research, coral reef and marine education, the revival of pre-contact Chamorro fishing technologies, and the first Annual Savor Guam Food Festival to raise awareness for local seafood and vegetables. Additionally, an ongoing partnership with the Palau Conservation Society and the Belau Watershed Alliance has expanded public awareness and education on watershed and ecosystem-based management with the message, “Protecting Palau from Ridge to Reef.”

“Guam has made excellent progress, and we are pleased that it is expanding,” said Leon Cammen, director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “We intend for the University of Guam to be the lead institution for future Sea Grant-related activities in the western Pacific region.”

Establishing Sea Grant College Program status takes several years. The next step for Guam Sea Grant is Sea Grant Institutional Program status, the last step prior to formal designation as a Sea Grant College. With satisfactory performance, it will be assured of continued NOAA funding and expanded programmatic and geographic responsibilities.

NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program was established in 1966 and now includes 33 Sea Grant colleges and programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, and in Puerto Rico and Guam. Sea Grant’s primary mission is to promote the wise stewardship of coastal resources.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at www.noaa.gov and join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

On the Web:

Guam Sea Grant

NOAA National Sea Grant College Program

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