State Rep. Fernandes Hosts Briefing on Sea Grant Programs

Josh Reitsma collects shellfish samples in Barnstable Harbor during fieldwork in 2012.
Photo by Diane Murphy, Woods Hole Sea Grant.

BOSTON – A presentation was held earlier this month at the Statehouse to highlight the importance of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT Sea Grant programs.

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket State Representative Dylan Fernandes co-hosted the presentation with State Representative Jay Livingstone to provided information on the Sea Grant programs and resources to be used by state legislators to support its current projects.

The Sea Grant program, which is run through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, supports research and innovation in the areas of healthy ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development.

There are 33 university-based programs across the country in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Massachusetts is one of only two states to have a college and institutional program.

“As part of President Trump’s attack on science, the administration continues to attempt to cut Sea Grant – a program focused on research and innovation to sustainably grow the blue economy,” Fernandes said.

“The Sea Grant program is administered right here in our district by the WHOI and helps communities across Cape Cod preserve and protect our ocean.”

Even though Sea Grant is run through the federal government, it still requires and actively seeks out support from state legislatures.

The showcase the local partnerships, Wellfleet Oyster Company provided fresh oysters for the event. It underscored the research and innovation Sea Grant has done to support the state’s shellfishing industries.

For more information on current Sea Grant projects in Massachusetts, visit seagrant.whoi.edu and seagrant.mit.edu.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.



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