FY 2025 Appropriations Programmatic Request for Sea Grant

Expansive view of Lake Superior with sea cliff in the foreground.

As a constituent and beneficiary of the Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) program, we need your help to ensure continued federal support for Sea Grant.  

We are asking you to write to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and request that they submit a Programmatic Request to the Appropriations Committee to fund the Sea Grant Program at $163.7 million, with $145.7 million to the National Sea Grant College Program and $18 million to Sea Grant Aquaculture Research in the FY 2025 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant program supports important activities to ensure healthy coastal ecosystems; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; resilient communities and economies; environmental literacy; and workforce development.

What you can do to help

  1. Check out what Minnesota Sea Grant has done in Minnesota through our Program Highlights flyer, and in our Programs and Research and Newsletters webpages.
  2. Find your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator (contact links are below).
  3. Go to the contact page for your U.S. Representative and using your own text or use some or all of our suggested text in the FY25 programmatic request letter template (below) fill out their contact form.
  4. Do the same for your U.S. Senators (contact links are below).
  5. Questions? Please contact MNSG Director John A. Downing.

 

Suggested text

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Suggested text

FY25 programmatic request suggested text

Dear Congressman/woman or Senator [NAME]:

As a constituent and beneficiary of the Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) program, we are writing to you requesting that you submit a programmatic request to the Appropriations Committees to fund the Sea Grant Program at $163.7 million, with $145.7 million to the National Sea Grant College Program and $18 million to Sea Grant Aquaculture Research in the FY 2025 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Sea Grant program supports important activities to ensure healthy coastal ecosystems; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; resilient communities and economies; environmental literacy; and workforce development.

With a mission to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine, and Great Lakes resources to create a sustainable economy, a healthy environment, and resilient communities, Sea Grant has benefitted from bipartisan congressional support since its creation in 1966. Sea Grant funds research that people can use and provides science-based expertise and education that responds to local needs through extension educators and communicators. Sea Grant fosters cost-effective partnerships among state universities, state and local governments, NOAA, and coastal communities and businesses, leveraging nearly $3 for every $1 appropriated by Congress.

Staff from Minnesota Sea Grant (MNSG) work with communities across the state and Great Lakes region to address water-related challenges where those communities tell them they want help. Where the needed science exists, Sea Grant’s extension educators and communicators translate it into user-friendly content that real people can use. Where the science doesn’t yet exist, Sea Grant seeks to fund research to get that science built and ensures results get to those in need. Sea Grant staff train educators, community leaders, and policymakers about water-related topics (their Watershed Game is used nationwide) and offer outstanding fellowship and scholarship opportunities to students. 

Some of their outstanding contributions are in aquaculture, Great Lakes transportation, and stormwater and flooding resilience.

MNSG’s aquaculture program provides tools, products, and information to the aquaculture industry in Minnesota and the Great Lakes region by:

  1. Helping the state’s fledgling fish-farming industry through farmer-engaged research on aquaculture marketing and related supply chains.
  2. Creating the freshfishfinder.org website that directly connects Great Lakes aquaculture producers to consumers.
  3. Conducting farmer-engaged research on how to raise Golden Shiner bait in Minnesota (demand outstrips supply), on raising Yellow Perch from egg to market and on infection control in Yellow Perch
  4. Creating videos to show kids how to prepare and cook aquaculture products.  
  5. Creating and distributing consumer education materials about aquaculture products.

The MNSG-led Great Lakes Transport Program provides outreach, community engagement, and research on issues affecting Great Lakes maritime and hazardous material transportation through the Hazardous Materials Transport Outreach Network (HaMaTON) that operates in Minnesota and the other Great Lakes states. 

MNSG is supporting research surveying the invasion of nuisance mats of Didymo (called rock snot) along Lake Superior, assessing harmful cyanobacteria blooms in the Great Lakes, identifying the toxin-producing culprits of blooms, and determining if carp removal from 18 lakes has economic and environmental benefits. MNSG staff are also researching tracing forever chemicals (PFAS) from source to sediment in the Great Lakes.

Their extension educators and communicators work with communities in Minnesota and the Great Lakes region to help those communities become more resilient to stormwater and other extreme-weather outcomes. One Block at a Time was a community-Minnesota Sea Grant project to bolster one Duluth, Minnesota, neighborhood’s resilience to extreme flooding (there were projects in Pennsylvania and Illinois too). They also led a project that reviewed local code ordinances to identify where ordinances were an impediment to adopting infrastructure practices that could help our communities deal with extreme weather outcomes like flooding.  

I recognize the spending caps put in place by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 limit an increase in total federal discretionary spending at less than 1% over the FY 2024 caps. In recognition of that, this request is not an increase over the FY 2024 request, even though local costs and needs are growing. I recognize our nation is facing tight fiscal constraints and suggest that where we have discretion, federal funding ought to go to those programs that deliver economic, environmental, and education benefits to our state and local decision-makers. The Sea Grant Program does this while also increasing our Great Lakes and marine coastal communities’ resiliency in a cost-effective manner. For that reason and because of the importance of the Sea Grant Program to the long-term health of our state, I urge you to strongly support the National Sea Grant College Program by submitting a programmatic request to the Appropriations Committee that would fully fund the program in FY 2025 at the proposed levels. I have attached a document that should be helpful for submitting such a request to the Appropriations Committees.

Thank you for your consideration of our views, and please reach out if we can be of further assistance.

Contact your Senator

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Contact your Senator

Senator Amy Klobuchar

  1. Contact Senator Amy Klobuchar (webform)
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For "Subject" enter “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request”,  
    for "Issue" select Budget, and for “Message” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Senator Tina Smith

  1. Contact Senator Tina Smith (webform)
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For "Topic" select Budget/Appropriations, for "Subject" enter the title “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request”, and for “Message” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Contact your Representative

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Contact your Representative

Rep. Angie Craig

  1. Contact Rep. Angie Craig (webform)
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For “Message/Comments,” enter the title “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request” and enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Tom Emmer

  1. Contact Rep. Tom Emmer (webform)
  2. Complete the required fields
  3. For “Please choose the issue of concern,*” enter “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request”
  4. For “Message,” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.

Rep. Brad Finstad

  1. Contact Rep. Brad Finstad (webform) 
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For “Issue,” enter “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request” 
  4. For “Comments,” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Michelle Fischbach

  1. Contact Rep. Michelle Fischbach (webform) 
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For “Issue,” enter “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request” 
  4. For “Comments,” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Betty McCollum

  1. Contact Rep. Betty McCollum (webform) 
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For “Message or Comments,” enter the title “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request” and enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Ilhan Omar

  1. Contact Rep. Ilhan Omar (webform)
  2. Complete the required fields.
  3. For “Message,” enter the title “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request” and enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Dean Phillips

  1. Contact Rep. Dean Phillips (webform) 
  2. Complete the required (*) fields.
  3. For “Issue” select “Budget and Economy”
  4. For “Message,” enter the title FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request and enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.  

Rep. Pete Stauber

  1. Contact Rep. Pete Stauber (webform)
  2. Go to “Send me an Email”
  3. Enter your ZIP code (you don’t need to know your +4.)
  4. Select “Submit”
  5. Complete the required fields (name, address, etc.)
  6. Under “Your Message”
    1. For “Select the issue your email relates to,” select “Budget and Government Spending”
    2. For “Subject” enter: “FY25 Sea Grant Programmatic Request”
    3. For “Comment” enter your own text and/or copy and paste from our suggested template.