BOSTON – A local legislator is defending the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-based Sea Grant College Program, which could lose funding as part of proposed Trump Administration budget cuts.
Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket State Representative Dylan Fernandes co-sponsored a resolution which passed through the House that urges level funding for the program which began in 1966.
The network of 33 Sea Grant programs throughout the country promotes sustainable economic development and oceanic conservation.
“The Sea Grant Program has helped our communities guard against natural disasters, promote our blue economy and develop our oceanic resources in a sustainable way,” said Fernandes.
“The program has been an indispensable asset to our region and eliminating it is unacceptable.”
The resolution was introduced with State Rep. Jay Livingstone, whose district is home to the Sea Grant College Program housed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Woods Hole Sea Grant program’s history traces back to 1971 and has since worked with towns to build sustainable aquaculture programs, promote coastal resiliency and educate the public on environmental issues.
An initial budget proposal from the Trump Administration last month would completely eliminate the program.
Fernandes said the program generates about $142 million in economic activity each year.
A copy of the language used in the resolution will be sent to all the members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and the White House Office of Budget and Management.