Greetings, summer is here and while much of the university and especially Athens seems to get less hectic, it remains a busy time for those of us in Marine Extension and Georgia Sea grant. Summer camps and teacher workshops are in full swing at the Marine Education Center and aquarium, the shellfish lab is in the midst of spawning and setting oysters, and the Marine Extension Center in Brunswick is involved in numerous efforts with researchers on summer break from classes doing everything from turtling on-board the R/V Bulldog to working with local governments and contractors on resilience, sustainable development and water quality efforts.

In Athens, much of our efforts have gone into compiling our annual report to the national sea grant program and on strategic planning. Some of our faculty and staff accomplishments in 2015 include:

  • Reaching more than 20,000 K-12 youth and teachers through education programs
  • Engaging volunteers in more than 5,320 hours of work on coastal issues
  • Giving more than 120 presentations at public or professional meetings
  • Working with 56 college undergraduate or graduate students on coastal-related research or outreach efforts
  • Leveraging more than $1.8 million in non-federal support to supplement the federal investment in their programs
  • Having a direct and indirect impact of more than $115 million on the State’s economy

The National Sea Grant program uses this data to justify the federal investment in Sea Grant programs around the country. All of this data and narratives of our impacts are available at this NOAA website.

We have also been gearing up to start our strategic planning process. Our Strategic Plan identifies the coast’s most pressing issues and opportunities. Every four years, we update and revise a strategic plan that describes our goals and priorities for the coming years. To create this plan, we utilize an inclusive, multistep process that incorporates fresh input from a diverse constituency. From personal visits with knowledgeable coastal managers, scientists, educators, businesses and organizations, to broadly circulated surveys and public forums, we gather opinions from as many stakeholders as possible. Throughout this process, our advisory board provides valuable insight and feedback on their vision for our programs.
Your feedback is important to us. Please share your feedback through our online survey. The deadline to respond is July 15.

As always, thanks to dedicated faculty and staff and to your support and willingness to work with us, we continue to have an impact in Coastal Georgia!