NOAA 2004-R999-29
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aja Sae-Kung
10/6/04

NOAA News Releases 2004
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NOAA AWARDS $100,000 TO UNIVERSITY OF GUAM TO BUILD CAPACITY

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a $100,000 grant to the University of Guam to help develop solutions that will lead to better management of marine and coastal resources. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant will fund a Sea Grant project leader at the University of Guam who will work with the people of Guam and the wider Western Pacific region to strengthen their ability to address critical issues that affect the marine and coastal environment.

“This award is the significant beginning step in a process that will enable the University of Guam to eventually seek Sea Grant College status”, said University of Guam President Dr. Harold Allen. “The award will fund the Sea Grant project proposal which seeks to identify research-based solutions to major issues that affect the coastal marine environment and Guam’s delicate ecosystem. We are pleased to have been awarded this grant and will work vigorously with local and regional partners to accomplish our goals.”

“These federal funds are welcomed support for the University of Guam,” said Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam’s delegate to the U.S. Congress. “This grant award will enable additional resources to be devoted at UOG towards Sea Grant status planning. I congratulate the administration and the faculty of the Marine Laboratory at UOG for their efforts. I strongly support this initiative and look forward to continuing to work with UOG, NOAA and other stakeholders in the Western Pacific region to advance the pursuit for Sea Grant designation, which I believe will bring much needed and deserved federal backing to our local efforts to effectively manage and conserve our marine and ocean resources through sound science.”

“The National Sea Grant College Program is one of the best mechanisms we have to get resources to local community problems and build regional capacity. The people of Guam and the citizens of the wider pacific region will greatly benefit from the new Sea Grant presence at the University of Guam," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen regional initiatives like those conducted at the University of Guam.

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.

Among these administered programs is the National Sea Grant College Program, which was established by Congress in 1966. Patterned after the Land Grant College program, the Sea Grant College program is meant to improve marine resource conservation, management, and utilization. There are currently 30 Sea Grant College programs that represent a network of researchers, educators and extension agents at over 300 academic institutions.

NOAA administers a formal review process for Sea Grant College designation and the applying institution must demonstrate a record of superior performance in research and marine resource programs in order to qualify. Institutional capacity building for Sea Grant College designation often involves the support of NOAA grant assistance.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research and the prediction of weather and climate-related variability and change, and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit: http://www.noaa.gov.