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Sea Grant needs your help

Today we are putting our weekly job/internship roundup on hold to bring you a special message from our director, Karl Havens.

There is a potentially dire situation for the Florida Sea Grant program unfolding in Washington, D.C. On Tuesday, March 28, the President sent Congress a request for drastic cuts to many government programs related to everything from the environment to health and human services and education – in order to immediately free-up funds to increase defense spending.

One of the programs that is slated to be cut, by $30 million this year, is Sea Grant. That wipes out the remaining budget of the program and it would terminate the program the day such a budget cut became effective. If Congress approved of the cuts we could be gone in a matter of months.

This would immediately stop us from providing scholarships and fellowships to Florida college students, immediately stop funding for numerous active research projects addressing critical issues affecting Florida’s economy and environment, and immediately stop our ability to have huge benefits for the State of Florida as summarized in this one-pager. Many people would likely lose their jobs. The same would happen in the other 32 Sea Grant programs around the nation.

If you value the program, you can help. The President only make requests – it is Congress that takes actions when it comes to the budget. The strong bipartisan support of Sea Grant by members of Congress has not changed. Yet there are many programs now on the chopping block or facing draconian cuts in this fiscal year. If members of Congress receive a huge number of supportive emails from people who deeply value a particular program, it will make a large difference in regard to the outcome.

If you decide to reach out to members of Congress about Sea Grant, we suggest some sample language to be used in your email. It contains specific language that members and staff will recognize, pertaining to this proposed cut or elimination of the program.

For more information, and to access the sample letter, visit:

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2017/03/30/sea-grant-needs-your-help/