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Budget News from Washington D.C.

March 18, 2019

Update on Sea Grant Funding for Fiscal Year 2020 from the WSG Director

Dear Friends,

With vocal support from our many stakeholders, the National Sea Grant College Program was reinstated in the federal budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2019 was passed by Congress and signed by the President in February, which is encouraging news for Sea Grant and the many constituents who benefit from our work around the nation. The Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2019 provides $68 million for Sea Grant and $12 million in directed funding for aquaculture research. This appropriation represents the highest level of funding ever provided for Sea Grant and is a testament to broad support for the Sea Grant network across the nation.

However, on March 11, the presidential administration released a budget overview of their FY 2020 budget request, which included a proposal to once again eliminate the Sea Grant Program. Recall that the administration also proposed eliminating Sea Grant in FY 2018 and 2019. Congress rejected those proposals and ultimately provided historic levels of funding for the program. The Sea Grant Association is recommending that Congress provide $93.5 million for the Sea Grant Program in FY 2020. I just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit our state’s congressional delegation, and I am delighted to report that the staff that I met indicated continued support for Sea Grant. While this is encouraging, the funding process for FY20 is far from complete, and it helps greatly if congressional offices hear from Washington Sea Grant’s partners and constituents.

For nearly 50 years, Washington Sea Grant has helped people understand, conserve and prosper from our state’s rich marine resources. Between 2014 and 2017, Washington Sea Grant delivered $59 million in services and economic benefits to coastal communities in our state. We accomplished that by engaging and collaborating with nearly half a million coastal residents, scientists, boaters, fishermen, shellfish growers, managers and students. Marine and coastal businesses depend upon us to fund important research, provide technical assistance and train new entrants in the state’s maritime workforce. Key program highlights are illustrated in this factsheet.

I encourage you to contact your U.S. Senate and House members directly to let them know about your experience with Washington Sea Grant and express your support for continuing the program. Let us know if you do, so we may follow up. Their information is provided below.

Thank you for your support of Washington Sea Grant. We look forward to continuing to serve you and your community!


Russell Callender

Director, Washington Sea Grant


Contacting the Washington Delegation


Senator Maria Cantwell

511 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-3441



Senator Patty Murray

154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

(202) 224-2621



Representatives with coastal districts

Representative Suzan DelBene (1st District)
2330 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-6311

Representative Rick Larsen (2ndDistrict)
2113 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-2605

Representative Jaime Herrera-Beutler (3rdDistrict)
1130 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-3536

Representative Derek Kilmer (6thDistrict)
1520 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-5916

Representative Pramila Jayapal (7thDistrict)
1510 Longworth House Office Building, DC 20510
(202) 225-3106

Representative Kim Schrier (8thDistrict)
1123 Longworth House Office Building, DC 20510
(202) 225-7761

Representative Adam Smith (9thDistrict)
2264 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-8901

Representative Denny Heck (10thDistrict)
424 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20510
(202) 225-9740