United States Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded over $3.8 million in federal funding to projects that support ongoing coastal and marine research, extension and educational outreach in Hawaii.
NOAA awarded funding through two separate programs – the Sea Grant College Program, which provides funding to the University of Hawaii’s Sea Grant Program (Hawaii Sea Grant), and the National Coastal Zone Management Program, which provides funding to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
“As an island state, Hawaii’s livelihood is reliant on the health and resilience of our coastal and marine ecosystems,” Hirono said.
Hawaii Sea Grant received $1.4 million. The state received $2.4 million.
In March 2017, upon hearing that the Trump administration was contemplating zeroing out the Sea Grant Program, Hirono sent a letter to then-Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, urging him to reconsider. In her letter, Hirono emphasized that cuts to the program would disproportionately hurt Hawaii and other coastal states. In February 2018, Hirono sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to maintain funding levels for the Sea Grant Program for fiscal year 2019 at no less than FY 2018 levels.