HAGFISH! Also deep-sea mining, climate change, The Ocean Cleanup, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: July 17, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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June is National Ocean Month and the president’s proclamation needs some fact checking.

June is National Ocean Month! Take a moment to step back, breathe, and reflect on what the ocean means to you. Go to the beach. Read Moby Dick. Build an underwater robot. And then go remind you representative how critical science-based ocean policy is to the future of our country. It seems like our elected leaders may need a little refresher on that, since the presidential proclamation announcing National Ocean Month is a bit… inaccurate.

Fortunately, we’ve take the time to graciously provide some constructive corrections. You’re welcome.

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#IAmSeaGrant, Octopus Beats Dolphins, Deep-sea Mining, and more! Monday Morning Salvage: May 29, 2017

Fog Horn (A Call to Action)

Flotsam (what we’re obsessed with right now)

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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley slashes funding for coastal science and sustainable development

Earlier this week, South Carolina governor and rising tea party star Nikki Haley cut all state funding for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. Sea Grant programs are a critical part of the United States’ marine and coastal research network. In addition to providing millions of dollars in scientific grants, the  national Sea Grant college program (of which the South Carolina consortium is a member) connects scientists, educators, and citizens with the goal of “helping citizens utilize scientific information to support a vibrant economy while ensuring ecological sustainability” (source). In total, there are 32 Sea Grant programs throughout the country, which help coordinate research and strategic goals with experts in every state that borders an ocean or one of the Great Lakes.

Despite Governor Haley’s claims, the Sea Grant Consortium is basically the opposite of big government and wasteful government spending. Though they are administered centrally by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, each Sea Grant program is independently run. According to Executive Director Rick DeVoe,

“It is important to note that the programs we undertake are developed as a result of the input we solicit from our stakeholders along the coast and inland – businesses and organizations, NGOs, and people who depend on coastal and marine resources for their livelihoods, their pleasure and their quality of life….The S.C. Sea Grant Consortium generates and applies science-based information on issues and opportunities to enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal and marine resources to foster a sustainable economy and environment in the state and region.”

The state contribution pays mostly for local staff and facilities that are used to apply for and distribute grants. Since much of the funding for grants they distribute comes from the Federal government, the entire state-contributed budget for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium is a little over $428, 000 out of a total state budget of around $21,000,000,000, less than the total salaries of the Governor’s personal staff. Cutting this critical program thus results in a 0.002% reduction in state government spending, right after the state of South Carolina got more than $1.4 billion in increased tax revenue as a result of the economy improving.

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