Washington D.C. – Congressman Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, received the Sea Grant Association Special Recognition Award on March 7 during a joint Congressional reception for the National Sea Grant College Program and the Knauss Fellowship Program. The award recognizes Courtney for continued support of the Sea Grant program, including the research, outreach, and education programs that support coastal communities, the economy and ecosystems. The bipartisan award was also presented to Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.
“I am proud to support the incredible work that Sea Grant carries out on behalf of fishermen and coastal communities across the country, and I was honored to receive the special recognition award last night during their annual reception,” Courtney said. “The Sea Grant program is dedicated to the sustainable use of our coastal resources while advancing conservation efforts to protect our oceans and waterways. In southeastern Connecticut, Sea Grant is a vital part of our maritime economy and I am glad that we have had a thriving program serving our region for thirty years. I will continue to work alongside leaders, such as Dr. De Guise, to further the reach and effectiveness of this incredible program.”
Sylvain De Guise, director of the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, said Courtney’s support has been significant.
“The Sea Grant Association Special Recognition Award recognizes special contributions to the concept and spirit of Sea Grant,” he said. “When the Sea Grant program was zeroed out in the President’s budget, Rep. Courtney stepped in immediately to leverage bi-partisan support in the House through a ‘dear colleague’ letter signed by nearly a quarter of the members of the House. To my knowledge, this is unprecedented for a $73 million program. Further, Rep. Courtney shows up and engages directly with Sea Grant stakeholders to understand their needs and how they are addressed by Sea Grant programs. He really embodies the values and concept of Sea Grant, and I do not know anyone more deserving of the Sea Grant Association Special Recognition Award. We feel lucky to have him in our delegation and proud to count him as a Sea Grant champion.”
Last year, Courtney and Zeldin led a bipartisan group of 95 members of the House of Representatives in calling on the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies to continue their support for the National Sea Grant College Program for the 2018 Fiscal Year.
Sea Grant is a national network comprised of 33 Sea Grant programs based at flagship universities in coastal and Great Lake states throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The National Sea Grant College Program encourages the wise stewardship of our marine resources through research, education, outreach and technology transfer. The program is focused on making the United States the world leader in marine research and the sustainable development of marine resources.
The Knauss Fellows Reception is attended by more than 250 people from all over the country who participate in the Sea Grant program and the Knauss fellowship program. The Knauss fellowships support approximately 60 ocean and coastal policy fellows a year and provide them with an opportunity to work on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes policy issues for members of Congress and relevant federal agencies. Three fellows in the Class of 2018 are supported by Connecticut Sea Grant.