|On April 27, 2015, six of Virginia’s university presidents will join forces to advance marine and coastal science that solves pressing issues by signing the Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) charter. The charter will be the first in VASG’s 30-year history and formalizes a commitment among partners toward collaboration on the challenges that face Virginia’s coasts and oceans.“It’s important to break down boundaries and to cross those boundaries,” says VASG Director Hartley. “That’s where innovation and problem solving comes from.”
University presidents from William & Mary, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and George Mason University will be signing the document. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Secretary of Education Anne Holton, and Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward will also participate in the event.
“The charter is our way to operationalize our commitment to integrating our programs and enabling connections across our institutions,” says Hartley.
The charter signing comes on the heels of another major milestone for VASG. On Thursday, December 18, the Department of Commerce awarded VASG’s home institutions William & Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science with College Status—the highest status that any Sea Grant program can achieve.
Founded in 1984, VASG is a multi-university organization whose mission is to enhance the ecological, economic, and social sustainability of coastal and ocean communities in Virginia. VASG utilizes university-based research, extension, education, and communication to provide science-based information to decision makers.
VASG brings cutting edge, applicable marine and coastal research to Virginia’s coasts by working with universities in the Commonwealth. VASG is hosted at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, graduate school of marine science at William & Mary. Today, VASG has six partner institutions: William & Mary – Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Old Dominion University, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and George Mason University. Virginia Sea Grant is based at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point, Virginia.
Virginia Sea Grant is a state-federal partnership and part of the National Sea Grant Program, a program of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. There are 33 Sea Grant programs throughout the U.S.