Rich Hoops of Earthwatch Radio narrates one of the program's two-minute programs that had been provided free of charge to radio stations across the country from 1972 through 2007. Credit: Bob Rashid
Explore some Wisconsin Sea Grant facts and milestones:
- Wisconsin Sea Grant was the first Sea Grant Program in the Great Lakes region and one of the first programs in the nation, born in 1968. It focuses on research, education and outreach. In 1972, the program received the prestigious designation as a Sea Grant College Program.
- Wisconsin Sea Grant has eight outreach specialists operating out of five offices around the state. They provide advice and assistance on a range of water and coastal topics in a non-advocating manner.
- In 46 years, Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded more than $120 million worth of projects.
- In its program history, Wisconsin Sea Grant has provided financial support for nearly 700 graduate students and hundreds of Wisconsin faculty and staff at 16 public and private universities and colleges, and the statewide UW Extension system.
- Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded the publication, reprinting and distribution of about 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers addressing a wide variety of disciplines. The program, itself, has published more than 400 public-information, advisory, technical and educational works. Now, the program is increasingly disseminating information through videos and audio podcasting, in addition to print-online-PDF formats.
- For 35 years, UW Sea Grant was the main producing partner in Earthwatch Radio, which holds the record as the longest-running science and environmental news program. Among its many awards was being named to the “Global 500
Roll of Honor” by the United Nations Environment Program.
Marinas and related industries and services mean more than $2.7 billion to Wisconsin's economy. The voluntary Clean Marina Program ensures clean boating practices that benefit the environment, and marinas alike. Wisconsin Sea Grant provides the training and technical assistance to make the program successful. Credit: John Karl/Wisconsin Sea Grant
- The Clean Marina Program launched in mid-2010 to encourage marina operators to adopt green practices that benefit their bottom-lines and the environment. Wisconsin Sea Grant provides technical assistance to the marinas. Twenty-one marinas have now been certified as green.
- Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded two decades of comprehensive, multidisciplinary research on Green Bay, Lake Michigan, making it one of the most rigorously studied estuarine systems of its size in the world.
- Wisconsin Sea Grant has distributed more than 3 million wallet-sized “Zebra Mussel Watch” cards in collaboration with 55 partners in the public and private sector in 31 states and one Canadian province. With the increase of Quagga Mussels in the Great Lakes, the program has recently produced and distributed a wallet-size card that compares the two species and offers tips on preventing their spread.
- Wisconsin now has more shipwrecks listed on the national register than any other state. Wisconsin Sea Grant has assisted in that listing with its support of work to explore and document the wreck locations.
- The World Health Organization has adopted the fish-specific toxicity equivalency factors created by Wisconsin Sea Grant research to assess the risks of recruitment failure in feral fish populations exposed to various toxic chemical contaminants.
- The program funded research that proved the hypothesis that trout and salmon use their sense of smell to return to their natal streams to spawn.
- Wisconsin Sea Grant helped with the development of acoustic sonar technology, widely known as fish-finders, benefiting fishermen the world over. This technology was developed in connection with field studies determining the thermal niches of fishes, which established the ecological concept that each species of fish prefers a specific range of water temperatures.