Established in 1968, Washington Sea Grant (WSG) began as a federal experiment in local investment, building on the University of Washington’s academic strengths in marine science, engineering and policy. In 1971, it became one of the first four programs designated nationally as a Sea Grant College. Today, WSG is part of a national network of 30 Sea Grant colleges administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. This network provides a stable national infrastructure of programs in every coastal and Great Lakes state and in Puerto Rico, with an additional project in Guam. Research Washington Sea Grant-sponsored research maximizes the productive use of marine resources while preserving and, if necessary, helping to restore the essential qualities of a healthy marine environment. Research is centered on five key program areas: * Living Marine Resources * Ecosystem Health * New Technologies to Enhance Ocean Productivity * Economic and Community Development * Education, Training and Public Information Outreach (Marine Advisory Services) Outreach efforts are a central component of Sea Grant. Specialists in Marine Advisory Services and Communications, as well as WSG-funded researchers, work individually and in teams, reaching out to the marine community with program-generated information. Marine Advisory Services links university resources and expertise with local communities and user groups. MAS specialists and field agents work in a broad range of topic areas including aquaculture, fisheries, coastal economic development, coastal tourism, ports and marine transportation, water quality, small oil spill prevention, public safety and safety at sea, marine and aquatic education, global environmental change, and marine technology training. Education WSG educates the workforce and informs the public as a means of sustaining the vitality of marine resources and the enviable lifestyle in Washington and the Pacific Northwest. WSG works with institutions of higher learning throughout the state to maintain a high standard of teaching and research. It provides K-12 teacher training on marine topics and works closely with educational programs and information services to disseminate information on marine resources and the environment to the public. Many WSG research and education projects involve the training of graduate and undergraduate students, as well as post-doctoral investigators. WSG presents students with opportunities to compete for many different fellowship and internship programs. Communications Washington Sea Grant Communications keeps the public informed about current research and technology and promotes the understanding of marine issues among industry, educators and marine resource users. The Communications office maintains a publications database, produces and distributes informational brochures, pamphlets and books, creates public exhibits and responds to media inquiries about Sea Grant activities and research.