MIT Sea Grant Center for Coastal Resources

PI: Judith Pederson, MIT Sea Grant

Project Number:2003-A-5

Start Date:2003-03-01End Date:2007-02-28

Proposal Summary

Objectives: 1. To further the mission of the MITSG Center for Coastal Resources (CCR) in providing integrated outreach program that makes accessible scientific and technical information in the areas of marine bioinvasions and ballast water, water and sediment pollution, and habitats to a broad audience.
2. To expand outreach and educational activities in the area of marine bioinvasions,
3. To develop a ballast water management approach for the northwest Atlantic that is consistent with federal and international approaches,
4. To coordinate with other Sea Grant Programs in the development of programs that protect habitats and improve water and sediment quality with the long term goal of increasing our understanding of human induced impacts on marine ecosystems, and
5. To translate scientific and technical information and develop new tools for policy makers, managers and other stakeholders.

Methodology: The approach to the MITSG CCR marine advisory outreach program is to employ a variety of activities that engage the targeted audiences and provide a product, action, or opportunity for continued involvement on any given issues. This will include, but is not limited to, conducting workshops, conference and symposia that offer opportunities to exchange information with stakeholders, preparing and distributing written materials (reports, papers, documents, fact sheets, etc.), developing innovative approaches to getting information to a targeted and broad audiences, attending meetings, serving on committees, mentoring UROP students, advising graduate students, and facilitating access to MIT faculty and other academic scientists. The MITSG CCR relies heavily on ad hoc and long term committees to advise and support activities and collaborates with other groups on projects. An integral part of all projects is assessment, evaluation and new ideas for improvement from participants.

Rationale: We live in an age of information overload that challenges the public, policy makers and those in decision making position to access relevant and scientifically valid information. The Marine Advisory component of MIT Sea Grant College Program is committed to serving as neutral brokers and providing outreach materials and activities that are based on good science, have balanced viewpoints and are consistent with sea grant program priorities and theme areas. The MITSG CCR focuses on three issues of importance to Massachusetts policy makers and coastal managers in the region: ballast water and marine bioinvasions, water and sediment pollution, and habitats. The targeted audiences are state and federal agencies, stakeholders and users, students, scientific community, nongovernment organizations and the interested public. Although not a major focus of MITSG, often materials are adapted for K-12.

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