The National Sea Grant mission is to provide integrated research, communication, education, extension and legal programs to coastal communities leading to the responsible use of the nation¡s ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources. The individual Sea Grant programs, including MIT¡s, are expected to make significant contributions to this effort through research, education and outreach programs that feed into informed personal, policy and management decisions in the Commonwealth and the nation. I ask for your assistance in preparing MIT Sea Grant¡s 2018-2021 strategic plan in support of the Sea Grant mission (2014 plan). Separate panels will be convened from noon to 3pm on the Wednesdays, May 25, June 1 and June 8, to consider the research, education and advisory outreach programs, respectively. Since I need input from the whole community I would like to invite you to participate in this exercise. Here are the possible ways you can participate: ? Attend the panel meetings physically. Please let us know by May 20 if you can attend in person so we can reserve a large enough room. Details coming soon? Attend the panel meetings virtually. Details coming soon? Provide me with your input by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please put Input to Strategic Plan in the subject line.The following background information will help you prepare your input. National Sea Grant Program activities are concentrated in four Focus Areas, considered to be of critical importance to the health and vitality of the nation’s coastal resources and communities: ? Healthy Coastal Ecosystems? Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture? Resilient Communities & Economies? Environmental Literacy & Workforce Development The focus areas were selected to allow Sea Grant as a whole to respond to issues of major importance. Each of the 33 Sea Grant programs is expected to prepare their own strategic plan to address these issues locally through research, education and community outreach and extension programs. There are certain broad categories of concern to coastal communities around the nation that have been identified by the National. However, MIT Sea Grant has historically been most successful when our research is tightly focused on specific challenges and approaches. For the last two years, we have given funding for work in ocean acidification as described in our RFP statement. The issues we consider currently significant and which, with your assistance, we seek to prioritize are: ? Fisheries? Ocean acidification? Coastal and Ocean Observation? Coastal and Ocean Modeling and Prediction? Carbon sequestration? Heavy metals in ocean water? Aquaculture? Freshwater-ocean interactions? Ocean Pollution Each panel¡s charge will be to identify the most crucial issues in their arena ¤ research, education and outreach ¤ and to suggest methods and approaches to effectively address them. In addition to the panel meetings we are also conducting a survey to collect input from the community at large. This is available on our web site and I encourage you to participate in that survey as well. Your suggestions and recommendations will be greatly appreciated and will assist me in drafting the blueprint of our 2018-2021 strategic plan.