S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Receives High Marks by National Sea Grant Review Panel
On August 6-8, 2019, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium was evaluated by a six-member National Sea Grant Site Review Team (SRT). The SRT was in Charleston to evaluate the agency and its programs spanning the years 2014 through 2017, focusing its attention on the Consortium’s (1) organization and management, (2) stakeholder engagement, (3) collaborations and partnerships, and (4) program performance.
We are very pleased to report that the SRT found the Consortium meets the “standards of excellence” expected of all Sea Grant programs, and recommends that the Consortium remain certified as a Sea Grant College Program. The Consortium scored extremely well in the four national performance categories, which include Healthy Coastal Ecosystems, Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture, Resilient Communities and Economies, and Environmental Literacy and Workforce Development.
The SRT noted that the Consortium is recognized as an honest broker of information and assistance, excels at partnering with its member institutions to leverage funding, has robust and effective stakeholder engagement, works seamlessly across jurisdictional boundaries to address issues of regional importance, and generates an impressive network of talented students invested in the future of South Carolina’s coast. Also notable is that the SRT did not have any recommendations for improvement.
The SRT identified three Best Management Practices incorporated by the agency:
- Creating Program Advisory Committees for each program specialist and seeking input on its request for funding proposals from those committees in each two-year funding period, going above and beyond the four-year strategic planning requirement.
- Ensuring that all educational lessons and products are linked to state science standards and providing that information on its website.
- Integrating science and scholarship with history and culture in its quarterly magazine Coastal Heritage is a model of excellence.
The SRT’s final draft report will be reviewed by a National Sea Grant Evaluation Committee, which will be convened in Spring 2020. The National Sea Grant Advisory Board and the National Sea Grant Director must then sign off on the final Performance Report, which also will include the amount of any additional funding the Consortium will receive beginning in FY21. The Consortium will receive its final report in Summer 2020.