Projects

Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Outreach Program

End Date: 01/31/18

Objectives

  • To assist coastal communities and stakeholders in the region address concerns and problems surrounding the development, use, and conservation of ocean and coastal resources through targeted extension and outreach activities drawing upon applied interdisciplinary research, communications, extension, and legal services
  • To inform stakeholders of MASCG-funded research results
  • To assist decision-makers in understanding the interconnectedness and interactions of coastal ecosystems in order to maintain vital habitats and inform restoration efforts within ecosystems and watersheds
  • To increase stakeholder awareness of innovative technologies for all sectors of the seafood industry, including fishing, aquaculture, seafood processing and consumer safety, to ensure a safe and sustainable supply of seafood products now and for future generations
  • To support the development of resilient coastal communities that sustain diverse and vibrant economies, effectively respond to and mitigate natural and technological hazards and function within the limits of their ecosystems
  • To enhance community resilience in coastal communities by providing a range of outreach services to community stakeholders that will aid the planning decisions of communities while retaining local culture and improving both physical and economic resilience to the impacts of natural hazards and climate change
  • To support and inform an environmentally literate public and provide workforce and professional development opportunities in science, environmental law and policy, and other disciplines critical to local, regional and national needs.

Methodology

The investigators use several tools to convey coastal and marine-related information to stakeholders, including in-person meetings and workshops; webinars; online resources and social media; media outlets using newspaper columns, television news coverage and press releases; presentations to civic groups; event and aquaria displays; (informal) educational products; and a vast array of written materials including newsletters, reports, pamphlets, circulars, booklets and books.

Rationale

The outreach component is a vital element in helping the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (Consortium) achieve the goals outlined in its 2014-2017 Strategic Plan.  Mississippi and Alabama face major challenges in managing fisheries, rehabilitating coastal wetlands, protecting coastal water quality, and maintaining stable shorelines.  Although covering a relatively small geographic area, the coastal region is one of the fastest growing in the United States. 

Year after year, more pressure will be put on our beaches, wetlands, fisheries and the health of our coastal and marine environment. The mission of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium is to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit the economy and environment in Alabama and Mississippi. To assist the consortium fulfill its mission, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Outreach Program experience and expertise will be used to assist coastal communities and stakeholders in the region address concerns and problems surrounding the development, use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources.