Focus Areas

National Framework

A national framework of focus areas describes the Sea Grant network’s overarching priorities based on national and regional needs and initiatives. The focus areas provide a structure to organize relevant accomplishments, impacts and outcomes with applicable priority…Each university-based Sea Grant program contributes to the national focus areas and goals. Program strategies are aligned with the national network, but participation in individual focus areas, goals and performance measures are determined after consultation with local and regional stakeholders and advisors. This iterative and flexible planning process allows for local level input to identify and develop methods to address emerging issues while assuring alignment with the national strategic plan.

National Sea Grant College Program 2018-2021 Strategic Plan


Maine Sea Grant Focus Areas


Healthy Coastal Ecosystems

Our work in this focus area informs and improves state and community-based ecosystem management efforts through research, monitoring, providing facilitation and coordination for water quality, habitat and ecosystem management initiatives.

Resilient Communities and Economies

Demographic, economic, political, and environmental changes within Maine’s coastal communities often manifest as user conflicts, increase demand on the coastal environment, and have the potential to erode Maine’s natural and cultural heritage.  Our work helps communities gather and use the resources they need to thrive in the face of both predicted and unexpected ecological, social, economic, and demographic changes.

Safe & Sustainable Seafood

Maine Sea Grant’s work in safe and sustainable seafood is focused on fisheries that are managed by the state and/or communities, a scale at which our fishermen can get involved in science, monitoring, and management. Our work in aquaculture includes continued development of new culture techniques and target species, as well as marketing, industry support, and connections to consumers.

Preparing for a Changing Climate

Coastal residents and towns need strategies to prepare for and adapt to climate change and its effects on sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, marine and coastal resources, and coastal flooding. Maine Sea Grant works with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to mitigate and prepare for the local impacts of climate change, and help communities understand and predict climate-related impacts on Maine’s coastal and marine ecosystems.

Environmental Literacy & Workforce Development

All of Maine Sea Grant’s programs and project are implemented to increase environmental literacy and workforce development opportunities for Maine people of all ages. The goals of this focus area are integrated into all extension and communications staff work plans as well as the funding criteria for our research program.