University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program Strategic Plan 2018-2021
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University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program Strategic Plan 2018-2021

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    Hawai‘i Sea Grant, in collaboration with our constituents, stakeholders, and other community members and partners, initiated work to update our strategic plan in 2016. This document is the fruit of those efforts and establishes a guide for the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (Hawai‘i Sea Grant) for 2018-2021, while providing a reference for the community we serve, the people of Hawai‘i. This “living” document will necessarily evolve as Hawai‘i’s future unfolds. America’s invaluable coastal economic, cultural, and environmental assets are at risk. Climate-related environmental changes have made coastal communities vulnerable in ways never before imagined. Changing coastal uses and habitat degradation can no longer be ignored. Fisheries, once a major component of America’s coastal communities, now comprise only minor sectors of our nation’s coastal economies. Heightened concerns about human health and safety are focusing greater attention on port security, coastal infrastructure deterioration, and seafood safety. As hundreds of thousands more Americans move to the coast every year, it is increasingly important we find adequate ways to ensure the built environment, and the economies it supports, operate within the capacity of coastal and island ecosystems. America must use its coastal land, water, energy, and other resources in ways that preserve the health and productivity of coastal ecosystems while optimizing benefits to U.S. citizens now and in the future. stakeholders in Hawai‘i’s coastal communities. According to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy report (2004)1, the U.S. coastal zone contributed $4.5 trillion to the U.S. economy. Port and harbor industries, tourism, and the petroleum industry are now the largest components of coastal economies in most of America. Additionally, greater than one-half of the U.S. population now resides within 50 miles of the shoreline with a concomitant concentration of economic activity.2 The challenges we face on our coasts clearly have significant implications for the nation as a whole, not just for those living and working in coastal communities. As individuals and as a nation, we must take immediate steps to educate ourselves about the magnitude of the threats we face and respond to these in bold and creative ways. Leaders at all levels— national, state, and local—must work with citizens, private sector businesses, and other organizations to utilize our collective intelligence, ingenuity, and financial resources to redefine a time of potential crisis as a time of opportunity. Severe challenges present the greatest opportunities for change and innovation, and Sea Grant is equipped and prepared to respond. A demonstrated strength of the Sea Grant College Programs is the ability to rapidly mobilize and apply the capacity of our universities and other strategic partners to address emerging challenges across the country and around the world, as well as at home. Likewise, a strength of this Sea Grant network is the ability, through coordinated state and regional infrastructures, to implement the mission of our parent organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at multiple levels. At this time of risk and opportunity, Hawai‘i Sea Grant will address its goals with innovation and creativity, reflecting the particular needs of our stakeholders in Hawai‘i’s coastal communities.
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