Save the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium

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Target: South Carolina State Finance Committee

Goal: To override Governor Nikki Haley’s veto of funding for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.

Despite the state department of South Carolina allocating a $428,000 budget to the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, it is under threat to be permanently closed down. This stems from a veto levied by Governor Nikki Hayley, seeking to completely eliminate the coastal agency by removing all funding.

With so much of the state’s tourist revenue stemming from visitors flocking the South Carolina’s shoreline, it seems foolhardy to cancel one of the most important coastal research agencies in the state. This research is varied and diverse, analyzing nearly every aspect of the South Carolina coast. This includes issues such as how to improve the seafood industry, the water quality impact of coastal development, and how stormwater pollution impacts lowcountry creeks and marshes.

The value of this research and its long-term ramifications are evident in the manner with which thirty-two separate coastal states have all developed similar programs used to allocate federal funding given for scientific research. This makes Governor Haley’s cancellation of the program not only rather unprecedented, but entirely unwarranted.

At present, the program has been credited with bringing $53 million to South Carolina in federal and non-state dollars for research since 2000. In comparison, within that same stretch of time, the state itself has spent about $5.2 million on the Sea Grant Consortium, or below ten percent of what the program has brought in.

If this veto is allowed to remain in place, issues such as the advance of toxic algae in coastal waterways will go unaddressed, leading to far more harm to the state then the economic impact of a program with a comparatively small annual budget.

Please lend your voice in asking the South Carolina state legislature to override the governor’s veto and continue funding for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Members of the South Carolina State Finance Committee,

While the South Carolina legislature has allocated $428,000 in state funding to allow the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium to continue, the program is now finding itself fighting for its life. This stems from Governor Nikki Hayley’s decision to veto the budget, essentially cutting all financial support for the program. This would effectively cancel the coastal agency, a tremendous mistake for South Carolina.

Much of the state’s tourist revenue stems from visitors flocking to South Carolina’s shoreline; thus, it would seem foolhardy to cancel one of the most important coastal research agencies in the state, risking the degradation of the coastline and the potential lost revenue that would result in. This program’s research is varied and diverse, analyzing nearly every aspect of South Carolina’s coast. Research from the Sea Grant Consortium has analyzed issues such as how to improve the seafood industry, the water quality impact of coastal development, and how stormwater pollution impacts lowcountry creeks and marshes.

Thirty-two separate coastal states have all developed programs such as this because they have proven to be such an asset. At present, this program has been credited with bringing over $53 million to South Carolina in federal and non-state research dollars since 2000. In comparison, within that same stretch of time, the state itself has only spent about $5.2 million on the Sea Grant Consortium–less than ten percent of what the program has brought in.

This veto cannot be allowed to remain in place. The cancellation of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium would present issues such as the advance of toxic algae in coastal waterways going unaddressed. This would lead to far more harm to the state than the economic impact of a program with a comparatively small annual budget.

I urge you, overturn the veto and return funding to the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium today.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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One Comment

  1. Nature calls — if you have ears to hear her plea.

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