Florida Sea Grant’s extension programs address present and emerging issues identified locally with boots-on-the-ground extension agents and science communicators who live in the communities they serve.
Effective extension and educational programming requires acknowledging that Florida’s coastal natural resources are diverse and require localized and specialized expertise. The diversity in the natural environment is matched only by the diversity of visitors and an ever-changing composition of short-term and long-term residents
Our 21 extension agents live and work in the coastal communities that they serve. They have a breadth of experiences and tremendous trust from their local residents as reliable sources of science-based information.
To develop, market and implement extension and education activities that meet the needs of their local coastal counties, marine extension agents are guided by their local programmatic advisory committee. To develop and guide regional and statewide integrated efforts that prioritize applied science, Work Action Groups (WAGS) that are composed of Florida Sea Grant extension personnel as well as other subject matter experts are in place.
The activities of FSG’s Extension and Education Program are designed to contribute to the following measures dictated by the National Sea Grant Office:
- Number of acres of coastal habitat protected, enhanced or restored as a result of FSG activities.
- Number of fishermen, seafood processing and aquaculture industry personnel who modify their practices using knowledge gained in fisheries sustainability and seafood safety as a result of FSG activities.
- Number of communities that adopt/implement sustainable economic practices and policies as a result of FSG activities.
- Number of communities that adopt/implement hazard resiliency practices to prepare for and respond to/minimize coastal hazardous events as a result of FSG activities.
- Number of FSG products that are used to advance environmental literacy and workforce development.
- Number of people engaged in FSG supported informal education activities.
- Number of FSG-supported graduates who become employed in a career related to their degree within two years of graduation.
Extension & Research
FSG Extension agents collaborate with researchers in many ways, including assisting with project design and data collection (including training volunteers to collect data), connecting researchers with stakeholders, and sharing research results with clientele using appropriate terminology/language and/or by developing outreach materials.
Extension & Education
FSG sets high standards for excellence in extension and education programs by providing timely science-based information and tools to residents, business owners and community leaders so that they better understand how their decisions affect coastal environments and what actions they can take to become more resilient to coastal change. FSG facilitates partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders representing both public and private organizations to maximize the value, benefit and impact of programming. Programs also serve as a conduit of science-based information between coastal communities, businesses, natural resource managers, and the scientific community. FSG assists resource managers and decision-makers, ensuring that built and natural coastal environments are based on sound science, involve residents and businesses who have a stake in the resource, and include mechanisms to evaluate trade-offs between human and environmental needs. Finally, FSG works to educate the public, helping communities incorporate social science, including quality of life and sustainable economic development, into comprehensive planning and management of built and natural coastal resources. More information on FSG educational materials can be found here.
FSG agents and specialists are available to deliver science-based presentations about a variety of topics, including marine animals, ecosystems, and the science that goes into making management/policy decisions. These presentations can currently be given virtually, and may be able to be given in-person in the future. Learn more here.