Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/11/2002)

National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002 - Amends the National Sea Grant College Program Act to require the Secretary of Commerce to develop a strategic plan for the national sea grant college program at least quadrennially. Requires that such plan integrate with the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as balance local, regional, and national needs.

Revises requirements for evaluation of sea grant college and institute programs. Requires the Director of the National Sea Grant College Program to rate such programs according to their relative performance into at least five categories, with each of the two best-performing categories containing at most 25 percent of the programs.

Requires the Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, to contract with the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate such rating system.

Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on efforts to ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to the graduate and post-graduate fellowship program.

Eliminates the postdoctoral fellowship program.

Increases from three years to four years the membership term for the sea grant review panel.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) FY 2004 through 2008; (2) competitive grants for research on the biology and control of zebra mussels and other important aquatic nonnative species, on oyster health issues, on harmful algal blooms (including Pfiesteria piscicida); and (3) competitive grants for fishery extension activities to enhance (and not supplant) existing core program funding. Limits the percentage of funds available for administration.

Requires the Secretary to distribute any appropriations in excess of FY 2003 levels to any combination of: (1) sea grant programs, according to their performance rating; (2) national strategic investments; (3) sea grant program qualifying activities; and (4) sea grant colleges or institutes designated after this Act's enactment, but not yet evaluated.

Requires annual reports to specified congressional committees by: (1) the Secretary of Commerce on qualifying efforts of institutions to become a part of this program, including institutions in the territories and freely associated States; and (2) the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere jointly with the Director of the National Science Foundation on the coordination during the following fiscal year of the ocean and coastal research activities of NOAA (including the National Sea Grant College and Coastal Ocean Programs) and the National Science Foundation.