Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (12/01/2014)

National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2014 - Reauthorizes the National Sea Grant College Program Act through FY2020.

(Sec. 3) Removes a requirement that Department of Commerce report annually on efforts and progress made by colleges, universities, institutions, associations, and alliances to become designated as sea grant colleges or institutes.

(Sec. 4) Changes from discretionary to mandatory the authority of Commerce to award Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships to support the placement of individuals at the graduate level of education (in fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources) in positions with the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

Grants first priority to placement of those legislative fellows in offices or committees of Congress that have jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and second priority to placement in offices of Members of Congress that have a demonstrated interest in ocean, coastal, or Great Lakes resources. Requires Commerce to ensure that placements are equitably distributed among political parties.

Urges the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to encourage participating federal agencies to consider opportunities for fellowship awardees at the conclusion of their fellowship for workforce positions appropriate for their education and experience.

(Sec. 5) Requires Commerce to establish priorities for the use of donations of money and voluntary, uncompensated services for the National Sea Grant Program. Directs the National Sea Grant Office to recommend the optimal use of the donations.

(Sec. 6) Repeals a reporting requirement under the National Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002 regarding the coordination of research activities by NOAA and the National Science Foundation.

(Sec. 7) Requires the National Sea Grant Advisory Board to report to Congress every three years (currently, every two years) on the progress made toward meeting priorities under the Secretary's strategic plan.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes additional FY2015-FY2020 appropriations designated specifically for competitive grants relating to: (1) university research on aquatic non-native species, oyster diseases, oyster restoration, oyster-related human health risks, harmful algal blooms, coastal resilience and U.S. working waterfronts and other specified regional or national priority issues, and sustainable aquaculture techniques and technologies; and (2) fishery extension activities conducted by sea grant colleges or institutes to enhance existing core program funding.

Requires the Program to use authority available for the temporary assignment of personnel between federal, state, and local governments and other organizations to meet any critical staffing requirement while implementing authorized activities. Exempts costs associated with the exercise of such authority from limitations on the amount that may be used for administration of programs in a fiscal year.