Summary: S.129 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/14/2017)

National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2017

(Sec. 3) This bill requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to award Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships. Currently, NOAA has discretion in awarding such fellowships. Those fellowships support the placement of graduate students in fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources in positions within the executive and legislative branches.

(Sec. 4) NOAA must establish priorities for the use of donations given for the National Sea Grant Program.

(Sec. 5) The National Sea Grant Advisory Board must report to Congress regarding the state of the National Sea Grant Program every four years, rather than biennially.

(Sec. 6) The National Sea Grant Program must consist of financial assistance for research, education, extension, training, technology transfer, public service, and certain other activities.

(Sec. 7) NOAA must notify Congress in writing at least 30 days before designating an institution, or an association or alliance of two or more such institutions, as a sea grant college or sea grant institute. NOAA may not make such a designation if, before the end of the 30-day period, Congress enacts a joint resolution disapproving the designation.

(Sec. 8) An agency may appoint a recipient of a Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship to a federal position within two years after such recipient successfully completes a fellowship.

(Sec. 9) The bill reauthorizes through FY2022 the National Sea Grant College Program and authorizes through FY2022 grants for university research on: (1) the biology, prevention, and control of aquatic nonnative species; (2) oyster diseases, oyster restoration, and oyster-related human health risks; (3) the biology, prevention, and forecasting of harmful algal blooms; and (4) sustainable aquaculture techniques and technologies. The bill also authorizes through FY2022 grants for: (1) fishery research and extension activities conducted by sea grant colleges or sea grant institutes to enhance existing core program funding; and (2) priority issues identified in the National Sea Grant Program's strategic plan.