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113th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report
                                                                113-279
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 607

 
       NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2014

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2030




                December 1, 2014--Ordered to be printed
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 607
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-279

======================================================================




       NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                
              December 1, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2030]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2030) to reauthorize and amend 
the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 2030 is to amend the National Sea Grant 
College Program Act (33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.) (Sea Grant Act) to 
reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program (Sea Grant) 
through 2020, and to improve the program's ability to enhance 
the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine, and 
Great Lakes resources through research, extension, and 
education activities.

                          Background and Needs

    The Sea Grant Act was first enacted in 1966 and has been 
amended ten times, most recently in 2008. Sea Grant promotes 
research, education, and training to increase the 
understanding, development, management, utilization, and 
conservation of the Nation's ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources. Sea Grant is a partnership between institutions of 
higher learning and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), and also works to build partnerships 
with State, local, and non-governmental (NGO) groups to address 
coastal and marine issues. For more than 40 years, the program 
has efficiently leveraged Federal funds to create and maintain 
a healthy coastal environment and economy in the United States.
    The Sea Grant network has been expanded gradually over 
time, and now consists of 33 university-based programs covering 
every coastal State, major territories, Lake Champlain, and the 
Great Lakes. The network includes over 3000 scientists at over 
300 institutions. Sea Grant focuses on the crosscutting goals 
of performing quality research, generating an informed public, 
facilitating inclusive decision making with diverse 
stakeholders, and providing relevant, timely information on 
coastal hazards. Sea Grant's current National Strategic Plan 
(2014-2017) includes four focus areas: (1) healthy coastal 
ecosystems; (2) sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; (3) 
resilient communities and economies; and (4) environmental 
literacy and workforce development.
    Sea Grant is structured in three parts: (1) the National 
Sea Grant Office (NSGO), based in Silver Spring, MD; (2) the 
Sea Grant Association (SGA), which represents the network of 
State programs; and (3) the Sea Grant Advisory Board (SGAB), 
which is a group of independent expert advisors and evaluators.
    In fiscal year (FY) 2013, with $57.6 million in 
appropriations, Sea Grant supported an estimated $485 million 
in economic benefit to the Nation, created or retained 3,400 
businesses, created or retained 15,000 jobs, generated 13 
patents, and supported 900 undergraduate and 980 graduate 
students.\1\ Sea Grant is able to leverage Federal funding by 
matching every $2 of Federal funding with an additional $1 of 
non-Federal funding from partners (33 U.S.C. 1124(a)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\NOAA, National Sea Grant College Program FY2013 Performance 
Measures and Metrics, 2014, http://seagrant.noaa.gov/Portals/0/
Documents/where_we_work/documents/
FY13%20Performance%20Measures%20and%20Metrics%20for%202_2012-
1_2013%20info%20(1).pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The primary purpose of this bill is to reauthorize Sea 
Grant. This bill also proposes changes to the legislation that 
will advance Sea Grant's capability to address regional and 
national issues, mandate the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship 
Program, enhance NOAA's ability to administer and provide 
guidance to Sea Grant, and make a number of administrative 
adjustments, such as the removal of two now-moot reporting 
requirements. A substitute amendment made other alterations to 
the base bill, including: additional direction for the 
administration of the Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program; 
clarification of Sea Grant's authority to accept private 
monetary donations; addition of aquaculture, coastal 
resilience, and working waterfronts to the list of priority 
program activities; and a reduction in the authorization levels 
for the priority activity grant program from $18 million to $6 
million annually.

Strengthening the education mandate and fellowship placement priorities

    Sea Grant has worked to integrate its three program 
elements - research, outreach, and education. However, recent 
proposals by the Administration regarding the consolidation of 
STEM education into the National Science Foundation (NSF) have 
raised the possibility that the core education function could 
be removed from Sea Grant, thus changing the fundamental nature 
of the program. The currently authorized Sea Grant Act includes 
education as one of the primary purposes of Sea Grant (33 
U.S.C. 1121(c)) and requires Sea Grant to support several 
fellowships (33 U.S.C. 1123(b)(3)), but the Dean John A. Knauss 
Marine Policy Fellowship, as written, is currently optional. 
For more than 30 years, the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy 
Fellowship has been a highly successful part of Sea Grant, and 
has brought over 1,000 fellows to Washington, D.C. This bill 
would strengthen the education mandate of Sea Grant by making 
the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship a mandatory 
component of Sea Grant's education portfolio.
    Each year, ten of the Knauss Fellows are placed on Capitol 
Hill in member offices or with committees. In response to 
concerns about potential imbalances in legislative fellow 
placement, the bill would direct the Secretary of Commerce to 
take steps, to the degree practicable, to ensure equitable 
placements among political parties. Because Knauss Fellows 
bring expertise in marine and aquatic-related fields, the bill 
would prioritize placement within offices of committees of 
Congress that have jurisdiction over NOAA, in offices of 
members on those committees, and in offices of members that 
have a demonstrated interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources. The Committee urges the NSGO to implement these 
changes as swiftly as possible, and no later than 30 days after 
enactment of this Act.

Developing Sea Grant's regional leadership and expanding priority 
        activities

    Since its inception, Sea Grant has prided itself on its 
ability to address national issues at a local level. Although 
Sea Grant has always had the capability of addressing 
intermediate-scale problems at a regional level, it can be 
difficult to encourage collaboration between State programs 
without a specific mandate. Sea Grant has already taken a 
leadership role by developing regional research and information 
plans over the past few years. This bill would formalize the 
role of regional projects within Sea Grant by adding an 
authorization for regional and national activities to the list 
of issue-specific authorizations already included in the Sea 
Grant Act (33 U.S.C. 1131(a)(2)). This addition would encourage 
cooperation between States on region-wide issues, such as the 
Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
    Other additions to the list of priority activities include 
coastal resilience, working waterfronts, and sustainable 
aquaculture techniques and technologies, topics that have 
become increasingly important to coastal communities. 
Collectively, these additions would serve to direct future 
research and highlight Sea Grant's capacity as a regional 
leader in providing science-based information and tools on a 
wide variety of issues.

Increasing resources for the national Sea Grant office

    Currently, the Sea Grant Act mandates a 5 percent cap on 
administrative spending in the NSGO. With this cap, 
approximately 95 percent of the Federal funding provided to Sea 
Grant goes directly to the State programs, where it is used to 
conduct research, carry out extension and outreach activities, 
and deliver direct community services. With relatively flat 
funding and the administrative spending cap set at 5 percent, 
over the past seven years the NSGO has lost one-third of its 
full time employees, all four of its senior positions, and now 
has less than half the staff that it had in 1991. The SGAB has 
reviewed the functions and staffing of NOAA's NSGO twice in the 
last decade (2002 and 2008). In addition, in 2006, the National 
Research Council (NRC) reviewed the role of the NSGO in program 
evaluation and administration. Each of these reviews concluded 
that the staffing level of the NSGO was not adequate to 
accomplish the duties required, and therefore recommended to 
NOAA and the Department of Commerce that additional resources 
be allocated to the NSGO. However, the SGA expressed concern 
that a reallocation of funding to the NSGO would detract from 
their own funding in the States, and would impair their ability 
to do research and outreach in communities. Therefore, the bill 
proposes to raise the administrative cap to 5.5 percent, and 
includes language to authorize the NSGO to use the 
Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program to temporarily 
assign qualified and dedicated State Sea Grant personnel to 
fulfill critical NSGO duties. These assignments would result 
from a written agreement between the NSGO and the relevant 
State Sea Grant program. These additional personnel would come 
directly from the State programs on a rotating basis, external 
to the NSGO administrative spending cap.

Removal of unnecessary reporting requirements

    This bill would remove two required reports to Congress 
that are no longer useful. One report served as a progress 
update on the addition of new Sea Grant programs to the 
national network. However, with the addition of the Lake 
Champlain and Guam Sea Grant programs, Sea Grant network is now 
complete, with a program in every coastal State, the Great 
Lakes, Lake Champlain, and the major U.S. territories. 
Therefore, this report is no longer relevant. Second, the Sea 
Grant Act calls for a coordination report regarding a decade-
old proposal to transfer Sea Grant from NOAA to NSF. However, 
as that restructuring is no longer planned, the need for annual 
reporting on coordination has passed. NSF agrees, and has 
stated in writing its desire for the report to be eliminated. 
This bill would also alter the reporting requirements for the 
``State of Sea Grant'' report from biennial to every three 
years, in order to alleviate time constraints on the SGAB.

                         Summary of Provisions

    The National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 
2014 would reauthorize Sea Grant from 2015 to 2020. The bill 
would also make a number of program adjustments and 
improvements, including:
           adding aquaculture, coastal resilience, 
        working waterfronts, and regional and national issues 
        to the list of priority activities for competitive 
        research grants;
           increasing the administrative spending cap 
        for the NSGO from 5 percent to 5.5 percent, and 
        allowing the NSGO to take on staff from the State Sea 
        Grant programs via the Intergovernmental Personnel Act 
        Mobility Program;
           clarifying Sea Grant's ability to accept 
        monetary donations and asking the program to report to 
        Congress on optimal uses of any such donations;
           eliminating a number of unnecessary reports; 
        and
           mandating the Knauss Marine Policy 
        Fellowship Program, and establishing priorities for 
        placement of legislative fellows among congressional 
        offices and parties.
    This bill would authorize appropriations of $72 million for 
FY 2015, $75.6 for FY 2016, $79.38 million for FY 2017, $83.35 
million for FY 2018, $87.52 million for FY 2019, and $91.9 
million for FY 2020, the same amounts authorized in the past 
for the same program. An additional $6 million, $12 million 
less than the level authorized in the last reauthorization, 
would be authorized for competitive grants to address priority 
program activities.


                          Legislative History

    S. 2030 was introduced by Senator Schatz on February 12, 
2014, and is cosponsored by Senator Wicker. S. 2030 would 
reauthorize and amend the Sea Grant Act, originally enacted in 
1966 and last reauthorized in 2008.
    On July 23, 2014, the Committee met in open Executive 
Session and, by voice vote, accepted the substitute amendment 
for S. 2030 filed by Senator Schatz, and ordered S. 2030 
reported favorably.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2030--National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2014

    Summary: S. 2030 would authorize appropriations totaling 
$526 million over the 2015-2020 period for the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to carry out the National 
Sea Grant College Program, which funds scientific research, 
education, and public outreach related to marine issues at 
certain universities. In addition, the program would provide 
funds for marine policy fellowships.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $379 
million over the 2015-2019 period and $147 million after 2019. 
Because enacting the legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 2030 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments. The bill would benefit public universities by 
reauthorizing the national sea grant college program. Any costs 
incurred by state, local, or tribal governments, including 
matching funds, would result from complying with a voluntary 
federal program.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of S. 2030 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2015-
                                                              2015     2016     2017     2018     2019     2019
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Sea Grant Program
    Authorization Level...................................       72       76       79       83       88      398
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       47       64       75       81       85      352
Sea Grant Priority Grants
    Authorization Level...................................        6        6        6        6        6       30
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        4        5        6        6        6       27
    Total Changes
        Authorization Level...............................       78       82       85       89       94      428
        Estimated Outlays.................................       51       69       81       87       91      379
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
2030 will be enacted by the end of fiscal year 2014, that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year, and that 
outlays will follow historical spending patterns for similar 
NOAA activities.
    S. 2030 would amend and reauthorize the National Sea Grant 
College Program Act. The bill would authorize appropriations 
totaling $490 million over the 2015-2020 period to fund 
activities at a network of 33 Sea Grant programs located at 
universities in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Vermont, 
Puerto Rico, and Guam. Those funds would also be used to 
provide fellowships that support the placement of graduate 
students studying ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources 
within the executive and legislative branches of the United 
States government. In 2014, NOAA received appropriations 
totaling $63 million to fund similar activities. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing those provisions would cost $352 million over the 
2015-2019 period and $138 million after 2019.
    The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $6 
million a year to fund competitive grants that would fund high-
priority research activities at universities. Those activities 
would include the prevention and control of nonnative aquatic 
species, the development of sustainable aquaculture techniques, 
and the prevention and forecasting of harmful algal blooms. 
NOAA received an appropriation of $4 million to fund similar 
activities in 2014. Assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing these provisions would 
cost $27 million over the 2015-2019 period and $9 million after 
2019.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 2030 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA, and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. The bill would benefit public universities 
by reauthorizing the national sea grant college program. Any 
costs incurred by state, local, or tribal governments, 
including matching funds, would result from complying with a 
voluntary federal program.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on the 
private sector: Tristan Hanon.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    The bill would not authorize any new regulations and 
therefore would not subject any individuals or businesses to 
new regulations.

                            economic impact

    This bill would authorize appropriations of $72 million for 
FY 2015, $75.6 for FY 2016, $79.38 million for FY 2017, $83.35 
million for FY 2018, $87.52 million for FY 2019, and $91.9 
million for FY 2020, the same amounts authorized in the past 
for the same program. The increasing authorization levels over 
flat funding are intended to allow for expansion of the 
capacity of smaller programs in the network. An additional $6 
million, $12 million less than the level authorized in the last 
reauthorization, would be authorized for competitive grants to 
address priority activities: non-native species, oyster 
diseases and restoration, harmful algal blooms, coastal 
resilience and working waterfronts, aquaculture techniques and 
technologies, fisheries, and other regional or national 
priority issues identified in Sea Grant's National Strategic 
Plan. These amounts are not expected to have an inflationary 
impact on the Nation's economy. The research, education, and 
extension services that Sea Grant provides are estimated to 
have a net positive economic impact on coastal communities.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\NOAA, National Sea Grant College Program FY2013 Performance 
Measures and Metrics, 2014, http://seagrant.noaa.gov/Portals/0/
Documents/where_we_work/documents/
FY13%20Performance%20Measures%20and%20Metrics%20for%202_2012-
1_2013%20info%20(1).pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                privacy

    The reported bill would not have any adverse impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    This bill would add a new reporting requirement, mandating 
that Sea Grant, in consultation with the SGAB and the SGA, 
report to Congress within 180 days of enactment of this Act 
their recommendations for optimal use of any monetary donations 
received by Sea Grant.
    However, this bill would likely decrease overall paperwork 
by eliminating two reports that are no longer necessary: the 
Sea Grant Colleges and Sea Grant Institutes Annual Report on 
Progress, and the Report on the Coordination of Oceans and 
Coastal Research Activities. It would decrease a currently 
authorized report to Congress from the SGAB regarding ``The 
State of Sea Grant,'' from a biennial submission to once every 
three years.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide the short title of the bill, 
National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act of 2014.

Section 2. References to the National Sea Grant College Program Act.

    This section states that an amendment or repeal of a 
section or other provision shall be considered to be made to 
the Sea Grant Act.

Section 3. Sea Grant colleges and Sea Grant institutes; annual report 
        on progress.

    This section would remove a required report to Congress 
regarding the addition of new Sea Grant Colleges to the 
national network. Because the network is now complete, this 
report is no longer necessary.

Section 4. Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

    This section would strengthen the mandate for the 
continuation of the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy 
Fellowship within Sea Grant. It would also establish priorities 
for placement of legislative Knauss Fellows within offices of, 
or with members on, committees of Congress that have 
jurisdiction over NOAA, or in offices of members that have a 
demonstrated interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
resources. It would further direct the Secretary of Commerce to 
ensure, to the degree practicable, that placements are 
equitably distributed among political parties. Finally, this 
section includes a ``Sense of Congress'' statement that the 
Secretary of Commerce should encourage Federal agencies hosting 
Knauss Fellows to consider opportunities for fellowship 
awardees at the conclusion of their fellowships for workforce 
positions commensurate with their level of education and 
experience.

Section 5. Donations.

    This section would clarify that Sea Grant may accept 
monetary donations, and request that the program establish 
priorities for the use of any such donations, including the 
possibility of expanding the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy 
Fellowship's placement of legislative fellows. It would require 
that the NSGO, in consultation with the SGAB and the SGA, 
report to Congress within 180 days of enactment of this Act 
their recommendations for optimal use of donations received.

Section 6. Report on the coordination of oceans and coastal research 
        activities.

    This section would remove a required report to Congress on 
the coordination of activities between Sea Grant and NSF, in 
response to a decade-old proposal to incorporate Sea Grant into 
NSF. Because this proposal is no longer being enacted, this 
report is not necessary.

Section 7. National Sea Grant Advisory Board report.

    This section would decrease a currently authorized report 
to Congress from the SGAB regarding ``The State of Sea Grant,'' 
from a biennial submission to once every three years.

Section 8. Program elements.

    This section would duplicate language from elsewhere in the 
Act to emphasize and underscore Sea Grant's diverse and 
important roles in research, extension, education, training, 
technology transfer, and public service.

Section 9. Authorization of appropriations.

    This section would set the total authorized appropriations 
to the Secretary of Commerce to implement the Act at $72 
million for FY 2015, $75.6 million for FY 2016, $79.38 million 
for FY 2017, $83.35 million for FY 2018, $87.52 million for FY 
2019, and $91.9 million for FY 2020. An additional $6 million, 
$12 million less than the amount authorized in the 2008 
reauthorization, would be authorized for funding competitive 
grants for specific priority activities, including non-native 
species, oyster restoration and research, harmful algal blooms 
forecasting and prevention, coastal resilience, working 
waterfronts, aquaculture techniques and technology development, 
fisheries, and regional or national priority issues that span 
multiple States. Aquaculture, coastal resilience, working 
waterfronts, and regional and national priorities would be new 
additions to the scope of priority activities. This section 
would also limit spending on the administration of the program 
by the NSGO to 5.5 percent of the lesser of the amount 
authorized to be appropriated and the amount appropriated for 
the fiscal year, an increase of 0.5 percent over the current 
Sea Grant Act. Additionally, in this section, critical staffing 
requirements for the NSGO would be authorized to be met through 
the use of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility 
Program. The cost of staff transferred would not count towards 
the NSGO administrative spending cap, but rather would be paid 
for by the home office of the detail.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                 NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT

                        [33 U.S.C. 1121 et seq.]

SEC. 204. NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1123]

  (a) Program Maintenance.--The Secretary shall maintain within 
the Administration a program to be known as the national sea 
grant college program. The national sea grant college program 
shall be administered by a national sea grant office within the 
Administration.
  (b) Program Elements.--The national sea grant college program 
shall consist of the financial assistance for research, 
education, extension, training, technology transfer, and public 
service and other activities authorized in this title, and 
shall provide support for the following elements--
          (1) sea grant programs that comprise a national sea 
        grant college program network, including international 
        projects conducted within such programs and regional 
        and national projects conducted among such programs;
          (2) administration of the national sea grant college 
        program and this title by the national sea grant office 
        and the Administration;
          (3) the fellowship program under section 208; and
          (4) any regional or national strategic investments in 
        fields relating to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
        resources developed in consultation with the Board and 
        with the approval of the sea grant colleges and the sea 
        grant institutes.
  (c) Responsibilities of the Secretary.--
          (1) The Secretary, in consultation with the Board, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        develop at least every 4 years a strategic plan that 
        establishes priorities for the national sea grant 
        college program, provides an appropriately balanced 
        response to local, regional, and national needs, and is 
        reflective of integration with the relevant portions of 
        the strategic plans of the Department of Commerce and 
        of the Administration.
          (2) The Secretary, in consultation with the Board, 
        sea grant colleges, and sea grant institutes, shall 
        establish guidelines related to the activities and 
        responsibilities of sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes. Such guidelines shall include requirements 
        for the conduct of merit review by the sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes of proposals for 
        grants and contracts to be awarded under section 205, 
        providing, at a minimum, for standardized documentation 
        of such proposals and peer review of all research 
        projects.
          (3) The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe the 
        qualifications required for designation of sea grant 
        colleges and sea grant institutes under section 207.
          (4) To carry out the provisions of this title, the 
        Secretary may--
                  (A) appoint, assign the duties, transfer, and 
                fix the compensation of such personnel as may 
                be necessary, in accordance with civil service 
                laws;
                  (B) make appointments with respect to 
                temporary and intermittent services to the 
                extent authorized by section 3109 of title 5, 
                United States Code;
                  (C) publish or arrange for the publication 
                of, and otherwise disseminate, in cooperation 
                with other offices and programs in the 
                Administration and without regard to section 
                501 of title 44, United States Code, any 
                information of research, educational, training 
                or other value in fields related to ocean, 
                coastal, or Great Lakes resources;
                  (D) enter into contracts, cooperative 
                agreements, and other transactions without 
                regard to section 5 of title 41, United States 
                Code;
                  [(E) notwithstanding section 1342 of title 
                31, United States Code, accept donations and 
                voluntary and uncompensated services;]
                  (E) accept donations of money and, 
                notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, 
                United States Code, of voluntary and 
                uncompensated services;
                  (F) accept funds from other Federal 
                departments and agencies, including agencies 
                within the Administration, to pay for and add 
                to grants made and contracts entered into by 
                the Secretary; and
                  (G) promulgate such rules and regulations as 
                may be necessary and appropriate.
  (d) Director of the National Sea Grant College Program.--
          (1) The Secretary shall appoint, as the Director of 
        the National Sea Grant College Program, a qualified 
        individual who has appropriate administrative 
        experience and knowledge or expertise in fields related 
        to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. The 
        Director shall be appointed and compensated, without 
        regard to the provisions of title 5, United States 
        Code, governing appointments in the competitive 
        service, at a rate payable under section 5376 of title 
        5, United States Code.
          (2) Subject to the supervision of the Secretary, the 
        Director shall administer the national sea grant 
        college program and oversee the operation of the 
        national sea grant office. In addition to any other 
        duty prescribed by law or assigned by the Secretary, 
        the Director shall--
                  (A) facilitate and coordinate the development 
                of a strategic plan under subsection (c)(1);
                  (B) advise the Secretary with respect to the 
                expertise and capabilities which are available 
                within or through the national sea grant 
                college program and encourage the use of such 
                expertise and capabilities, on a cooperative or 
                other basis, by other offices and activities 
                within the Administration, and other Federal 
                departments and agencies;
                  (C) advise the Secretary on the designation 
                of sea grant colleges and sea grant institutes, 
                and, if appropriate, on the termination or 
                suspension of any such designation; and
                  (D) encourage the establishment and growth of 
                sea grant programs, and cooperation and 
                coordination with other Federal activities in 
                fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources.
          (3) [With respect to sea grant colleges and sea grant 
        institutes] With respect to sea grant colleges, sea 
        grant institutes, sea grant programs, and sea grant 
        projects, the Director shall--
                  (A) evaluate and assess the performance of 
                the programs of sea grant colleges and sea 
                grant institutes, using the priorities, 
                guidelines, and qualifications established by 
                the Secretary under subsection (c), and 
                determine which of the programs are the best 
                managed and carry out the highest quality 
                research, education, extension, and training 
                activities;
                  (B) subject to the availability of 
                appropriations, allocate [funding among sea 
                grant colleges and sea grant institutes] 
                funding among sea grant colleges, sea grant 
                institutes, sea grant programs, and sea grant 
                projects so as to--
                          (i) promote healthy competition among 
                        sea grant colleges and institutes;
                          (ii) encourage collaborations among 
                        sea grant colleges and sea grant 
                        institutes to address regional and 
                        national priorities established under 
                        subsection (c)(1);
                          (iii) ensure successful 
                        implementation of sea grant programs;
                          (iv) to the maximum extent consistent 
                        with other provisions of this Act, 
                        provide a stable base of funding for 
                        sea grant colleges and institutes;
                          (v) encourage and promote 
                        coordination and cooperation between 
                        the research, education, and outreach 
                        programs of the Administration and 
                        those of academic institutions; and
                          (vi) encourage cooperation with 
                        Minority Serving Institutions to 
                        enhance collaborative research 
                        opportunities and increase the number 
                        of such students graduating in NOAA 
                        science areas; and
                  (C) ensure compliance with the guidelines for 
                merit review under subsection (c)(2).

SEC. 207. SEA GRANT COLLEGES AND SEA GRANT INSTITUTES.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1126]

  (a) Designation.--
          (1) A sea grant college or sea grant institute shall 
        meet the following qualifications--
                  (A) have an existing broad base of competence 
                in fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources;
                  (B) make a long-term commitment to the 
                objective in section 202(b), as determined by 
                the Secretary;
                  (C) cooperate with other sea grant colleges 
                and institutes and other persons to solve 
                problems or meet needs relating to ocean, 
                coastal, and Great Lakes resources;
                  (D) have received financial assistance under 
                section 205 of this title (33 U.S.C. 1124);
                  (E) be recognized for excellence in fields 
                related to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
                resources (including marine resources 
                management and science), as determined by the 
                Secretary; and
                  (F) meet such other qualifications as the 
                Secretary, in consultation with the Board, 
                considers necessary or appropriate.
          (2) The Secretary may designate an institution, or an 
        association or alliance of two or more such 
        institutions, as a sea grant college if the 
        institution, association, or alliance--
                  (A) meets the qualifications in paragraph 
                (1); and
                  (B) maintains a program of research, 
                extension services, training, and education in 
                fields related to ocean, coastal, and Great 
                Lakes resources.
          (3) The Secretary may designate an institution, or an 
        association or alliance of two or more such 
        institutions, as a sea grant institute if the 
        institution, association, or alliance--
                  (A) meets the qualifications in paragraph 
                (1); and
                  (B) maintains a program which includes, at a 
                minimum, research and extension services.
  (b) Existing Designees.--Any institution, or association or 
alliance of two or more such institutions, designated as a sea 
grant college or awarded institutional program status by the 
Director prior to the date of enactment of the National Sea 
Grant College Program Reauthorization Act of 1998, shall not 
have to reapply for designation as a sea grant college or sea 
grant institute, respectively, after the date of enactment of 
the National Sea Grant College Program Reauthorization Act of 
1998, if the Director determines that the institution, or 
association or alliance of institutions, meets the 
qualifications in subsection (a).
  (c) Suspension or Termination of Designation.--The Secretary 
may, for cause and after an opportunity for hearing, suspend or 
terminate any designation under subsection (a).
  (d) Duties.--Subject to any regulations prescribed or 
guidelines established by the Secretary, it shall be the 
responsibility of each sea grant college and sea grant 
institute--
          (1) to develop and implement, in consultation with 
        the Secretary and the Board, a program that is 
        consistent with the guidelines and priorities 
        established under section 204(c); and
          (2) to conduct a merit review of all proposals for 
        grants and contracts to be awarded under section 205.
  [(e) Annual Report on Progress.--
          [(1) Report requirement.--The Secretary shall report 
        annually to the Committee on Resources and the 
        Committee on Science of the House of Representatives, 
        and to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate, on efforts and progress 
        made by colleges, universities, institutions, 
        associations, and alliances to become designated under 
        this section as sea grant colleges or sea grant 
        institutes, including efforts and progress made by sea 
        grant institutes in being designated as sea grant 
        colleges.
          [(2) Territories and freely associated states.--The 
        report shall include description of--
                  [(A) efforts made by colleges, universities, 
                associations, institutions, and alliances in 
                United States territories and freely associated 
                States to develop the expertise necessary to be 
                designated as a sea grant institute or sea 
                grant college;
                  [(B) the administrative, technical, and 
                financial assistance provided by the Secretary 
                to those entities seeking to be designated; and
                  [(C) the additional actions or activities 
                necessary for those entities to meet the 
                qualifications for such designation under 
                subsection (a)(1).]

SEC. 208. FELLOWSHIPS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1127]

  (a) In General.--To carry out the educational and training 
objectives of this Act, the Secretary shall support a program 
of fellowships for qualified individuals at the graduate and 
postgraduate level. The fellowships shall be related to ocean, 
coastal, and Great Lakes resources and awarded pursuant to 
guidelines established by the Secretary. The Secretary shall 
strive to ensure equal access for minority and economically 
disadvantaged students to the program carried out under this 
subsection. Every 2 years, the Secretary shall submit a report 
to the Congress describing the efforts by the Secretary to 
ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged 
students to the program carried out under this subsection, and 
the results of such efforts.
  (b) Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.--[The 
Secretary]
          (1)  In general.--The Secretary [may] shall award 
        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 United States Government. 
        [A fellowship]
          (2) Placement priorities.--
                  (A) In general.--In each year in which the 
                Secretary awards a legislative fellowship under 
                this subsection, when considering the placement 
                of fellows, the Secretary shall prioritize 
                placement of fellows in the following:
                          (i) Positions in offices of, or with 
                        members on, committees of Congress that 
                        have jurisdiction over the National 
                        Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
                          (ii) Positions in offices of members 
                        of Congress that have a demonstrated 
                        interest in ocean, coastal, or Great 
                        Lakes resources.
                  (B) Equitable distribution.--In placing 
                fellows in offices described in subparagraph 
                (A), the Secretary shall ensure, to the degree 
                practicable, that placements are equitably 
                distributed among the political parties.
          (3) Duration.--A fellowship awarded under this 
        subsection shall be for a period of not more than 1 
        year.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\The amendment inserting the language under paragraph (2) shall 
apply with respect to the first calendar year beginning after the date 
of enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program Amendments Act 
of 2014.
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    (c) Restriction on use of funds.--Amounts available for 
fellowships under this section, including amounts accepted 
under section 204(c)(4)(F) or appropriated under section 212 to 
implement this section, shall be used only for award of such 
fellowships and administrative costs of implementing this 
section.

SEC. 209. NATIONAL SEA GRANT ADVISORY BOARD.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1128]

  (a) Establishment.--There shall be an independent committee 
to be known as the National Sea Grant Advisory Board.
  (b) Duties.--
          (1) In general.--The Board shall advise the Secretary 
        and the Director concerning--
                  (A) strategies for utilizing the sea grant 
                college program to address the Nation's highest 
                priorities regarding the understanding, 
                assessment, development, management, 
                utilization, and conservation of ocean, 
                coastal, and Great Lakes resources;
                  (B) the designation of sea grant colleges and 
                sea grant institutes; and
                  (C) such other matters as the Secretary 
                refers to the Board for review and advice.
          [(2) Biennial report.--The Board shall report to the 
        Congress every two years on the state of the national 
        sea grant college program. The Board shall indicate in 
        each such report the progress made toward meeting the 
        priorities identified in the strategic plan in effect 
        under section 204(c). The Secretary shall make 
        available to the Board such information, personnel, and 
        administrative services and assistance as it may 
        reasonably require to carry out its duties under this 
        title.]
          (2) Report.--The Board shall report to the Congress 
        every 3 years on the state of the national sea grant 
        college program. The Board shall indicate in each such 
        report the progress made toward meeting the priorities 
        identified in the strategic plan in effect under 
        section 204(c). The Secretary shall make available to 
        the Board such information, personnel, and 
        administrative services and assistance as it may 
        reasonably require to carry out its duties under this 
        title.
  (c) Membership, Terms, and Powers.--
          (1) The Board shall consist of 15 voting members who 
        shall be appointed by the Secretary. The Director and a 
        director of a sea grant program who is elected by the 
        various directors of sea grant programs shall serve as 
        nonvoting members of the Board. Not less than 8 of the 
        voting members of the Board shall be individuals who, 
        by reason of knowledge, experience, or training, are 
        especially qualified in one or more of the disciplines 
        and fields included in marine science. The other voting 
        members shall be individuals who, by reason of 
        knowledge, experience, or training, are especially 
        qualified in, or representative of, education, marine 
        affairs and resource management, coastal management, 
        extension services, State government, industry, 
        economics, planning, or any other activity which is 
        appropriate to, and important for, any effort to 
        enhance the understanding, assessment, development, 
        management, utilization, or conservation of ocean, 
        coastal, and Great Lakes resources. No individual is 
        eligible to be a voting member of the Board if the 
        individual is (A) the director of a sea grant college 
        or sea grant institute; (B) an applicant for, or 
        beneficiary (as determined by the Secretary) of, any 
        grant or contract under section 205; or (C) a full-time 
        officer or employee of the United States.
          (2) The term of office of a voting member of the 
        Board shall be 3 years for a member appointed before 
        the date of enactment of the National Sea Grant College 
        Program Act Amendments of 2002, and 4 years for a 
        member appointed or reappointed after the date of 
        enactment of the National Sea Grant College Program Act 
        Amendments of 2002. The Director may extend the term of 
        office of a voting member of the Board appointed before 
        the date of enactment of the National Sea Grant College 
        Program Act Amendments of 2002 by up to 1 year. At 
        least once each year, the Secretary shall publish a 
        notice in the Federal Register soliciting nominations 
        for membership on the Board.
          (3) Any individual appointed to a partial or full 
        term may be reappointed for one additional full term. 
        The Director may extend the term of office of a voting 
        member of the Board once by up to 1 year.
          (4) The Board shall select one voting member to serve 
        as the Chairman and another voting member to serve as 
        the Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall act as 
        Chairman in the absence or incapacity of the Chairman.
          (5) Voting members of the Board shall--
                  (A) receive compensation at a rate 
                established by the Secretary, not to exceed the 
                maximum daily rate payable under section 5376 
                of title 5, United States Code, when actually 
                engaged in the performance of duties for such 
                Board; and
                  (B) be reimbursed for actual and reasonable 
                expenses incurred in the performance of such 
                duties.
          (6) The Board shall meet on a biannual basis and, at 
        any other time, at the call of the Chairman or upon the 
        request of a majority of the voting members or of the 
        Director.
          (7) The Board may exercise such powers as are 
        reasonably necessary in order to carry out its duties 
        under subsection (b).
          (8) The Board may establish such subcommittees as are 
        reasonably necessary to carry out its duties under 
        subsection (b). Such subcommittees may include 
        individuals who are not Board members.

SEC. 212. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

                            [33 U.S.C. 1131]

  (a) Authorization.--
          (1) In general.--There are authorized to be 
        appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this title--
                  [(A) $ 72,000,000 for fiscal year 2009;
                  [(B) $ 75,600,000 for fiscal year 2010;
                  [(C) $ 79,380,000 for fiscal year 2011;
                  [(D) $ 83,350,000 for fiscal year 2012;
                  [(E) $ 87,520,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
                  [(F) $ 91,900,000 for fiscal year 2014.]
                  (A) $72,000,000 for fiscal year 2015;
                  (B) $75,600,000 for fiscal year 2016;
                  (C) $79,380,000 for fiscal year 2017;
                  (D) $83,350,000 for fiscal year 2018;
                  (E) $87,520,000 for fiscal year 2019; and
                  (F) $91,900,000 for fiscal year 2020.
          [(2) Priority activities.--In addition to the amounts 
        authorized under paragraph (1), there are authorized to 
        be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2009 through 
        2014--
                  [(A) $ 5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on the biology, prevention, 
                and control of aquatic nonnative species;
                  [(B) $ 5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on oyster diseases, oyster 
                restoration, and oyster-related human health 
                risks;
                  [(C) $ 5,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                university research on the biology, prevention, 
                and forecasting of harmful algal blooms; and
                  [(D) $ 3,000,000 for competitive grants for 
                fishery extension activities conducted by sea 
                grant colleges or sea grant institutes to 
                enhance, and not supplant, existing core 
                program funding.]
          (2) Priority activities.--In addition to the amounts 
        authorized under paragraph (1), there is authorized to 
        be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2015 through 
        2020 $6,000,000 for competitive grants for the 
        following:
                  (A) University research on the biology, 
                prevention, and control of aquatic nonnative 
                species.
                  (B) University research on oyster diseases, 
                oyster restoration, and oyster-related human 
                health risks.
                  (C) University research on the biology, 
                prevention, and forecasting of harmful algal 
                blooms.
                  (D) University research, education, training, 
                and extension services and activities focused 
                on coastal resilience and U.S. working 
                waterfronts and other regional or national 
                priority issues identified in the strategic 
                plan under section 204(c)(1).
                  (E) University research on sustainable 
                aquaculture techniques and technologies.
                  (F) Fishery extension activities conducted by 
                sea grant colleges or sea grant institutes to 
                enhance, and not supplant, existing core 
                program funding.
  (b) Limitations.--
          [(1) Administration.--There may not be used for 
        administration of programs under this title in a fiscal 
        year more than 5 percent of the lesser of--
                  [(A) the amount authorized to be appropriated 
                under this title for the fiscal year; or
                  [(B) the amount appropriated under this title 
                for the fiscal year.]
          (1) Administration.--
                  (A) In general.--There may not be used for 
                administration of programs under this title in 
                a fiscal year more than 5.5 percent of the 
                lesser of--
                          (i) the amount authorized to be 
                        appropriated under this title for the 
                        fiscal year; or
                          (ii) the amount appropriated under 
                        this title for the fiscal year.
                  (B) Critical staffing requirements.--The 
                Director shall use the authority under 
                subchapter VI of chapter 33 of title 5, United 
                States Code, to meet any critical staffing 
                requirement while implementing the activities 
                authorized in this title. The costs associated 
                with that exercise of authority shall not be 
                counted toward the cap under subparagraph (A).
          (2) Use for other offices or programs.--Sums 
        appropriated under the authority of subsection (a)(2) 
        shall not be available for administration of this title 
        by the National Sea Grant Office, for any other 
        Administration or department program, or for any other 
        administrative expenses.
  [(c) Distribution of Funds.--In any fiscal year in which the 
appropriations made under subsection (a)(1) exceed the amounts 
appropriated for fiscal year 2003 for the purposes described in 
such subsection, the Secretary shall distribute any excess 
amounts (except amounts used for the administration of the sea 
grant program) to any combination of the following:
          [(1) sea grant programs, according to their 
        performance assessments;
          [(2) regional or national strategic investments 
        authorized under section 204(b)(4);
          [(3) a college, university, institution, association, 
        or alliance for activities that are necessary for it to 
        be designated as a sea grant college or sea grant 
        institute; and
          [(4) a sea grant college or sea grant institute 
        designated after the date of enactment of the National 
        Sea Grant College Program Act Amendments of 2002 but 
        not yet evaluated under section 204(d)(3)(A).]
  [(d)](c) Availability of Sums.--Sums appropriated pursuant to 
this section shall remain available until expended.
  [(e)] (d) Reversion of Unobligated Amounts.--The amount of 
any grant, or portion of a grant, made to a person under any 
section of this Act that is not obligated by that person during 
the first fiscal year for which it was authorized to be 
obligated or during the next fiscal year thereafter shall 
revert to the Secretary. The Secretary shall add that reverted 
amount to the funds available for grants under the section for 
which the reverted amount was originally made available.

        NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2002


                            [116 Stat. 2345]

[SEC. 9. REPORT ON COORDINATION OF OCEANS AND COASTAL RESEARCH 
                    ACTIVITIES.

                           [33 U.S.C. 857-20]

  [Not later than February 15 of each year, the Under Secretary 
of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Director of the 
National Science Foundation shall jointly submit to the 
Committees on Resources and Science of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate a report on how the oceans and 
coastal research activities of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, including the Coastal Ocean Program 
and the National Sea Grant College Program, and of the National 
Science Foundation will be coordinated during the fiscal year 
following the fiscal year in which the report is submitted. The 
report shall describe in detail any overlapping ocean and 
coastal research interests between the agencies and specify how 
such research interests will be pursued by the programs in a 
complementary manner.]