Wisconsin Sea Grant Quick Facts

Rich Hoops of Earthwatch Radio narrates one of the program's two-minute programs that had been provided free of charge to radio stations across the country from 1972 through 2007.

Credit: Bob Rashid

Explore some Wisconsin Sea Grant facts and milestones:

  •  Wisconsin Sea Grant was the first Sea Grant Program in the Great Lakes region and one of the first programs in the nation. It focuses on research, education and outreach.
  •  Wisconsin Sea Grant has six outreach specialists operating out of five offices around the state. They provide advice and assistance on a range of water and coastal topics in a non-advocating manner.
  • In 46 years, Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded more than $120 million worth of projects.
  • In its program history, Wisconsin Sea Grant has provided financial support for nearly 700 graduate students and hundreds of Wisconsin faculty and staff at 16 public and private universities and colleges, and the statewide UW Extension system.
  • The program has awarded more than $117 million in grants that have supported more than 750 research, outreach and education projects throughout Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded the publication, reprinting and distribution of about 1,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers addressing a wide variety of disciplines. The program, itself, has published more than 400 public-information,

    UW Sea Grant-funded research led to the development of fish-finders, to the appreciation of fisherman the world over.

    Credit: Joseph R. Tomelleri
    advisory, technical and educational works. Now, the program is increasingly disseminating information through videos and audio podcasting, in addition to print-online-PDF formats.
  • For 35 years, UW Sea Grant was the main producing partner in Earthwatch Radio, which holds the record as the longest-running science and environmental news program. Among its many awards was being named to the “Global 500 Roll of Honor” by the United Nations Environment Program.
  • The Clean Marina Program launched in mid-2010 to encourage marina operators to adopt green practices that benefit their bottom-lines and the environment. Wisconsin Sea Grant provides technical assistance to the marinas.
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant has funded two decades of comprehensive, multidisciplinary research on Green Bay, Lake Michigan, making it one of the most rigorously studied estuarine systems of its size in the world.
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant has distributed more than 3 million wallet-sized “Zebra Mussel Watch” cards in collaboration with 55 partners in the public and private sector in 31 states and one Canadian province.

  • Wisconsin now has more shipwrecks listed on the national register than any other state.

    Marinas and related industries and services mean more than $2.7 billion to Wisconsin's economy. The voluntary Clean Marina Program ensures clean boating practices that benefit the environment, and marinas alike. Wisconsin Sea Grant provides the training and technical assistance to make the program successful.

    Credit: Jim Lubner
    Wisconsin Sea Grant has assisted in that listing with its support of work to explore and document the wreck locations.

  •  The World Health Organization has adopted the fish-specific toxicity equivalency factors created by Wisconsin Sea Grant research to assess the risks of recruitment failure in feral fish populations exposed to various toxic chemical contaminants.
  • The program funded research that proved the hypothesis that trout and salmon use their sense of smell to return to their natal streams to spawn.
  • Wisconsin Sea Grant helped with the development of acoustic sonar technology, widely known as fish-finders, benefiting fishermen the world over. This technology was developed in connection with field studies determining the thermal niches of fishes, which established the ecological concept that each species of fish prefers a specific range of water temperature.