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Celebrating 50 Years of WHOI Sea Grant

Decades of Success

In 2023, we celebrated the impacts of WHOI Sea Grant, a NOAA-funded program established at WHOI in 1973. Through research, outreach, and education, the program leverages marine science to build sustainable economies and environments for Massachusetts’ diverse communities. For five decades, WHOI Sea Grant has been a leader on pressing ocean topics, including water quality, coastal resilience, aquaculture, and marine debris. The program seeded research that led to the creation of the U.S. National Office for Harmful Algal Blooms and helped develop the Ocean Literacy principles used in marine education programs. One of 34 Sea Grant programs across the nation, WHOI Sea Grant is jointly supported by WHOI, NOAA and Barnstable County.

WHOI Sea Grant was featured at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Board of Trustees meeting November 2023 and produced this video to introduce attendees to our program.

WHOI Sea Grant 50th anniversary logo
WHOI Sea Grant 50th anniversary logo, created by Riley Orlando

This year, WHOI Sea Grant is celebrating 50 years of research, extension, education and outreach. To kick off our celebration, we enlisted the help of WHOI graphic designer Riley Orlando to develop an anniversary logo.  Her design captures Sea Grant’s focus on coastal resilience, marine life, aquaculture, research and education, and the program’s strength of connecting communities invested in coastal topics.

Matt Charette, WHOI Sea Grant director (Jan 2023)

Celebration Event

A crowd gathered on June 9, 2023 in the Davis Center to eat raw oysters, taste test a special batch of kelp beer made by Falmouth's own Aquatic Brewing, and learn about WHOI Sea Grant's 50 years of success. WHOI Sea Grant staff and funded researchers showcased a broad spectrum of work they lead through education activities, displays of technology from the field that collect data and support research, and interactive exhibits featuring a shark monitoring dashboard – there was even a tank full of live kelp.

WHOI Sea Grant is grateful for the ongoing support of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and local leadership. Following a welcome by WHOI Sea Grant Director Matt Charette, Congressman Bill Keating, WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal, and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Director Mike McGuire shared words of inspiration for the years ahead.

Matt Charette
WHOI Sea Grant Director

Mike McGuire
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Director

Peter de Menocal
WHOI President and Director

Bill Keating
Massachusetts Congressman

An Interactive Timeline​ 

For five decades, WHOI Sea Grant has been a leader on pressing ocean topics, including water quality, coastal resilience, aquaculture, and marine debris. Through all of its many initiatives over the years, the program has forged strong community partnerships that continue to encourage the application of science beyond the lab. Click through this interactive timeline to explore the many facets of WHOI Sea Grant over the years through facts, photos and video clips!