The National Sea Grant College program was established by the U.S. Congress in 1966 to help create and maintain a healthy coastal environment and economy. The Sea Grant network consists of a federal/university partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and 34 university-based programs in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Puerto Rico, and Guam. In Florida, Sea Grant is housed under the University of Florida but supports the work of scientists and researchers in a wide variety of disciplines from institutions across the state. In addition to research, Florida Sea Grant also contributes to education and extension with the goal of conserving coastal resources for residents and visitors of Florida as well as enhance economic opportunities.
Extension is a partnership between state, federal and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. Florida Sea Grant has partnered with Charlotte County to conduct activities such as the Great Scallop Search, Florida Master Naturalist Courses and Eyes on Seagrass.