The National Sea Grant Law Center


  • Facilitating the Advocacy Conversation

  • Sea Grant programs and their staffs face the daunting task of remaining neutral while working on some of our coastal communities’ most challenging environmental, economic, and social issues. In 2011, the Sea Grant Extension Assembly asked the National Sea Grant Law Center for assistance in developing materials to help the Sea Grant network navigate complex advocacy issues. Since then, in partnership with Jim Fawcett of the USC Sea Grant Program, Stephanie Otts of the NSGLC has worked to facilitate the advocacy conversation and expand professional development opportunities. On this page, you’ll find information about the resources that have resulted from these efforts.

  • Assembly Advocacy Statement

  • As an initial first step, a short Statement on Advocacy was drafted and approved by the Sea Grant Extension Assembly in February 2012. The statement outlines the Advocacy issue and encourages Sea Grant professionals to refrain from advocacy as a “best practice” out of professional and ethical responsibility.

  • Fundamentals Chapter

  • The Fundamentals of a Sea Grant Extension Program is a training manual produced for new extension agents by the Sea Grant Extension Assembly. For the second edition, released in 2013, a new chapter on Advocacy and Extension was added. It expands on the Assembly Advocacy Statement and explores in greater detail the issues of advocacy, neutrality, lobbying, and academic freedom.

Download the Fundamentals of a Sea Grant Extension Program

  • Sea Grant Academy Advocacy Module

  • The Fundamentals is used extensively as part of the curriculum of the National Sea Grant Extension Academy and advocacy issues have always been part of this training program. In 2014, a 4-hour module was developed to help Sea Grant personnel new to extension become knowledgeable about why we care about advocacy within Sea Grant and explore ways in which programs and individuals can approach and resolve advocacy dilemmas. The National Sea Grant Law Center is currently working to re-package this module into a set of materials that individual Sea Grant programs could incorporate into their professional development activities.

  • View presentation

    View Webinar Recorded April 14, 2015:

            • Facilitating the Advocacy Conversation - Sea Grant Week ‘14 Workshop

            • During SGW ‘14, the National Sea Grant Law Center and USC Sea Grant led participants through a 4-hour workshop exploring the issues of advocacy, neutrality, and best management practices within Sea Grant research, extension, and communications programming utilizing a learning module developed for the Sea Grant Academy. Participants also discussed methods for facilitating conversations about these issues within their programs on an ongoing and continual basis.

            • View presentation

            • Recommended Readings and Additional Resources:

            • Pielke, Roger A., Jr. (2007). The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics. London: Cambridge University Press.

              Meltsner, Arnold J. (1976). Policy Analysts in the Bureaucracy. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press.

              Nordhaus, T. and Shellenberger, M. (2007). Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

              Schattschneider, E.E. (1960). The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

              Fisher, Roger & Ury, William, Patton, Bruce (Ed.). (1981, 2011). Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In. New York: Random House Publishers.

            • Fawcett, James A. and Otts, Stephanie. Advocacy in Sea Grant: A Primer.

Questions About Projects?

Have questions or comments about projects at the National Sea Grant Law Center?
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Call or fax us at:
662-915-5267 (fax)