50th Anniversary

50 Years of Serving California Through Coastal Science

Established in 1973

California Sea Grant celebrates our golden anniversary — 50 years of serving California’s marine environment, economy and people — in 2023.

What started as a dynamic collaboration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the State of California and various universities across California continues to thrive today. 

In many ways, the same mission and vision exist in 2023 that began in 1973. 

We continue to align our work with the aims of our larger organization, the National Sea Grant College Program. This network of 34 university-based programs works collectively to “enhance the practical use and conservation of coastal, marine and Great Lakes resources in order to create a sustainable economy and environment.”

In keeping with that mission, California Sea Grant strives to harness the power of research, outreach and education — while remaining a neutral broker of scientific information — to inform a healthy future for all Californians. 

Our 50th anniversary is a time to look back and reflect, but it’s also a time to look ahead to new challenges and solutions. This page tries to capture the past and the present, featuring content that hearkens back to California Sea Grant’s earlier days, while also showing what we’re up to here and now in 2023.


Insights from stakeholders, partners and employees over the years

“One of the big roles I see for Sea Grant is that they don’t just solve the problems of the day but those ten years from now.”

Pete Halmay   |  Commercial fisherman who believes that both science and experience play a role in sustaining local fisheries

"Prior to SeafoodNIC, there was no universal platform to address seafood safety, quality and training resources. SeafoodNIC was an important tool in bridging the gap."

Pamela Tom   |  Former California Sea Grant Seafood Specialist and co-creator of SeafoodNIC

"Sea Grant has proven invaluable in supporting the integration of monitoring results into adaptive management of marine protected areas."

Michael Esgro   |  Senior biodiversity program manager at the Ocean Protection Council & a former California Sea Grant fellow

"The support we’ve received from California Sea Grant over the decades has been extremely important to the existence of our company."

Art Seavey   |  Partner at Monterey Abalone Company

Header Imagery Courtesy of: Pamela Tom, Jason Houston, Rick Starr, Randy Lovell, GreenWave/The Nature Conservancy, David Checkley, Steve Martarano, Priya Shukla, Richelle Tanner.