Pennsylvania Sea Grant receives environmental leadership award

October 23, 2018

ERIE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Sea Grant College Program has received the 2018 John C. Oliver III Environmental Leadership Award, which is presented annually by the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation. Ridge, a former Pennsylvania governor and the first secretary of Homeland Security, spoke at the Oct. 12 awards presentation.

Pennsylvania Sea Grant is part of a national network of 33 Sea Grant colleges and universities that develop research and promote education, training and extension projects geared toward the conservation and practical use of the coasts, Great Lakes and other marine areas. The Pennsylvania program is administered by Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

Pennsylvania Sea Grant operates in the Lake Erie and Susquehanna and Delaware River watersheds. The program’s researchers and outreach specialists collaborate with regional and national partners on issues such as coastal erosion, climate change, plastic and microplastic pollution, and the economic value of Lake Erie’s sport fishery. Sea Grant also develops response and management plans for aquatic invasive species.

“With our partners at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and other regional programs, our efforts help community leaders make better decisions for healthier waters, communities and the environment,” said Sarah Whitney, director of Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

The Oliver award is named for John C. Oliver III, the first secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. It recognizes significant environmental leadership at Presque Isle State Park, Presque Isle Bay, and the Pennsylvania portion of Lake Erie’s shoreline, and at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, a nationally recognized site for natural history research and educational programming.

To learn more about Pennsylvania Sea Grant and its programs, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 23, 2018