Based at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography, Rhode Island Sea Grant is a partnership of the university, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Sea Grant has the distinction of being one of the first four Sea Grant programs in the U.S. It is also home to one of only four Sea Grant Legal Programs in the country—the only one in the Northeast—located at Roger Williams University School of Law.

The program supports research, outreach, legal, and education programs that address issues in the thematic areas of healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies, and environmental literacy and workforce development.

Rhode Island Sea Grant is one of 33 programs that make up the National Sea Grant College Program, a part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.