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Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI) has received a $222,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue its work with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) Mapping and Planning Portal.  This grant will enable UCI to continue to work in collaboration with its project partners, including Rutgers University and The Nature Conservancy, to fill priority information and data gaps and to enhance the Portal’s visualization features to improve ocean planning and reduce the potential for ocean user conflicts.  With this grant the UCI will be able expand its work to initiate a Recreational Boater Survey, similar to one currently underway in New England, which will produce a cross-regional dataset on ocean use and economic impacts of recreational boaters.

Urban Coast Institute Director Tony MacDonald commented: “As demands on our oceans continue to grow better planning will require broad-based data collection and data integration that can inform both conservation and development needs.  Incorporation of this data into the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal will increase certainty,  improve efficiencies and minimize competition among ocean uses.”   

“This federal funding will help provide critical information about our state’s rich coastal resources,” said U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), who is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and serves on the Subcommittee that funds NOAA.  “New Jersey’s 127 miles of shoreline are an environmental treasure and an economic driver for our state, and the work of Monmouth University scientists will allow us to protect and enjoy our shore for years to come.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) added, “In New Jersey our ports, fisheries and recreational enjoyment are all dependent on effective management and protection of our coastal and marine resources.  The work being done by Monmouth University and its partners to acquire quality science, data and geospatial information is critical to accomplishing effective ocean management.  The waters off New Jersey are some of the most biologically diverse but highly used in the nation and these federal funds will help us protect these waters while developing a model for the nation.”

For more information on the UCI and its research, please contact 732-263-5662 or visit the Urban Coast Institute Web site at

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