WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. ― The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will serve as key partner in a federal grant-funded project that explores how changing ocean conditions triggered by climate change will impact communities, the economy, and environment throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management awarded a $513,507 Regional Coastal Resilience Grant to a team led by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), a partnership formed by the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia to collaborate on ocean issues. The grant was one of 12 awarded nationally to help coastal communities prepare for and respond to a variety of coastal threats, including extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions.
The UCI will provide support in its capacity as the principal investigator for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (portal.midatlanticocean.org), an interactive ocean mapping and information site focused on the five-state region. The Portal will be used as a resource for sharing written materials, map data and other information produced through the project with the public.
“A recent Monmouth University-UCI poll showed that the public is becoming more aware of the general threat posed by climate change, even as our specific vulnerabilities remain matters of investigation and debate,” said UCI Director Tony MacDonald, who helped organize an Oceans Day during December’s historic COP21 Paris climate conference. “The UCI is dedicated to bringing the best available science to the fore through important projects such as these, which help the public and our leaders understand the steps that will be necessary to safeguard our way of life in the future.”
The project will explore how changing ocean conditions will affect the resilience of coastal communities, land development, and ocean use; link these changes to coastal and ocean economies; and conduct outreach and communication regarding the ocean’s role in community, state and regional resilience strategies, and risks posed by a changing climate. In addition to MARCO, the UCI will be partnering with Rutgers University and the University of Delaware (both representing the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System, or MARACOOS). The project is scheduled to launch in June and be completed by May of 2018.
About the Urban Coast Institute
The Urban Coast Institute (UCI) was established in 2005 as one of Monmouth University’s “Centers of Distinction.” The UCI’s mission is to serve Monmouth University and the public interest as a forum for research, education and collaboration in the development and implementation of science-based policies and programs that support stewardship of healthy, productive and resilient coastal ecosystems and communities.