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Urban Coast Institute Champions of the Ocean Dinner on October 28

Monmouth University’s Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will host the 9th Annual Champions of the Ocean Awards Dinner on Monday, October 28, 2013. The theme of this year’s awards is Storm Smart = Storm Ready. UCI will present the National Ocean Champion award to Admiral Thad Allen (USCG-ret.) who directed the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and was National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The Coastal and Ocean Leadership Award will be presented to the American Red Cross, South Jersey Region, and the Volunteer of the Year Award will be given to Waves of Action for the Shore, Clean Ocean Action.

The Awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in Wilson Hall. For tickets to the Awards Dinner, sponsorship opportunities, donations, or additional information, contact Lorraine Jordan at 732-263-5662 or visit The Urban Coast Institute website.

Allen will also be the keynote speaker at the Sandy One Year Later: Looking to the Future Conference at Monmouth University on October 29, which is being organized by Monmouth University, the Union of Concerned Scientists, New Jersey Future, NJ Recovery Fund, and other partners. The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Allen is executive vice president of Booz Allen Hamilton. He is a leader in the firm’s Departments of Justice and Homeland Security business in the civil market. Allen completed his distinguished career in the US Coast Guard as its 23rd Commandant. In 2010, President Barack Obama selected Allen to serve as the National Incident Commander for the unified response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to his assignment as Commandant, Allen served as Coast Guard Chief of Staff. During his tenure in that position, he was designated Principal Federal Official for the US government’s response and recovery operations in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita throughout the Gulf Coast region. He is a fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and currently serves as a director on the Coast Guard Foundation and Partnership for Public Service. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Allen to the New York State Respond Commission tasked with finding ways to ensure that New York State is ready to respond to future weather-related disasters.

The UCI was established in September 2005 as one of the University’s Centers of Distinction. UCI’s mission is to serve the public interest as a forum for research, education, and collaboration that fosters the application of the best available science and policy to support healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and sustainable coastal communities.