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  • Herrington Joins Team Studying Climate Impacts on Human Migration in U.S.

    UCI Associate Director Thomas Herrington will serve on a national team of researchers focused on understanding climate change’s current and future influence on residential migration from America’s coastal communities.

    The “People on the Move in a Changing Climate” project will build a Regional Coordination Network (RCN) led by representatives of 12 Sea Grant offices and Sea Grant-affiliated research institutions from the East Coast, West Coast, Gulf Region and Alaska. Herrington serves as the coastal community resilience specialist for the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. The three-year project is being managed by the University of Georgia and supported with a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    The RCN will leverage Sea Grant’s relationships with local communities to facilitate collaboration among scientists, practitioners, resource managers and stakeholders to study climate-induced human mobility (including displacement, migration and planned relocation), its socioeconomic consequences, and its role in building resilience. It will also provide the scientific infrastructure required to conduct regionally tailored educational and engagement strategies.

    According to the project abstract, sea level rise could force millions of U.S. residents from their homes by 2100, but researchers have paid relatively little attention to the impact of climate-induced human mobility on the receiving communities. And few coastal communities appear to be preparing for the projected influxes of people from sudden disaster-induced relocations and, more slowly, in response to the progressive impacts of sea level rise.

    Herrington said that while climate-induced human mobility has been the subject of some research in places suffering from sea level rise and increased flooding, such as Bangladesh, or climate-driven changes in crop yields in Central America, less attention has been paid on its ramifications for America. He said the signs are already apparent in parts of the country.

    “We’re starting to see it happen in Alaska,” Herrington said. “The first tipping point has been the villages along the coast, where sea level is rising, the permafrost is melting rapidly and people’s homes are sinking.”

    The RCN will host a series of workshops throughout the country to develop research questions around the subjects of climate mobility and coastal resilience. The first workshop for the Northeast region is expected to be held at Monmouth University in the fall and gather experts from Maine to North Carolina.

  • CANCELED: Climate Change and Public Health Roundtable at Monmouth April 16

    First Annual Climate Governance Roundtable

    Sponsored by the Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy

    April 16, 4-6 p.m.

    Monmouth University | The Great Hall Versailles and Pompeii Rooms

    This free roundtable session will explore the scientific and economic dimensions of the public health threats from climate change, review existing public and private governance responses to these threats, and consider potential future threats and responses. The event is free and open to the public. Click the button above to register.


    • Dr. George DiFerdinando, Rutgers University School of Public Health
    • Professor Michael Burger, Columbia University Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
    • Dr. Rebecca Boehm, Union of Concerned Scientists Food & Environment Program
    • Professor Josh Galperin, University of Pittsburgh School of Law


    • Randall S. Abate, Monmouth University Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy

    Questions may be directed to Randall Abate at

    Support for the event is being provided by Monmouth University’s Health and Wellness Institute and Urban Coast Institute.

  • CANCELED: Expert Panel to Discuss Legal Accountability for N.J. Climate Damages March 10 at Monmouth

    Due to the cancellation of classes and activities on campus this week, this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule this event at a later time.

    Members of the public can register now for the free panel event “Accountability for Climate Change Harms in New Jersey: Scientific, Legal and Policy Perspectives,” to be held on March 10 at Monmouth University. The event is being organized by the Climate Integrity Project, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute.

    This event is intended to educate the state’s legal and policy communities and the public on local climate impacts and associated costs now facing communities and taxpayers, and to initiate a dialogue on the growing trend of climate damages litigation in the U.S. Panelists will discuss the extent of climate harms in New Jersey as well as the scientific basis for holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for them. Panelists will also offer legal and community perspectives on damages litigation as a means to shift some of the burden from taxpayers to polluters.

    Panel members will include Bob Kopp, director of the Rutgers University Institute of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences; Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science with the Union of Concerned Scientists Climate & Energy Program; Jonathan Abady, a partner with Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP; and Toms River Township Councilwoman Laurie Huryk. The discussion will be moderated by Monmouth University Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy Randall Abate. Opening remarks will be delivered by New Jersey State Sen. Vin Gopal and Zach McCue, deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. The names of additional speakers will soon follow.

    The event will take place from 3:30-5:15 p.m. at the Great Hall Auditorium. A free reception will follow.  For more information, contact Aliya Satku at or (732) 263-5662.

  • National Ocean Service Leader Gives Guest Lecture to Monmouth Class

    The Urban Coast Institute welcomed Nicole LeBoeuf, acting assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service, to Monmouth University on Jan. 30 to talk with students about the NOS’ work and careers in the agency.

    The mission of the NOS is to provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental and social pressures on our oceans and coasts. It observes, measures, assesses, and manages the nation’s coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes areas; provides critical navigation products and services; and conducts response and restoration activities to protect vital coastal resources.

    Guest lecturing to School of Science Assistant Dean John Tiedemann’s coastal zone management (CZM) class, LeBoeuf described her work guiding the strategic vision of the 1,800-member agency.

    “We’re small, but we’re scrappy, and we’re doing lots of amazing things,” she said.

    LeBouef praised the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 for bringing much-needed consistency to how the states deal with their shorelines and waters. The goal of the act, which is administered by NOAA, is to preserve, protect, develop, and where possible, restore or enhance the resources of the nation’s coastal zone. Currently, 34 states have Coastal Zone Management Programs in place – every state along the shore or Great Lakes but Alaska.

    The vast diversity of America’s coastlines presents one of the greatest challenges for NOS’ work, she said. Flipping between PowerPoint photos of a rural bluff overlooking the sea and a densely developed waterfront city, LeBouef noted, “This is every bit as much a coastal zone arena.”

    LeBouef outlined the critical economic importance of coastal zones in the U.S. About 40 percent of Americans live in coastal counties, and beach tourism and recreation adds over $100 billion to the nation’s GDP annually, she said. U.S. commercial ports alone are responsible for 13 million jobs.

    “I would challenge you to find anything in this room that didn’t come through a port,” she said. “So it is very important that our ports are taken care of.”

    With a broad network of monitoring stations, ocean buoys, satellite communications, autonomous gliders and other scientific equipment at its disposal, the NOS provides data, tools, and services that help protect the ports and coastal economies and prepare them for future challenges, she said. To learn more about the NOS, visit

  • CANCELLED: AERS Spring Meeting and Coastal Careers Workshop March 26-28 at Monmouth

    Due to developments with the Coronavirus/COVID-19, this event has been cancelled.


    Registrations and abstract submissions are now being accepted for the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS) Spring Meeting, to be held March 26-28 at Monmouth University. With a theme of “Estuarine Science in a Changing Climate,” the event will feature expert presentations, networking opportunities, a poster session, field trips and a concurrent Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Careers Workshop on March 26.

    AERS brings together students, scientists, managers, and educators from the states of Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to discuss estuarine and coastal environmental issues and policies. The group’s mission is to a foster broader interest in our environment by increasing public awareness of current issues.

    Among the planned field trips are a walking and birding tour of Sandy Hook, a Cheesequake State Park and Matawan Creek shark attack tour, and a ride aboard Monmouth University’s research vessel Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe in the Sandy Hook Bay area. Keynote speakers include Rutgers University Climate Institute Co-Director Anthony Broccoli, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary Senior Science Director Danielle Kreeger, and Monmouth University Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program Director John Tiedemann. Participants may submit abstracts until Feb. 18 for oral presentations or poster presentations.

    Students are eligible for discounted registration costs and early bird rates are available through Feb. 22. Registration will also include an opening night social and a day two continental breakfast, lunch and evening banquet.

    Separate registration is required for the career workshop, which will feature a morning of talks on career options, employment prospects, successful pathways toward local opportunities and opportunities around the nation, as well as inspirational testimonies from coastal professionals. The afternoon will offer a series of smaller group discussions about various skills needed to succeed, such as leadership, networking, mentors, publishing, resumes, and more. Students and young professionals in the coastal and environmental field are encouraged to attend.

    Questions may be directed to Jason Adolf at

  • CANCELED: Animal Law Scholar to Discuss Moral Implications of Fish Sentience at Monmouth March 25

    Due to the cancellation of classes and activities on campus, this event has been canceled. We hope to reschedule this event at a later time.

    The Urban Coast Institute (UCI) will welcome one of the nation’s leading scholars at the intersection of animal and environmental law to Monmouth University on March 25 to deliver the guest lecture “Fish Suffering, Climate Change, and the Public Trust Doctrine.” Pace University Professor David Cassuto’s lecture, the latest installment in the UCI’s Marine Science and Policy Series, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Bey Hall’s Turrell Boardroom (201).

    The talk is free and students and members of the public are welcome. Pizza and light refreshments will be served.

    The following is an abstract for the talk: Fish are sentient — they feel pain and suffer. Yet, while we see increasing interest in protecting birds and mammals in agriculture, precious little attention has been paid to the suffering of fish in the fishing industry. This talk will explore fisheries management practices, the effects of anthropogenic climate change on those practices, the moral implications of fish sentience, and the role of the Public Trust Doctrine in enacting meaningful protections for aquatic animals.

    Cassuto recently wrote more on this topic in the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law.

    Cassuto is a professor of law and member of the Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies at Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law, where he also directs the Brazil-American Institute for Law & Environment (BAILE). He is also the Class of 1946 Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College, a Fulbright Fellow, a visiting professor at law schools in both Brazil and Spain, and the Senior Counsel for International Affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund. He has written extensively on the interweaving of environmental and animal law, as well as the larger legal issues raised by industrial agriculture and the human/animal relationship. He holds a J.D. from the University of California,   Berkeley, a Ph.D. from Indiana University, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. Prior to entering legal academia, he was a Professor of English and founder of the Literature & Environment program at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

    For more information on the lecture, please contact Randall Abate, Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy, at