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Urban Coast Institute

‘Ocean Stories’ Feature Offers Glimpse at Life in Region’s Submarine Canyons

In a new “Ocean Stories” feature on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, UCI Communications Director Karl Vilacoba profiles Dr. Timothy Shank, who explored eight of the region’s lesser-studied canyons with towed camera technology. The work revealed what the insides of these ancient formations look like in stunning detail and mapped the locations of thousands of never-seen coral colonies. Part story map and part digital magazine, Ocean Stories is a unique platform with educational features about the people, industries and wildlife at sea in the region. Click here to read the story (best viewed on non-mobile device).

Vilacoba also worked with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and Shank to create this companion photo gallery that offers a rare glimpse at life in the canyons. The scenes capture colorful corals, fish, crabs, cephalopods, steep canyons walls, boulder-strewn landscapes and even disconcerting plastic pollution along the ocean floor.

Watch: COVID-19 & New Jersey’s Environment Panel

The UCI hosted an expert panel on May 12, 2020, to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting New Jersey’s environment and what lessons the experience can teach us for the future. Audience members also shared their observations of what changes they’ve noticed in their communities. Watch the video of the discussion above.

Panelists & Topics

Air Quality: Luis Lim, Chief, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Air Monitoring | Slides

Ocean Environment: Josh Kohut, Professor, Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences | Slides

Coastal Lakes, Streams & Estuaries: Jason Adolf, Endowed Associate Professor of Marine Science, Monmouth University

Wildlife: Sean Sterrett, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Monmouth University

Beach Conditions: Kimberly McKenna, Associate Director, Stockton University Coastal Research Center

Moderator: Thomas Herrington, Associate Director, Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute

Op-Ed: Blue Economy, Red Ink, White Flag? Restarting America’s Maritime and Coastal Industries

In an op-ed for The Hill, Monmouth University President Emeritus/UCI Ocean Policy Fellow Paul G. Gaffney II and Rockefeller University Professor Jesse Ausubel discuss COVID-19’s harsh impact on maritime industries. However, Gaffney and Ausubel write that the moment  also presents the U.S. with an opportunity to “employ the currently underemployed oceanographic talent in offshore industries and universities as full partners to federal mapping, observation and exploration efforts.” Click here to read the full piece.