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University offices are open but being staffed remotely. Classes will be conducted remotely through the remainder of the semester.

Monmouth University offices are currently open, but are being staffed remotely. Instruction and learning for all students is also being delivered remotely. Campus tours are suspended until further notice. Information and updates are posted to the University’s COVID-19 web page.

Last Updated: 3/25/2020, 8:13 AM

Prof. Abate to Discuss ‘Climate Change and the Voiceless’ on April 13 Webinar

book coverThe Pace University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and Pace Environmental Law Society will host an online discussion with Monmouth University Professor Randall Abate on his new book, Climate Change and the Voiceless, on April 13 at 12:50 p.m. The webinar is free and open to the public.

In the book, Abate, Monmouth’s Rechnitz Family/Urban Coast Institute endowed chair in marine and environmental law and policy, considers the impacts of global climate change on future generations, wildlife, and natural resources, and how the law can evolve to protect their interests more effectively. Participants are asked to register in advance to

Webinar Link:      171918019?pwd=NllQMXpZUEZSM G9aVHM5K1 JKVTBoZz09
Meeting ID: 171 918 019
Password: 032389


A Message from the UCI on COVID-19 and Our Work

There are sunny days and magnolias are beginning to bloom. More neighbors than I ever knew I had are out walking with dogs, strollers and bundled-up children, in couples, or by themselves, perhaps listening to music. What are they thinking? Many more are at home or being cared for. Special thanks to the teachers, health care workers and public servants on the front lines. Awareness of the personal and professional challenges we each will face in the coming weeks is also an invitation to generosity of spirit and deed.

Monmouth University has been proactive. Students, professors and support staff are working hard to deliver classes virtually for the balance of the semester (see the University’s COVID-19 page for the latest updates). The UCI and other staff are at home working remotely. Although we are in the process of cancelling or rescheduling UCI-sponsored symposia and speakers through May, and most of our field research projects are on pause, we are evaluating alternatives to assure the continuation of our work.

We are still hopeful that UCI will be able to support students and faculty this summer to continue their research and re-engage with our coastal community partners. We will provide you with regular updates and links to information and virtual events that may be of interest. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email if we can be of any assistance. We will follow up as soon as we can.

Finally, a friend recently shared the following quote with me, which seems apropos.


When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come,

I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds,

cleanses me with its noise,

and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.

~Rainer Maria Rilke


All the best,

Tony MacDonald & the UCI Staff

Urban Coast Institute 2019 Annual Report

The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) is pleased to present its 2019 Annual Report. Browse its pages for a snapshot of our work over the past year, including the launch of a citizen science initiative to research harmful algal blooms in coastal lakes, efforts to combat marine plastic pollution, a study of water pollution at surfing beaches, and dozens of innovative student-faculty research projects.

View document as:

Hard copies can be requested by emailing

Also See Our 2019 Highlight Video


Deadline Extended to Apply for UCI Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Grants



The Urban Coast Institute (UCI) has extended the deadline to March 27 for Monmouth students and faculty to apply for funding through its Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe Summer Research Grant program. Funding is available to support projects proposed by students of all disciplines with a faculty mentor or by faculty members with students conducting research under their supervision.

Grants are provided for research in natural and social sciences, art and humanities, economics, and public policy involving faculty and students from any school or department at Monmouth University. Past grants have supported projects ranging from the creation of a website dedicated to eco-friendly local businesses to the design of a disaster search and rescue training video game.

Proposals should address issues that advance the UCI’s mission and goals. The UCI seeks to fund research projects on topics including but not limited to:

  • Assessing  and communicating coastal community vulnerability and risk
  • The social and economic impact of climate change on communities
  • The “blue” coastal and ocean economy
  • Coastal and ocean ecosystem protection, restoration and management
  • Enhancing community resilience and  adaptation planning in the face of sea level rise and coastal storms
  • Furthering U.N. sustainability goals at the international, national and local levels
  • Coastal community engagement and capacity building to address climate change
  • Enhancing consideration for social justice and equity considerations in a changing climate
  • Coastal and ocean law and policy
  • Marine and environmental  arts and humanities

Funding is available for students at University research student rates for up to 10 weeks of work, capped at $2,860 per student. A stipend of $800 is available for faculty mentors.

Students must provide a final report or product summarizing their research at the end of the 10th week. Science Students should apply for summer research support through the School of Science Summer Research Program.

Details about the Heidi Lynn Sculthorpe grants are available online  (must have My MU Portal login privileges). Additional questions may be directed to UCI Associate Director Tom Herrington at (732) 263-5588 or

Beneficial Use of Dredge Material for Coastal Resilience Workshop May 19 at Monmouth U.

Register Now


The Northeast Shore & Beach Preservation Association (NSBPA) and the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute will co-sponsor a Beneficial Use of Dredge Material for Coastal Resilience Workshop on May 19 at Monmouth University. Registration is now open for this event, which is free to students and $40 for non-student attendees (includes lunch and coffee breaks).

Mid-Atlantic and New England states are embarking on the development of coastal resilience plans that utilize natural and nature-based features (NNBF) to enhance both ecosystem resilience and provide green infrastructure to better protect communities from the impacts of flooding and sea level rise. Many NNBF projects require sediment for construction and often utilize local navigation channel dredging as an opportunity to beneficially reuse dredge material for their construction, lowering costs and allowing natural processes to resolve coastal problems and improve the environment. Regional approaches to the management of sediments (regional sediment management, or RSM) and the beneficial use of dredge material (BUDM) are therefore critical components for ecosystem resilience and community flood risk reduction.

A number of pilot projects have already been constructed in the region, providing valuable insights into the design and performance of NNBF. The NSBPA workshop on the Beneficial Use of Dredge Material for Coastal Resilience will provide a forum for coastal practitioners and regulators to discuss successes and challenges in the use of RSM and BUDM for coastal resilience.

The goals of the workshop are to:

1. Improve understanding of the magnitude of coastal wetland and sediment loss in the region due to sea level rise, erosion, and dredging

2. Provide case studies for resilient and sustainable restored and created wetlands using dredged sediments

3. Discuss barriers and opportunities for the implementation of projects

Workshop Agenda

*Please note: Space is limited to 75 Attendees on a first come, first serve basis.

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 | Wilson 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 Wilson 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.

To register or for more information on the meeting and career workshop, visit Questions may be directed to Jason Adolf at

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