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Urban Coast Institute

Community Resilience and Climate Adaptation

sandy hook aerialAlthough the floodwaters have long since subsided and the debris cleared, the recovery from Superstorm Sandy is far from over for the Jersey Shore. Much work remains to harden our waterfront areas and revise emergency plans so our communities can withstand and respond more effectively to the next major storm. The UCI is dedicated to providing the scientific expertise for communities to meet these challenges.

To that end, the UCI and the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium jointly employ a community resilience and climate change adaptation specialist who assists coastal communities in assessing their vulnerability to climate change, learning how sea level rise may impact their waterfront areas, and seeking access to technical expertise, grant funding and more. In addition, UCI Associate Director Dr. Thomas Herrington is one of New Jersey’s leading experts on coastal processes, beach management and ocean engineering. He works closely with UCI staff, Monmouth faculty, students and other partners to help find solutions to the challenges facing coastal communities, sustainable coastal economies and health ocean ecosystems.

For more information about the UCI’s coastal resilience efforts, contact Dr. Thomas Herrington or (732) 263-5588.

Resources & Recent Activities

  • Rough surfA Monmouth University Poll showed growing concerns by Americans about the threat of climate change.
  • The NJDEP launched work on a comprehensive plan to make coastal areas more resilient to the impacts of severe storms and sea level rise at a New Jersey Coastal Resilience Summit, hosted on campus by the UCI in October 2018.
  • A webinar hosted by UCI Associate Director Tom Herrington focused on how sand and sediments from dredge projects can be reused to improve coastal resilience. He prepared a guide summarizing best practices and case studies for this Regional Sediment Management approach in the Mid-Atlantic.
  • The UCI was a partner in the MARCO-led “Planning for a Changing Ocean” project, which examined the implications to Mid-Atlantic economies from trends such as climate change, increased acidification of coastal and ocean waters, and shifting marine life habitats. The project culminated with the release of the report Climate Change Vulnerabilities in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic Region in May 2018.
  • Monmouth U. students and UCI staff conducted research for Monmouth County/FEMA as part of a post-Sandy/Irene High-Water Mark Initiative.
  • The UCI prepared the 2016 policy paper Recommendations for Resilient Coastal Communities in New Jersey as part of the NJDEP’s Resilient Coastal Communities Initiative.
  • The UCI’s Karl Vilacoba moderated this August 2017 webinar with experts discussing best practices for communicating the risks posed by coastal storm and flood events to the public.
  • The UCI’s Karl Vilacoba moderated this July 2017 webinar showcasing online mapping tools in the Mid-Atlantic that illustrate risks posed by coastal flooding, severe storms and sea level rise.
  • NJ Sea Grant/UCI educational poster about U.S. views on climate change.
  • UCI Director Tony MacDonald co-organized an Oceans Day at the historic 2015 COP21 climate conference in Paris.


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