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2018 Coastal and Ocean Champion Awards

The 14th annual Coastal and Ocean Champion Awards Reception celebrated 40 years of New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program and honored six individuals who have made significant contributions to the program and to the conservation and sustainability of New Jersey’s coastal and marine ecosystems and communities.

The UCI presented its Coastal and Ocean Champion Awards to The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, represented by Honorary Co-Chairs Gov. James Florio and Gov. Thomas Kean; David Kinsey; John Weingart; Mark Mauriello; and Norbert Psuty. See below for bios of these honorees.

Related Materials

New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program: 40 Years of Coastal Protection, Policy and Progress 1978-2018

Event brochure

View our album of photos on Facebook

Watch coverage from NJTV News

Full list of past honorees



The New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance was formed in response to a diverse group of stakeholders who came together in 2011 at Rutgers University to participate in the conference “Preparing NJ for Climate Change: A Workshop for Decision-Makers.” The Alliance focuses on climate change preparedness in key impacted sectors, including public health; watersheds, rivers and coastal communities; built infrastructure; agriculture; and natural resources. The Alliance’s award will be accepted by Honorary Co-Chairs and former New Jersey Governors JAMES FLORIO and THOMAS KEAN.

Kean served as governor from 1982-90. Among his major ocean and coastal environment achievements, Kean successfully opposed a federal proposal for offshore oil and gas development off New Jersey, signed legislation curbing overdevelopment in waterfront areas, and crafted a joint plan with New York Governor Mario Cuomo to end ocean dumping by 1991.

Florio served as governor from 1990-94 and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 – 1990. While in Congress, Florio authored the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (also known as the Superfund Program) and was instrumental in passage of the Medical Waste Tracking Act. As governor, he strengthened penalties for industrial water polluters and permanently ended the practice of ocean dumping of sewage sludge.


David N. Kinsey led the team that designed and implemented the New Jersey Coastal Management Program, approved by NOAA in 1978 and 1980, which The New York Times called one of the three best in the nation.  Kinsey served in the NJDEP from 1975-83. He also led the effort that produced New Jersey’s first (and only to date) Shore Protection Master Plan in 1981. A Fellow of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Kinsey has been a planning consultant since 1984, specializing in affordable housing planning throughout New Jersey. Kinsey has taught planning at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers and Princeton University.


John Weingart worked in the NJDEP for 19 years, four governors and 12 commissioners. Hired initially by David Kinsey in 1975 to help promote public participation, John helped to write and implement New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program and was instrumental in designing and promoting the Hudson River Walkway. He served as a division director and assistant commissioner before leaving the NJDEP to direct New Jersey’s unusual process encouraging municipalities to consider volunteering to host a disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste. Later appointed by Gov. James McGreevey to chair the New Jersey Highlands Council, John led the group through its first 93 meetings to the adoption of a significant regional land use plan. Since 2000, John has been associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers.


Mark Mauriello began his career with the NJDEP in 1980 as a shoreline mapping specialist with the New Jersey Geological Survey. He was appointed as Director of the Division of Coastal Resources and Land Use Regulation Division in 2002 and became the Assistant Commissioner for Land Use Management in 2006. In November 2008, Mauriello was nominated by Governor Jon S. Corzine to serve as Commissioner of the DEP, replacing newly confirmed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. He served in that capacity from November 2008 until his retirement from DEP in January 2010. Mauriello currently serves as president of Mark Mauriello Consulting, LLC, specializing in land use management and regulatory compliance, and also serves as Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning at Edgewood Properties, overseeing the company’s environmental programs, planning initiatives and property acquisitions.


Dr. Norbert P. Psuty is professor emeritus at Rutgers University. He is a coastal geomorphologist who has studied beaches and dunes and coastal systems throughout his professional career, and had input to the development of the New Jersey Shore Protection Master Plan. He developed monitoring protocols that are used by the National Park Service in its coastal parks on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. The same protocols are used by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in its coastal refuges in the Northeast. Psuty has been and continues to be a consultant to the NJDEP on coastal dunes and on impacts of global sea level rise. He has contributed 200 professional papers, books, and chapters to the professional literature as well as over 100 technical reports and papers on coastal matters.