coastal institute

Narragansett Bay Campus, Room 124, Narragansett, RI 02882


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Ongoing Initiatives


Janet Coit, Director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, speaks at the Rhode Island Statehouse about Watershed Counts. Photo credit: URI Coastal Institute

The North Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) engages federal agency scientists and managers, in collaboration with academic and other non-federal scientists and students, to understand how fundamental ecosystem functions and processes are affected by increasing urban development, climate change, and other stressors, and then to devise management strategies for preserving and restoring coastal ecosystems, cultural resources, and maritime heritage. The Coastal Institute hosts the NAC CESU, providing administrative and organizational support.

Scientific Support for Environmental Emergency Response (SSEER) is a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) intended to improve environmental emergency preparedness in Rhode Island by enabling a state agency to deploy university resources to assess, reduce, or remediate threats to public health and safety and the environment. The Coastal Institute maintains a roster of university and statewide expertise and resources that could assist the state in responding to an environmental emergency, and provides oversight, direction, review and implementation of the agreement with RIDEM.

The RI Environmental Monitoring Collaborative is intended to coordinate environmental monitoring efforts across the state and engages a wide range of institutions and agencies. As mandated by statute RIGL §46-31-9, the Coastal Institute serves as the chair of the Environmental Monitoring Collaborative.

Watershed Counts is a broad coalition of over 60 agencies and organizations who have committed to work together to examine and report regularly on the condition of the land and water resources of the Narragansett Bay Watershed Region. The Coastal Institute co-facilitates the Watershed Counts work with the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.

The Coastal Institute serves on The Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) Management Committee and Executive Committee. NBEP works to protect and preserve Narragansett Bay and its watershed through partnerships that conserve and restore natural resources, enhance water quality, and promote community involvement

The Design Collaborative at the Coastal Institute will generate cross-disciplinary, reciprocal collaborations that intertwine the vision, creativity, and imagination of art and design processes into new and ongoing research and practice. The Design Collaborative supports projects that involve coastal communities, culture and culture-making, and take a future-oriented perspective. The project started by Frances Whitehead, Distinguished Visiting Artist, will be the inaugural project.

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