Shorebirds line a fence on a beach dune. Photo credit: Jarret Katz


Coastal Institute investment amplifies the impact of overhead funds by targeted reinvestment in research, development, and outreach. Return on investment (ROI) results in both tangible and intangible outputs, with each and every investment a strategic part of a larger plan to address complex coastal management challenges. With each investment, the goal is to increase the funding prospects of CI Senior Fellows and the university writ large, provide on-the-ground support to environmental groups for maximum community level impact, and reinforce the role of the CI as a facilitator of interdisciplinary solutions. By working within the full range of the university’s colleges and with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and networks of academic institutions, the CI is always evolving in the funding, testing, improving and distributing of solutions. The ROI is incalculable in many aspects of its impacts, but this report provides some tangible and quantitative examples, often coupled with intangible qualitative outcomes.


Ongoing Initiatives: The Coastal Institute actively engages in several ongoing long-term programs in varying capacities such as serving on project oversight committees, facilitating collaborative networks, or serving as the host organization for multi-partner projects.

Responsive Initiatives: The Coastal Institute supports a range of outreach activities within URI, across the state of Rhode Island and in the upper watershed of Massachusetts, and with other coastal communities both near and far that seek to educate and engage the community in dialogue regarding issues related to coastal ecosystem management. Activities include lectures, workshops, fora, symposia, publications, social media, films, and an ever-expanding palette of activities and strategies.


Catalyst Grants: The Coastal Institute offers small grants to individuals needing assistance to jump-start a research project or a collaborative enterprise focusing on coastal ecosystem management with the anticipation of major proposal(s) to be submitted using research/data accomplished through this support.

Leveraging Grants: The Coastal Institute welcomes grant proposals that add value to funded projects and activities that further its mission. Examples include bringing in additional speakers for conferences and workshops at URI; adding breadth or depth to some aspect of a research or outreach project; or enhancing a project’s communication outputs. Leveraging grants are not intended to serve as the major source of support for a project or activity; rather, they are to expand the real and perceived value of the initial investment for the PIs, the University, and the basic or applied research.

Collaborative Grants: The Coastal Institute has been, and continues to be, committed to the development of grants through the various federal agencies ranging from the National Institutes of Health to the National Science Foundation. The expertise provided by the Coastal Institute increases competitiveness through science communication expertise, consideration of social equity, and commitment to community engagement.

CI Project Grants-in-Aid: The Coastal Institute enhances the value of externally funded research projects submitted through the Coastal Institute by distributing grants-in-aid to principal investigators. These grants both further the mission of the Coastal Institute and allow PIs to augment their research and outreach activities.