Mission, Vision, and Scope


Vision: Thriving coastal communities and ecosystems guided by collaborative science and innovation.

Mission: Catalyze research, foster partnerships, and stimulate dialogue to support resilient and diverse coastal communities and ecosystems.

Geographic Scope: The geographical homebase for the Coastal Institute is the local watersheds and estuaries of Narragansett Bay, Little Narragansett Bay, RI coastal ponds, the RI Sound, and Block Island. However, CI activities and collaborations are open to all coastal and watershed regional, national, and international geographies.

Principles of the Coastal Institute: The CI is guided by the following fundamental principles:

    • Sustainability: Coastal environments must be managed in a responsible manner for the benefit of current and future generations.
    • Integration: Environmental challenges and societal concerns in coastal ecosystems are inextricably linked. While individual grants and activities may not permit full integration, CI’s overall portfolio supports research, extension and outreach that acknowledges the interconnectedness between the human-coastal ecosystem.
    • Inclusiveness: Dialogue, networking, and collaboration with a diverse range of individuals, groups, and organizations is key to learning and addressing watershed, coastal, and ocean issues.
    • Mentorship: The CI strives to boost emerging scientists by providing opportunities to network and conduct interdisciplinary research and extension to address priority issues in the coastal and marine sphere.
    • Communication and dissemination: Research and extension should be informed by stakeholder knowledge and proactively shared and discussed to sharpen findings, improve coastal-management decision-making capacity, and broadly enhance environmental literacy.
    • Learning and adaptive management: Complex coastal issues are difficult to define, have tangled-up root causes, involve stakeholders with diverse values, interests, and positions, and require robust, holistic solutions. In this context, a learning and adaptive management-based approach explores assumptions and ground-truths research results.