As we move into the 21st century, we are embarking upon a period of great scientific, technological, environmental and governmental change. The new century will be a period of continuing population growth, much of it concentrated in the coastal areas of the United States. The National Sea Grant College Program, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recognizes that important issues facing the nation need to be addressed with solid scientific information that contributes to wise policy decisions for the sustainable use and conservation of precious coastal and ocean resources.
Sea Grant has, for this reason, identified several thematic areas for focused interdisciplinary research and outreach. The Urban Coast is one of those areas. The mission of the Urban Coast project is to identify the most pressing research needs related to the coastal, marine and Great Lakes waters of the U.S. and to develop a research and outreach agenda aimed at prioritizing and addressing those needs.
Business and population growth since World War II has increased urban coastal development -- and brought about a corresponding rise in coastal pollution and environmental degradation. By the end of the 20th century, over 54% of the U.S. population resided and worked in coastal areas -- about 10% of the U.S. land mass. Stress from concentrated population has degraded or threatenes to degrade many coastal environments. Coastal communities are being called upon to review past and current practices that are out of sync with natural systems and processes.
Residents, businesses and government agencies depend upon Sea Grant's partnership of research and outreach for sound science-based solutions to many urban coastline problems. Sea Grant science has focused on environmental quality, pollution, habitat loss and nonindigenous species, coastal erosion and sedimentation, particularly in heavily used urban beaches and ports and harbors. Policy and outreach specialists have considered public access, development issues, port expansion, wastewater disposal and brownfields.
We'd like your input and welcome your participation.
Urban Coast Theme Team
Summaries of Sea Grant Network Efforts on the Urban Coast
Science Serving the Urban Coasts (PDF)
Urban Coasts: Resolving Urban Dilemmas (PDF)
Sea Grant Network Theme Teams
Urban Coast Theme Team Members
| Linda Duguay, USC, Co-Chair
| Frank Kudrna, National Review Panel
| Geraldine Knatz, National Review Panel
| James Fawcett, Marine Transportation / Seaport Specialist
| Phyllis Grifman, USC
| Judy Pederson, MIT
| Katie Mosher, NC, Communicator
| Marilyn O'Leary, LA, Communicator
| Russ Moll, UC
| Jack Mattice, NY
| Judy McDowell, WHOI
| Jeff Reutter, Ohio
| Mike Weinstein, NJ
| Manuel Valdes-Pizzini, PR
| Jim Kruse, National Sea Grant Ports and Harbors Specialist
| Mike Spranger, Florida Sea Grant
| Megan Agy, National Sea Grant Office
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Photo courtesy of: Bob Van Wagenen, Ecoscan Resource Data, Watsonville, CA