International coastal leaders in three-week seminar

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At URI’s Coastal Resources Center June 9- 27

The Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography will host 17 leading coastal resource managers from 13 countries from June 9 – 27 for an intensive, three week educational workshop, “The Summer Institute in Advanced Coastal Management.” This year’s Summer Institute is focusing on adapting to climate change and economic development for coastal areas. The Summer Institute will be held at the Coastal Institute at URI’s Narragansett Bay campus, with field trips around Rhode Island including the Metro Bay Region, the south county salt ponds and aquaculture industry.

“Climate change is on the front pages of newspapers around the world. Rhode Island is a pioneer in responding to these issues and is recognized world wide for its work in coastal management,” said Stephen Olsen, director of CRC. “We believe it is a tribute to the work so many people have done in helping preserve and properly manage Rhode Island’s coastal resources that top professionals come here to gain from our experience and have their skills as practitioners of coastal management.”

This year’s attendees represent American Samoa, Guinea, Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Tanzania, Taiwan and the United States. Coastal management has been recognized as a growing high-priority issue globally by organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations and the World Bank. Today nearly half the world’s population lives along coastlines, which make up only seven percent of the inhabited landscape. How planning and decision-making unfolds in these coastal regions will impact all aspects of the environment, economy and society.

CRC, which was created at URI in 1971, has been on the front line of coastal initiatives in Rhode Island since its inception, and serves as the U.S. flagship for coastal management worldwide through its global work with the U.S. Agency for International development. CRC helped develop Rhode Island’s coastal program, which was one of the first in the U.S., and its most recent local efforts have included creating Special Area Management Plans for Greenwich Bay and the Metro Bay region. Current international projects include those in Tanzania, Indonesia, and Thailand, and in Latin America and Europe, where they are engaged in sharing CRC’s knowledge and experience to cultivate a new generation of professional coastal managers.