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Coastal Sustainability Institute at Northeastern University
by Northeastern University (Academic institution)
Northeastern University (Boston, MA) announces the creation of a new Coastal Sustainability Institute (CSI), a direct outgrowth of the university-wide Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative (UCSI) launched in 2012. The overarching goal of the UCSI was to create an interdisciplinary research hub that leverages existing strengths in ocean science, engineering and policy to respond to the major environmental threats facing the world’s coastal marine habitats, particularly those located in urban centers, as well as both social and technical tools and strategies necessary to overcome these threats. UCSI is now producing innovative solutions that create cleaner, safer, and smarter coastal communities.

To expand the global reach of our academic and research programs, we have developed active partnerships for collaborative research and faculty/student exchange with a global network of universities engaged in coastal research. In particular, we have forged MOUs with numerous partners such as Xiamen University (China), the University of Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), the University of Palermo (Italy), the University of Basrah (Iraq) the University of Havana (Cuba) and Kuwait University, that are galvanizing collaborative research to address numerous issues, including emerging technologies for aquaculture and the development of a biodiversity plan to enable the protection and restoration of aquatic habitats in southern Iraq.

This new Coastal Sustainability Institute will leverage expertise from across the entire university to produce transformative science, engineering and policy solutions for the benefit of urban coastal cities around the world. The unifying theme of CSI’s research and academic portfolio will be to develop interdisciplinary, sustainable solutions to ongoing and emerging grand environmental challenges in this era of global change. At the core of our mission is recognition of the unintended consequences that often emerge when human-centric and environment-centric solutions are enacted independently, rather than considered holistically as a coupled human-natural system. Our model of addressing these challenges with an interdisciplinary perspective from the outset destroys academic silos and focuses on urgent and societally compelling issues, while retaining agility in responding to emerging threats.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Nutrient sinks (e.g. constructed wetlands)
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Reduce invasive aquatic species introduction
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels
Type of commitment
  • Adaptation to more acidic ocean conditions
  • Scientific research and cooperation to address ocean acidification knowledge gaps
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Scientific cooperation
Development of a biodiversity plan for aquatic ecosystems of Southern Iraq, in collaboration with University of Basrah
Staff / Technical expertise
The new Coastal Sustainability Institute leverages expertise from across the entire university to address pressing challenges related to climate change acting on coastal communities
Basic information
Time-frame: 04/2017 - ongoing
Northeastern University (University)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Brian Helmuth, Professor, b.helmuth@northeastern.edu, 7815817370 x 307
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Other SDGs
United Nations