In 2017, the Rhode Island General Assembly allocated funds to the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) to implement actions that would increase the capacity of decision-makers to enhance local resilience to the effects of natural hazards and climate change, particularly sea level rise and storm surge.

The online module series originated from, and builds upon, a series of efforts over the last few years, and compliments URI GSO’s Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and RI Sea Grant initiatives in building capacity.


“This funding will support the URI/GSO cooperative efforts focused on coastal adaptation and resilience. Through partnerships with federal, state and municipal agencies this additional funding will support the GSO to assist shoreline communities in managing and preparing for climate changes as may be characterized as sea-level rise, extreme weather events and fishery changes.

This additional support will facilitate work with stakeholders—academia, resource users, managers, regulators, practitioners, policy makers, private sector interests and citizens—to accelerate creation and application of adaptation tools including training for local governments; and will provide tangible, tested policy solutions for all levels of government, facilitating their capability to make coastlines, critical infrastructure and areas of economic importance adaptable and resilient to sea level rise, extreme weather events and other environmental changes.”

The Narragansett Bay Research Reserve, a long-standing partner with training expertise and extensive community networks was brought aboard to partner in the development and implementation of this education series.

Support and Acknowledgements

Governor Gina Raimondo, RI Legislature, and the University of Rhode Island

Oversight Committee:
Janet Coit, RI Department of Environmental Management
Grover Fugate, RI Coastal Resources Management Council
Representative Lauren Carson, District 75, Newport
Parag Agrawal, RI Division of Planning
Michelle Burnett, RI Emergency Management Agency (formerly)
Kelly Mahoney, University of Rhode Island

Pam Rubinoff, Jennifer West, Jennifer McCann, Teresa Crean, Dawn Kotowicz
Mary-Kate Kane, Kevin Proft,
Sue Kennedy, Cathy Dwyer, and Monica Allard Cox