Founded in 1989, the Urban Harbors Institute (UHI), an institite within the School for the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Boston, advances ocean and coastal management through collaborative research and planning at the local, regional, state, federal, and international level. Working closely with governments, marine industry representatives, non-governmental organizations, and members of the public, UHI develops solutions to issues confronting coastal communities, marine-based industries, and activities, and reduces human impacts on the environment. Additionally, UHI's position within the University of Massachusetts Boston allows the Institute to draw from the legal, economic, policy, and scientific expertise within the University.
UHI’s mission is to promote thriving ocean and coastal communities and sustainable natural resources through research, planning, engagement, and education, and is carried out through research, seminars, workshops, conferences and courses. Project findings are disseminated through reports and publications. The staff and associates have expertise in a wide range of fields. Additionally, the institute works closely with University of Massachusetts Boston faculty and students from departments such as management and economics, and from the graduate programs, including the Public Policy and Public Affairs Program.
Through each successive project, UHI endeavors not only to deliver superior quality products but also to advance the art of marine and coastal management and problem-solving. As a research institute, UHI distinguishes itself by its demonstrated dedication to marine and coastal issues, and its connection to the expertise of the university community.