Urban Harbors Institute

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Maps & Directions

Expertise & Projects

The Urban Harbors Institute assists nonprofit organizations, local community groups, and municipal and state governments in researching and analyzing coastal issues related to water quality, harbor management, waterfront land use, coastal management, coastal development and regulations. Nationally, the institute has analyzed federal legislation related to water transportation, and has advised federal officials on coastal issues. Internationally, the Institute has provided expertise to a number of countries developing integrated coastal management programs or addressing specific coastal issues.

Our expertise can best be illustrated through our current/recent projects and through UHI's project history.

Expertise

Harbor and Port Planning and Management

The Institute works with government agencies and numerous harbor constituencies to analyze port and harbor issues and to develop management plans which balance the needs of commerce, tourism, and the environment. Locally, the Institute has assisted the communities of Rockport, Salem, Fall River, Provincetown, Hull, Scituate and Gloucester with harbor studies and management plans. The Institute has also worked closely with the City of Boston to reduce boat sewage pollution in the Boston Harbor.

Ocean and Coastal Planning

The Institute applies its considerable experience in ocean and coastal planning and management programs to assist governments in the US and abroad to improve their capacities for environmental decision-making that integrate economic, environmental, and regulatory frameworks. For example, the institute assisted the government of Bulgaria in developing an integrated coastal management program for its Black Sea coast.

Natural Resource Management

To protect valuable natural resources and coastal areas that are at risk of degradation from pollution, the Institute assists in environmental assessments and the development of sustainable resource management plans. Locally, the institute has worked to develop the Neponset River Estuary Resource Management Plan and undertaken Natural Resource Inventories for the Weir and Gulf Rivers.

Public Education and Participation

The Institute provides a forum for public debates and activities related to current environmental issues. It provides opportunities for the public to access university expertise in marine-related topics and issues. Two of the Institute's recurring initiatives include organizing--together with MA CZM--COASTSWEEP, the annual Massachusetts coastal cleanup that is part of a global effort coordinated by Ocean Conservancy, and providing coordinating services for the Massachusetts Marine Educators (MME) Boston Harbor Conference held annually at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Water Transportation

The Institute has been a center for marine transportation, maintained a national ferry database and produced numerous reports on issues such as intermodalism, alternative fuels, port access, and community impacts of ferry systems.

Picture of the Boston Harbor, including the downtown Boston skyline

Urban Harbors Institute

Publications produced by the Urban Harbors Institute are available on ScholarWorks. Publications date back to 1995. Read More 


Giving to UMass Boston

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