A New Riverfront Campus for Applied Coastal Sciences & Engineering
The need for coastal restoration and protection is clear. Since the 1930s, nearly 1,900 square miles of the coast has been lost in Louisiana. Reversing this trend will prove critical to sustaining the prosperity of New Orleans and its sister communities across the Mississippi River delta. In a bold strategy to promote economic and environmental revitalization, Tulane is developing a new riverfront campus in downtown New Orleans that will host a Center of Excellence (CoE) for coastal protection and restoration.
By significantly increasing capacity for coastal applied sciences and engineering, the riverfront campus will help transform New Orleans into a leading hub for green jobs, infrastructure and technologies. With the CoE as its centerpiece, the campus will serve as a magnet for research and investment, providing an exceptional platform for expanding existing and emerging economic sectors capable of restoring and protecting the coast.
The new campus will be located on the Mississippi River waterfront close to the Morial Convention Center and Central Business District. Construction is now underway, with the first phase of the CoE expected to open in April 2015. This will result in 15,000+ sqft of new laboratory, exhibition, educational, and conferencing facilities. Another 39,000 sqft of space will be completed in a second phase to provide additional laboratory, equipment storage, external facilities, and public outreach facilities. Another ~400,000 sqft could be developed on the property to fully realize its economic potential.
Tulane Center of Excellence for Coastal Protection & Restoration
The CoE will target immediate and long-standing needs through portfolios of research, education and economic development.
Applied science and engineering research
The core of the CoE will be laboratory suites for applied science and engineering research on the physical, biological, and coupled natural-human elements of rivers, coasts, and urbanizing deltas. Faculty and staff at the CoE will work closely with city, parish, state and federal clients to develop and implement targeted research and restoration projects.
The CoE will likewise serve as a resource for other coastal regions around the world that are addressing similar challenges and opportunities.
Advanced education and training
The CoE will encompass a suite of meeting rooms for university courses, technical certification courses, as well as lectures and seminars providing professional accreditation. The facility also will have a conference venue for hosting professional societies and groups.
The CoE will serve as a visitor’s center to educate and inform the general public. Addressing city, state, and national concerns, exhibitions will be staged to help residents and visitors understand coastal protection and restoration. The program will tell the story of the ecology, hydrology, and uses of the Mississippi River, including how it can serve as a tool for rebuilding the coast. The program will also address post-Katrina flood and hurricane protection, the reliance of coastal communities on ecosystem services from delta wetlands, interfaces between energy and the environment, and plans to sustain the coast for future generations.
Business incubation & technology transfer
The CoE will further promote economic development by providing businesses and institutional partners office suites configured to promote academic-industry and public-private partnerships. The CoE will help entities advance best practices by facilitating development, testing and commercialization of technologies or processes for coastal protection and restoration. Through institutional mechanisms available from Tulane and its associates, the CoE will ensure protection of intellectual property generated by invested parties.
Only in New Orleans. Only at Tulane.
For more information contact:
Michael Blum, Ph.D.
Coordinator for the Riverfront Campus Project
Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research