Research at the Institute seeks to advance our understanding of resilience in urban estuaries and encourage public engagement around this knowledge. The questions in need of answers are many and varied. How does water quality in the bay change over time? How do salt marshes and other ecosystems respond to changes in water quality and future sea level rise? How have Bay communities recovered from the effects of Hurricane Sandy? How do different groups understand the resilience of Jamaica Bay and envision its future?

To answer these and numerous other questions, the Institute advances a coordinated program of research on the physical, social, and ecological systems of the bay and its watershed and how they change over time. A few integrated goals guide this research, including understanding how the estuary and coastal communities interact in complex and dynamic systems; monitoring and modeling change and disturbance over time; identifying system thresholds as benchmarks for action; and establishing tools and facilitating approaches to support public learning, adaptive management, and multi-actor dialogue about resiliency challenges and opportunities.

More information on each research area and projects can be found below.

Understanding ecosystem resilience
Improving water quality
Storm damage reduction
Community resilience
Policy, planning, and adaptive management
Monitoring the pulse of the bay’s systems
Integrated systems modeling
Knowledge coordination and information management