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California State University Working to Protect State's Coastline


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Claudia Keith, (562) 951-4800

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(February 19, 2009) – Faculty members working on coastal and marine science research and education at the California State University have joined together to form the California State University Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) in an effort to promote collaboration among campuses and disciplines to advance knowledge of California’s natural coast and marine resources. 

"One of the main goals of the COAST group is to harness the resources and knowledge of our faculty and develop opportunities to collaborate on coastal and marine education and research," said Rollin Richmond, president of Humboldt State University, and one of the principal leaders of the effort.  "We want to take full advantage of the vast expertise and depth of knowledge that the CSU has throughout its campuses in order to enhance the educational experiences of our students while increasing public awareness of the many challenges facing our coastline."

The natural resources of the coast and coastal ocean are a solid foundation of California’s economy and critical to the quality of life.  For example, in 2000, California’s ocean economy was worth nearly $43 billion and provided more than 400,000 jobs.  The state’s 19 coastal counties generated $1.15 trillion of economic activity, 86 percent of the total state economic activity.

"The challenges that California’s 1,100 miles of coastline face are those facing the entire U.S. coastline – namely, rising sea levels, stronger and more frequent storms, water quality threats, habitat loss and declining fisheries," said Krista Kamer, program coordinator for COAST and a staff member at San Francisco State.  "With more than 300 CSU faculty members involved in these issues, COAST is uniquely positioned to provide coordinated and comprehensive responses and solutions at both the state and national levels."

COAST members’ primary research and education expertise relates to social, economic and environmental concerns in the coastal region including:

  • Global climate change and coastal impacts
  • Natural and commercial marine resources
  • Coastal development and shoreline impacts
  • Water quality and public health
  • Marine economics and responsible social policies.

Members of COAST’s working group include: 

CSU Northridge:  Dr. Larry Allen
CSU Channel Islands:  Dr. Sean Anderson, Dr. Ashish Vaidya
San Diego State University:  Dr. Todd Anderson
San Jose State:  Dr. Kenneth Coale*, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
CSU Fullerton:  Dr. Kathy Dickson, Dr. Steve Murray*
San Francisco State:  Dr. Newell Garfield *
Humboldt State University:  Dr. Greg Crawford, Dr. James Howard
CSU Monterey Bay:  Dr. Rikk Kvitek*
CSU Bakersfield:  Dr. Antje Lauers
CSU Long Beach:  Dr. Andrew Mason *
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Dr. Susan Opava
*Executive Committee


About the California State University and COAST
The California State University
is the largest public university system in the country and provides undergraduate and graduate education that directly supports all levels of government, industry, K-12 education, and public interests in the coastal region.  Through outstanding research opportunities and renowned faculty, COAST provides students with the environmental literacy and skills needed to succeed in the workforce.  A well-trained workforce ensures that government, management agencies and the public are prepared to meet environmental and regulatory challenges and protect the coast environment. For more information, visit