Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and URI President Marc Parlange Celebrate $3.75 Million Boost for Blue Economy Initiatives

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joined University of Rhode Island President Marc Parlange today to celebrate the allocation of $3.75 million in federal funding aimed at enhancing URI’s Blue Economy initiatives.

“Rhode Island’s location, access to talent, and world-class institutions like URI have positioned our state well to be a leader in the Blue Economy,” said Whitehouse, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “I secured this federal funding to grow the Blue Economy initiatives at Rhode Island’s flagship university, boost local coastal resiliency efforts, and help keep Rhode Island on the leading edge of ocean economy entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Senator Whitehouse secured a $1.5 million earmark in FY2022 to support the development of Blue Economy initiatives at URI’s Ocean Technology Center in Narragansett. In FY2023, he secured an additional $2.25 million earmark to expand coastal resiliency and Blue Economy programming at the Center. With this funding, URI will launch a statewide initiative to support Rhode Island’s coastal municipalities through technical assistance, partnership building, and research, as well as train a climate-ready workforce to help position the Ocean State as a global leader in coastal resilience and mitigation efforts.

“We are grateful for Sen. Whitehouse’s continued support of URI and the Narragansett Bay Campus. With this critical federal funding, URI will enhance our work in the Blue Economy and coastal resilience through important research and educational programming,” said Marc B. Parlange, President of the University of Rhode Island. “As the state’s flagship public research university, URI will continue to train a climate-ready workforce, provide resources to local communities, and accelerate the Blue Economy for the state of Rhode Island.”

In addition to being a center of teaching and research, URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus is home to a robust community of academic centers, state and federal agencies, nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies. The groundbreaking work happening at the Bay Campus attracts more than $50 million in research grants each year to the University. Improved facilities such as the Ocean Technology Center will continue to attract research funding, top faculty and students




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