Located in New Orleans at the heart of the Mississippi River Delta and the epicenter of coastal wetland loss, Tulane is uniquely poised as a research leader in the science and conservation of rivers and coasts. As such, Tulane is creating a Center of Excellence (CoE) to be housed in the new riverfront campus, located in downtown New Orleans. The campus will bring together academic, government, and business partners in the shared goal of understanding and restoring the Gulf Coast. Furthermore, innovations surrounding coastal restoration, sustainability, and resilience that are developed at the CoE will serve as a model for coastal communities around the world. In partnership with several academic institutions and federal government agencies, the CBR has established the Long-term Estuary Assessment Group (LEAG) program, seeking to obtain a scientific understanding of the lower Mississippi River / Gulf of Mexico estuary.
The goals of the Center of Excellence project include researching the Mississippi River delta as a model ecosystem for an understanding of estuaries in other parts of the world, identifying methods of enhancing the flow of information from scientists to policy-makers, and bringing field research experiences to inner-city middle school and high school students.
With the appointment of Dr. Michael Blum in 2012 as director, the CBR has reaffirmed its commitment to excellence in research on rivers and coasts. Dr. Blum’s research focus is on the ecology and evolution of freshwater fish and the ecology and restoration of coastal marshes. With more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and numerous public outreach engagements, Dr. Blum is an authority in this research area.