"The survival of our region depends on negotiating our relationship with water," Tulane President Mike Fitts said in a release issued by the university.
"We are located next to the Mississippi River, which is silent, powerful and constantly changing. For us at Tulane, we have existed in the shadow of the river for 182 years and now we finally have a facility on the river banks," Fitts said during the dedication for the facility recently. "There isn't a more appropriate location for the ByWater Institute and there isn't a more appropriate university to take on this research than Tulane. The survival of our region depends on negotiating our relationship with water."
Tulane University celebrated the dedication of the Tulane River and Coastal Center and the debut of the ByWater Institute on September 14, 2016, amidst sunset river views on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans. Members of the Tulane and New Orleans communities joined distinguished guests to mark this milestone in Tulane's progress as a leader in coastal protection and restoration throughout the Gulf Coast region.
The state-of-the-art facilities at the new riverfront campus will serve to further the ByWater Institute's mission to "foster applied research and community engagement on coastal concerns as well as incubate innovation within the emerging environmental and energy sectors."
Michael Blum, the director of the ByWater Institute, was a member of a task force focused on coastal and water management along with other representatives from universities across the state of Louisiana. They "identified three focal opportunities for investment in Louisiana universities that would promote sustainable innovation, technological commercialization and high impact returns. Capitalizing on existing pools of expertise and research infrastructure, targeted investments would further establish Louisiana as a leader in issues relating to coastal and water management." These areas are:
1. Coastal Resilience Through Next Generation Coastal Science, Engineering, and Management
2. Water Resources Management and Technology
3. Coastal Resilience and Sustainable Community Planning and Engineering
You can read their full report HERE
A key element of this emerging master plan was the construction of the recently opened Tulane River & Coastal Center, which will support applied research and outreach to raise public awareness about coastal science, restoration and water management. It will host conferences and university courses, as well as lectures and seminars for professional accreditation. In serving as a public forum for community engagement, the center will help promote economic development by spurring academic-industry and public-private collaborations.
The Tulane ByWater Institute Fact Sheet
The Tulane ByWater Institute will foster applied research and community engagement on coastal concerns as well as incubate innovation within the emerging environmental and energy sectors.
The ByWater Institute exemplifies the interdisciplinary ethos of the university. By supporting applied research and outreach, the center will help strengthen capacity to restore and protect the coast.
The ByWater Institute will support applied research programs on coastal concerns, like the Mississippi River Observatory, which is part of a global water quality monitoring network that provides real-time data on the river as it flows past New Orleans. The Institute will host conferences and university courses, as well as lectures and seminars for professional accreditation. In serving as a public forum for community engagement, the Institute will help promote economic development by spurring academic-industry and public-private collaborations.
Construction Began: May 12, 2015
Dedication: September 14, 2016
Capacity: 191 (staff/researchers)
Size: 5,800 net square feet
Amenities: 5 offices, 2 research labs, 3 conference rooms, 1 forum/event room
Storage: 40,000 square feet of warehouse space for storing and staging vehicles, vessels and field research equipment.
The ByWater Institute is LEED certified.
Partnership: The ByWater Institute will support the university’s partnership with The Water Institute of the Gulf and the facility is the first phase of Tulane’s Riverfront Initiative
Structural & Civil Engineer: Schrenk, Endom & Flanagan
MEP/FP Engineer: TLC Engineering for Architecture
Landscape Architect: Spackman Mossop & Michaels
Contractor: Landis Construction Co., LLC