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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution selected as finalist for Governors Island Climate Solutions Center

WHOI has been selected as part of two teams in the final stretch to help build a center for climate change and resiliency research on Governors Island, New York City. Photo credit: Governors Island Trust

January 11, 2022

Organizations collaborate to tackle global climate issues and solutions

Woods Hole, MA – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI, a global leader in ocean research and exploration, is partnering with two teams selected as finalists in the development of the new Governors Island Climate Solutions Center in New York City. The announcement was recently made by former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and The Trust for Governors Island.

WHOI scientists are collaborating with two of the four teams moving on to the next phase of competition: The Coastal Cities Impact Team and The C3: Climate Center Consortium. Finalist teams will move forward in competing to build, program and operate an institution on Governors Island, dedicated to studying and showcasing how cities around the world can equitably adapt to climate change.

The Coastal Cities Impact team includes WHOI, Northeastern University, University of Tokyo, and University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The team’s vision aims to program, build, and operate the facility, which would develop solutions to help ready communities for climate change, and create educational programs to support the development of green jobs in New York City. Proposed facilities include research and laboratory space, space for start-up companies and entrepreneurs to collaborate on research projects, overnight accommodations, and a public exhibition hall with interactive learning displays.

“WHOI is honored to be selected among the finalists to develop this groundbreaking climate center,” said Carol Anne Clayson, WHOI Associate Director of Research Strategy. “Our mission is to create a more resilient and robust future for communities everywhere, and we are excited to move on to the next phase of the planning. WHOI, along with its partners, is uniquely positioned to provide critical solutions to some of the world’s pressing climate needs.”

The C3 team includes WHOI, City University of New York and The New School, Columbia University, Barnard College, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York University, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Northeastern University, and University at Albany. C3 is focused on merging the work of climate adaptation, mitigation, and environmental justice.

“Addressing the climate crisis through inclusive and cross-sector approaches is imperative for cities, and an opportunity that New York City is poised to lead,” Clare Newman, president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, said. “The Center for Climate Solutions will advance New York City’s leadership in generating the innovative solutions needed to create a resilient future for cities around the world, while expanding the training and education needed to provide pathways to green jobs.”

The other competition finalists include teams led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stony Brook University.

Competing teams will submit a finalized proposal in spring of 2022. The Governors Island Trust, the nonprofit overseeing the 172-acre island in partnership with New York City, issued a Request for Expressions of Interest in June 2021.


About Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate an understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. WHOI’s pioneering discoveries stem from an ideal combination of science and engineering—one that has made it one of the most trusted and technically advanced leaders in basic and applied ocean research and exploration anywhere. WHOI is known for its multidisciplinary approach, superior ship operations, and unparalleled deep-sea robotics capabilities. We play a leading role in ocean observation and operate the most extensive suite of data-gathering platforms in the world. Top scientists, engineers, and students collaborate on more than 800 concurrent projects worldwide—both above and below the waves—pushing the boundaries of knowledge and possibility. For more information, please visit