Stockton University President Dr. Harvey Kesselman provided us with a WPG Talk Radio 95.5, “Hurley in the Morning” exclusive interview this morning, (Friday, September 24, 2021).

It was a follow-up to previous coverage that we’ve provided here and on-air.

The results of a feasibility study to determine if a Stockton University coastal resiliency Institute and marine science center, to potentially be located at Gardner’s Basin makes sense are now complete and we have the findings.

First, this acknowledgment. The study was made possible and financed by Senator Bill Gormley and Lee Levine.

Stockton University President, Dr. Harvey Kesselman tasked a select committee to dig deep and explore all aspects of locating a Stockton Coastal Resiliency Institute and Marine Science Center in the Absecon Inlet region, including Gardner’s Basin.

This work actually began back in 2019, when a report concluded that such an Institute was recommended. This report was funded by an Innovation Challenge grant to Atlantic City by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

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The Gormley-Levine study has reached conclusions:

The Absecon Island Inlet Region, including Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City, has an excellent mixture of locational attributes because it provides perfect access to the ocean, Deepwater marina facilities, and direct access to surrounding waterways, dunes, beaches, wetlands, and urbanized Coast necessary for teaching and research purposes.

Additionally, The inlet region provides synergies with a blue economy, alternate energy, and commercial fishing industry’s as well as cohesion with non-governmental, municipal, county, state, and federal entities that are located in or around this part of the city.

Dredging of portions of the inlet region is necessary to provide appropriate access for vessels to utilize, maximize and optimize the resources of the Gardner’s Basin area.

This is incredibly exciting for Stockton University and equally for the region. It would be such a dynamic use of this long underutilized area.

The region has been in search for more than 50 years to achieve the best use for Gardner’s Basin.

When successfully deployed, The Stockton University CRI//MSC will serve as a nexus for scientific research, graduate work, and training in cutting-edge technology is in coastal studies for the South Jersey region, as well as a site for public education in coastal resiliency.

Global climate change and associated sea-level rise, coupled with regional development of and offshore alternate wind energy … make it essential that the resilience of New Jersey’s coastal communities be the focus of efforts to study and plan for the health of these important drivers of the shore economy, the coastal ocean, the barrier islands, and surrounding coastal ecosystems.

The feasibility study committee has recommended contributing to ongoing initiatives to explore development opportunities in Atlantic City, specifically in the Absecon Inlet region, including Gardner’s Basin.

They recommend establishing an interim or an immediate oceanic outpost at Gardner’s Basin, Atlantic City.

Finally, the Committee recommends that there is a direct need to identify opportunities for research, education, and workforce development.

NOTE: You can listen to our in-depth interview with Dr. Harvey Kesselman on our WPG Talk Radio smartphone app. Go to the Friday, September 24, 2021 “Hurley in the Morning” program. The interview begins at the 8:05 a.m. mark of the podcast.

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