Coastal Policy Lab

The Coastal Policy Lab is at the intersection of science and policy – law, economics, engineering, planning and the social sciences – and engages faculty and students from these and other disciplines in a “laboratory” format.


The “Coastal Policy Laboratory” provides a central campus hub for coastal policy research and training.  Faculty from key disciplines at the intersection of science and policy – law, economics, engineering, planning and the social sciences – engage students from these and other disciplines in a “laboratory” format to ensure that the policy implications of Center research are adequately understood and addressed, that Center students are equipped with the tools of policy analysis, and that Center stakeholders have a place to go to seek advice on policy applications that advance coastal solutions, including those developed by the Center.

Thomas Ankerson“Policy relevance has become a watchword for scientists and engineers grappling with the coast’s especially wicked problems. Achieving policy fluency is a key component of a truly interdisciplinary approach to STEM education.  A policy lab housed in a STEM Center can achieve both.”

Thomas T. Ankersen, Committee Chair, UF Faculty Board
Professor, Director, Conservation Clinic
UF Levin College of Law


Coastal Policy Lab Course

As part of the Center for Coastal Solutions partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), an inaugural fall semester course called the Coastal Policy Lab is bringing together six law students from the UF Law Conservation Clinic and six engineering graduate students affiliated with the Center for Coastal Solutions to address coastal resiliency on Sanibel and Captiva islands.

UF Law Professor Tom Ankersen and UF Environmental Engineering Professor Christine Angelini are focusing the first Coastal Policy Lab in Charlotte Harbor.

The Coastal Policy Lab is an experiential learning program in which law and graduate engineering and science students work together in teams on projects of importance to a local partner—in this case SCCF. They are exploring nature-based solutions that address sea level rise and water quality, such as living seawalls and shorelines, oyster and sponge gardening, mangrove management, and navigation channel design. Financial support for the program is provided by Florida Sea Grant.

Students are also researching institutional design options for coastal resiliency programming such as “adaptation action areas” and “coastal resiliency districts.” The student teams will present their results to SCCF stakeholders by early December. SCCF staff advising the project teams include SCCF Coastal Resiliency Program Manager Carrie Schuman, SCCF Environmental Policy Director James Evans, and SCCF Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt.

Coastal Policy NEWS & Blog

Coastal Policy Blog webpage

  • State Policy Brief: Marine Aquatic Resource Mitigation Banking in Florida
    Bills to authorize mitigation banking for seagrass and other marine resources on sovereign submerged lands (SSL) have been introduced in the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate for consideration in the 2022 legislative session.  This policy brief reviews the history of efforts to allow seagrass mitigation banking on sovereign submerged lands, explains the two bills that have been introduced, and discusses some of the issues raised by mitigation banking on sovereign submerged lands.
  • Coastal Policy Lab wraps up the semester with presentations in Sanibel Island
    The inaugural semester of the CCS Coastal Policy Lab came to close in early December with a field trip to Sanibel Island to present the results of the students’ interdisciplinary projects. The Coastal Policy Lab (CPL) is a student-centered experiential learning collaboration between the University of Florida Colleges of Law and Engineering, and Florida Sea ...
  • Science as a Team Sport: Potential for Gamified, App-Based Citizen Science in Florida
    By applying the engaging elements found in games to research, projects can be optimized around human motivation and entice citizen scientists to participate at a higher rate and longer than they otherwise would have. While many singular projects have been “gamified,” Florida could benefit from a comprehensive app that ties together the best elements previously used in single projects.
  • State Policy Update: Rule Development in the DEP office of Resilience and Coastal Protection
    Rule Development in the DEP Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection, by Matthew DePaolis, Coastal Policy Analyst Fellow, Center for Coastal Solutions / UF Law Conservation Clinic & Florida Sea Grant Legal Program
  • CCS and SCCF Partner on New Coastal Policy Lab Course
    The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has a new article out on the inaugural Coastal Policy Lab course. Full text is provided below and and you can find the original SCCF article here.
    As part of SCCF’s new memorandum of understanding with the University of Florida (UF) Center for Coastal Solutions, an inaugural fall semester course called the ...