City of St. James partners with UNCW on foundations


Wednesday, October 06, 2021

As a leading and visionary church, the City of St. James donated US $ 25,000 to UNC Wilmington to establish the Foundation in Support of Students on the Living Shoreline of the City of St. James.

This fund will support students who engage in faculty-led research, outreach, and applied learning activities to develop knowledge and resources for the maintenance, improvement, and study of the St. James’ Living Shoreline.

This fund will continue to support existing student work within the UNCW’s Department of Biology and Marine Biology, such as oyster reef establishment, living coastline research and coastal science education. These areas have a direct impact on the region by helping to control erosion, creating habitats for marine animals, and improving water quality by filtering particles and sediments. Through this fund and research, the City of St. James will benefit from a deeper understanding and implementation of mechanisms to protect coastlines and ecosystems.

“Since 2005, the City of St. James (TOSJ) has had the honor of partnering with UNCW on our Living Shoreline Conservation Program,” said Jean R. Toner, Mayor of the City of St. James. “We have worked with many UNCW students over the past 16 years and have been very impressed with their knowledge, skills and passion for their chosen subject. TOSJ is proud to help UNCW students continue their studies by establishing the Living Shoreline Student Support Fund Endowment. We look forward to expanding our relationship with UNCW and partnering to create innovative education, conservation and research programs. ”

The city of St. James in Brunswick County and less than an hour from UNC Wilmington has supported the university for over a decade with more than $ 200,000 in support of the UNCW Benthic Ecology Laboratory, which studies coastal habitats.

“The gift from the City of St. James is an incredible down payment towards future sustainability efforts through the study of natural environments and the function of living coasts in sensitive estuaries,” said Troy Alphin, senior researcher at UNC Wilmington. “This foundation will support research, education and outreach in and around the city of St. James by providing an opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in estuarine ecology, biology, restoration ecology, conservation and marine education. The work done by this gift will help inform efforts along the North Carolina coast and beyond. ”

As the state’s coastal university, coastal resilience is a core component of UNCW’s student and faculty research. Philanthropic partners like TOSJ help UNC Wilmington leverage its location, facilities and expertise to better understand risk and mitigate change to protect our community and region and the world at large.

Immersive, applied learning opportunities, such as those made possible by the City of St. James’ Living Shoreline Student Support Fund, are one of the top priorities of Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW. To learn more about donating to the College of Arts and Sciences, please contact Lindsay Crighton, Director of Development at [email protected]


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