Renewable Ocean Energy

Research Focus Aea
Research Focus Area Overview

Society’s reliance on fossil fuels is not sustainable. Developing novel approaches of generating electrical power without fossil fuel use, is critical. Research related to harnessing energy from the “motion of the ocean” is in its infancy. However, our researchers are examining the possibility of harnessing ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, and waves to provide clean energy, as well as the possible environmental implications. This cutting-edge research, including field and modeling approaches, aims to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously providing for the energy needs of an ever-growing coastal population.

Research Labs

Oceanography & Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Ocean Lab
Geosocial Systems Lab
Coastal Engineering & Adaptation
Coastal Marine Processes & Geomorphology Lab
of the Coast
Geochemistry &
Coastal Dynamics
Coasts &
Ecology & Biogeochemistry
in Marine & Coastal
Systems Lab

Renewable Ocean Energy News

Research Buoy Recently Deployed Off Of Jennette’s Pier
Research Buoy Recently Deployed Off Of Jennette’s Pier

A small team of researchers recently took advantage of a stint of beautiful weather on the Outer Banks employing the help of both CSI research vessel Miss Caroline and divers to deploy a buoy off of Jennette’s Pier. The buoy will stay in place for one month, while...

Dubbs Receives 2020 C3E Education Award
Dubbs Receives 2020 C3E Education Award

 It is no doubt that Dr. Lindsay Dubbs has been an integral part of the Coastal Studies Institute since joining the team in 2012. She is now the Co-director of the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Outer Banks Field Site (OBXFS) hosted by CSI, and the Associate...

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.


ECU’s Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU’s Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.




The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


Contact Us

Contact Info

The Coastal Studies Institute
850 NC 345
Wanchese, NC 27981


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