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

CSI a Founding Partner of New Atlantic Marine Energy Center
CSI a Founding Partner of New Atlantic Marine Energy Center

It is no secret that the Coastal Studies Institute’s partnerships reach across the world. These partnerships contribute, at least in part, to the success of the institution, and CSI’s newest collaborative endeavor does not fall short of these lofty expectations. Late...

Bonner Selected as 2021-2022 Veterans Advanced Energy Fellow
Bonner Selected as 2021-2022 Veterans Advanced Energy Fellow

The Atlantic Council's Veterans Advanced Energy Project recently announced the 2021-2022 cohort of Veteran Advanced Energy Fellows, and CSI is thrilled to share that George Bonner, Director of the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program at the Coastal Studies...

CSI Internship OPENS Doors for ECU Student
CSI Internship OPENS Doors for ECU Student

An internship reflection by Cora McQuaid.I spent the past 8 months at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI)  in Manteo, North Carolina.  As a freshman in East Carolina University’s “Semester at the Coast Program” I took an in-person field-based course on physical...

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.


Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T 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 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.


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.