Dr. Wendy Carey has joined the University of Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service (MAS) as a new specialist in coastal processes. She will be responsible for developing educational programs dealing with shoreline processes, beach management, and storm hazards such as northeasters and coastal flooding to improve public understanding of the scientific, engineering, and socioeconomic issues involving the coast.
The Delaware coast is an economic boon to the state, generating millions of dollars in tourism revenue each year. Last year, more than 2 million people visited the state's beaches, which border the Delaware Bay, the Inland Bays, and the Atlantic Ocean. The residential population also is growing. According to the Delaware Population Consortium, the population of Sussex County, Delaware, alone is expected to increase by nearly 35% in the next two decades.
"Rapid urbanization of Delaware's coastal areas has resulted in a large increase in the number of people and structures exposed to storm hazards," Carey says. "Coastal residents, visitors, and property owners will benefit from an increased knowledge of natural processes that control and shape the shoreline. An increased understanding of coastal hazard mitigation and beach management principles is essential for proper planning, design, construction, and survival at the shore."
Carey has been conducting coastal research in Delaware and the Mid-Atlantic region for the past 22 years. In addition to completing extensive academic training, she worked directly with the general public and local, state, and federal agencies during the past decade as vice-president of Coastal & Estuarine Research, Inc., a Lewes-based consulting firm.
Additionally, Carey has conducted public outreach activities related to coastal environments, such as organizing field trips for kindergarten through twelfth-grade students, and most recently, serving as co-chair of the City of Lewes's Project Impact Steering Committee. Earlier this year, the committee succeeded in procuring a $500,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for public awareness and mitigation efforts relating to hurricanes, northeasters, and other coastal storms.
Carey received her bachelor's degree in geology from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She received her master's and doctoral degrees in marine studies from the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies. Her dissertation, in 1996, focused on the impacts of sea-level rise on Delaware's coastal tidal wetlands.
She joins five other staff members in the Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service, who have specialties in aquaculture, marine education, marine recreation and tourism, marine resource management, and seafood technology. From their base of operations at the Graduate College of Marine Studies, Hugh R. Sharp Campus, Lewes, the staff travel the state to work with a wide variety of audiences, including business owners, teachers, resource managers, decision makers, and others.
Carey's office is in 204 Cannon Laboratory at the Lewes campus. Her phone number is (302) 645-4258.
She resides in Lewes with her husband, Tony Pratt, and their children Jamie, Elizabeth, and Bo.