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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Stony Brook University to be anchor institution in $150 million Governors Island project

Rendering of an aerial view of “The Exchange,” the proposed bid by Stony Brook University in developing Governors Island into a start-of-the-art climate research center. The University has been selected as the anchor institution for this project on April 24. IMAGE PROVIDED BY SOM/MIYSIS

After two years of deliberation, Stony Brook University has been chosen as the anchor institution to develop The New York Climate Exchange. The $150 million research institution will be designed as an international hub for climate science and environmental sustainability on Governors Island.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and The Trust for Governors Island made the announcement at noon on Monday, April 24. The decision is a culmination of a years-long effort for the University to become a global leader in research, made just a year after New York Governor Kathy Hochul designated Stony Brook as one of two flagship universities in the state.

During a virtual briefing on Monday, the Trust for Governors Island explained that Stony Brook was chosen for this project because the proposal submitted by the University aligns with the plans of the Center for Climate Solution. 

The two-year deliberation period began in October of 2021, when Stony Brook sent an initial proposal to be a candidate following a Request for Expressions of Interest (REFI) by then-mayor Bill de Blasio. The University was then selected as a finalist alongside Northeastern University and a joint collaboration between the City University of New York (CUNY) and the New School in the fall of 2022. 

“We are honored, excited and proud to partner with the City of New York to build this historic center that will cement New York City as the world leader on climate change, the most pressing issue of our time,” President Maurie McInnis said in an email. “As an international leader on climate and as the leading public research institution in New York, Stony Brook University will bring stakeholders together from the academic, government and business communities to make the Climate Exchange the center of research, innovation, education and collaboration to address this global crisis.”

The New York Climate Exchange will be a center focused on developing climate crisis solutions and will serve as a meeting ground for world climate experts. The institution will also offer job training and skill building to the residents of Governors Island, a 172-acre island off the coast of Manhattan in New York Harbor that sees upwards of 1 million guests per year.

Spanning over 120 acres, the facility will create 7,000 new jobs in green energy and blue technology. Public and cultural centers will be supported and developed alongside dormitory and faculty spaces. The institution’s construction is planned to begin in 2025 and end in 2028.

$100 million will be provided by the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International, a long-time partner with the University. Another $50 million will be contributed by Bloomberg Philanthropies in support of the development.

Stony Brook is optimistic about its role in the revolutionary project. 

“The goal is climate solutions that can be scaled to help communities around the world,” McInnis said. “And ultimately, the exchange will emerge as the place for convening a wide array of participants of constructive dialogue, education, and meaningful climate change action.”

Corrections 4/24/2023 at 7:30 PM: A previous version of this article misattributed a quote from a virtual briefing.

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Sonya Gugliara, News Editor
Sonya is the News Editor of The Statesman. She is third-year journalism major and has been a writer for the paper since the beginning of her freshman year. She has written for the Staten Island Advance. Sonya does not know what else to say about herself.
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