About Us

We work across three countries and multiple disciplines to create solutions anchored in science that have a lasting impact on the Gulf of Mexico’s vast ecosystems, economies, and communities.


Science-driven solutions™ for Gulf of Mexico problems.


An ecologically and economically sustainable Gulf of Mexico.

The HRI Model

HRI is set apart from other marine research institutions by its use of the HRI Model, a unique interdisciplinary way of working that integrates our science with economic, policy and sociological expertise. While our solutions are science-driven, the challenges facing the Gulf of Mexico can't be solved by science working alone. HRI scientists are encouraged to think broadly and pursue partnerships to create lasting solutions.


Our science aims to reach beyond the traditional academic environment. Grounding policy in sound science and working to bridge disciplines is even more important as we face growing environmental challenges like climate change.


Human and environmental health are inexorably linked. It is critical to understand the relationship between people and their environment so that sustainable management decisions can be adopted.


Our objective is to think beyond basic science to address the pressing conservation issues facing the Gulf today. HRI plays the role of impartial broker, bridging the gap between science and policy on decisions that have real world outcomes.


Growing populations put increased pressure on natural resources. Economics provides tools to address conservation and sustainable growth by helping us to better understand the benefits, tangible and intangible, that we gain from the environment.

Our History

Founded by a generous donation from local newspaper publisher and noted conservationist Ed Harte, the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has spent the last two decades working to ensure an ecologically and economically sustainable Gulf of Mexico. We've grown from an idea to a $15 million international research institute supporting nine diverse research programs and 135 students, staff and researchers.


Edward H. Harte — the man behind the mission

Ed Harte’s $46 million endowment to create the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi stands first among the many important and valuable contributions the newspaper magnate made to environmental preservation and conservation science during his lifetime.

Harte had a distinguished career in the newspaper industry, eventually serving as the long-time publisher of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. A passion for preserving the Gulf Coast environment he made his home drove him to become a leader in conservation. Learn more about his life, career, and commitment to the environment.


Why the Gulf of Mexico?

Why focus on the Gulf? With its diverse habitats and unique status as an economic engine producing energy and food to fuel a nation, the Gulf can be a laboratory to find the balance between economic and environmental health — a sustainable balance that benefits both us and future generations. To better understand the Gulf, let's take a look at some numbers.

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Square Miles
The Gulf of Mexico is the ninth largest body of water in the world.
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Marine species
This biodiversity is due to the warm, subtropical waters of the Gulf.
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Miles of coastline
The United States and Mexico form the Gulf’s mainland shore, with Cuba filling in the southeastern edge.
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LBS of seafood
More annual production than the mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England, combined.
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States with Oyster Farming
As of 2019, all five Gulf states now have active oyster aquaculture programs.
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Oil & Gas platforms
Over 300 decommissioned platforms in the Gulf have been converted to permanent artificial reefs
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U.S. wetland
Some 5 million acres can be found adjacent to the Gulf.
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U.S. shrimp harvest
There are three commercially important species in the Gulf: brown, white, and pink.
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U.S. recreational fishing
The Gulf of Mexico accounts for 44% of all U.S. anglers, generating almost $10B in economic impact.
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Top 15 United States Ports
The Gulf of Mexico has 10 of the top 15 U.S. ports by tonnage.
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Marine Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas include the Flower Garden Banks and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries and the Arrecife Alacranes National Park.
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Over 60% of U.S. watersheds drain into the Gulf of Mexico

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