Coastal Conference to Include Sessions on Beach Operations

Restoring our country’s coast is crucial, but it’s often easy to overlook they daily efforts needed to make those coasts accessible and enjoyable. One group is taking a closer look at the operations side of your favorite beach.

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s (ASBPA) annual National Coastal Conference will expand beyond science and policy in 2018, to include special sessions on day-to-day beach operations. The conference, in Galveston, Texas, Oct. 30-Nov. 2, is actively soliciting proposal for topics that involve lessons or successes in operating beach parks; proposals will be accepted until May 4th.

“ASBPA’s conference has long been the go-to source for sharing knowledge on maintaining the health of our nation’s beaches and coastlines. But what about when the dredges leave? What happens when you’ve already got a restored coastline?” said Reuben Trevino, Director of Operations for the Galveston Park Board of Trustees and ASBPA Conference Co-Chair. 
“We want to help beach and coastal managers operate beaches that are beautiful, provide great recreation for locals and tourists, and balance environmental values with human use.”

The theme of the 2018 conference is “Resilient Shorelines for Rising Tides.” It will include presentations on how coastal communities are improving their physical resilience to coastal hazards, with a special emphasis on the 2017 hurricane season. But resilience is more than just having wide beaches, high dunes and elevated infrastructure; it means communities that rely on beach tourism dollars are up and running again as soon as possible after a storm.

“Beach and coastal managers need to understand both the physical properties of their beach, but also what keeps people on the beach and revenue coming in. This can be by maintaining the width of the beach or making sure bathrooms are clean, trash is removed and parking is priced right,” said Derek Brockbank, ASBPA’s executive director. “This year’s National Coastal Conference will help coastal professionals understand how to do both.”

ASBPA invites parks and recreation professionals who manage beaches and coastal areas and are responsible for their general upkeep, profitability and community engagement to present on their successes and challenges. We hope that the scientific, engineering and restoration community can learn about the challenges of a managing a coastline after restoration or between nourishments, and coastal managers can learn more about the physical and biological processes that impact their coastline.

Coastal Operations topics may include:

  • Community Outreach and Education
  • Day to Day Coastal Operations
  • Managing the public (e.g., keeping people off dunes, pet issues, hazard warnings)
  • Creating and managing revenue streams (e.g., parking, concessionaires, etc.)
  • Marketing
  • Waste/litter management
  • Health and Safety (e.g., lifeguard issues, rip current, ADA accessibility)
  • Access issues

Presentations may be PowerPoint or poster format. Abstracts (up to 500 words) are due by May 4, 2018. Submit abstracts via the online form at www.asbpa.org.  Presenters are responsible for all of their expenses including travel, lodging, and registration fees. Notification of presentation status will occur by June 25, 2018. Additional information can be found at www.asbpa.org.

Author  Kate Gooderham
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