The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is announcing a new award – Best Restored Shores (BRS) – to recognize the growing diversity of shoreline restoration projects that advance multiple objectives.
Several key factors influenced our desire to develop a BRS Award. First and foremost, ASBPA is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing our coast, both shores and beaches. ASBPA addresses current and emerging issues relevant to coastal managers and practitioners. With coastal environmental degradation and climate change-induced storms and sea level rise increasingly threatening coastal communities and their quality of life, risk reduction and habitat value are taking on increased significance as purposes for shore restoration.
Our journal, Shore & Beach, and the Coastal Summit and National Conferences reflect the diversity of challenges and solutions in coastal environments including inland coastal waters. So it’s time our awards also reflect that diversity. As executed, the organization’s Best Restored Beaches award recognizes beach restoration projects on high energy sandy shores that provide high recreational value and tangentially storm protection and environmental values. The U.S. shores reflect a far broader variety of conditions – back bays, wetlands, mangroves, reefs – all of which contribute to the economic and environmental vibrancy and quality of coast communities. Outstanding restoration projects that improve recreational values, address storm reduction values and natural resource values merit acknowledgment. Our new Best Restored Shores award will provide well-deserved recognition to other outstanding shore projects that are not considered as beach nourishment projects. We are seeking projects that have an ecological component.
On April 8, we will be seeking a diverse set of nominations for this newly created Best Restored Shore award. We’re looking for geographic variety: projects from the Great Lakes to the Gulf and from Alaska to Puerto Rico. We’re looking for habitat diversity from shallow water embayments, wetlands to tropical reefs. We’re looking for a myriad of creative solutions that can include restoration of mangrove forests, oyster reefs, coral reefs, wetlands, and maritime forests.
ASBPA strives to create a strong sense of inclusion. Offering a Best Restored Shore provides a means to recognize the contributions of professionals in coastal restoration. It also helps build an understanding of the breadth of ASBPA’s interests. When coastal professionals see that their and ASPBA’s interests align, we attract them to join ASBPA and participate in our events. Our influence grows.
Many hands make light work and several people donated their time to deliberate on potential approaches to an award recognizing a broader array of coastal restoration projects, develop evaluation criteria, design an award logo and create the call for nominations. Our committee includes: Shannon Cunniff, Peter Seidle, Aram Terchunian, Bianca Charbonneau, Jon Miller and Amy Williams; Lee Weishar provided invaluable counsel. Special thanks to Kate Gooderham, who helped us develop a workable timeline for announcing the call for nominations, reviewing applications, and issuing the awards.
Now all that’s left is for you to look at your recent projects and submit an application. Nominations will be accepted from April 8 until July 12.