By REUBEN TREVINO
Summer is most people’s favorite time of year. School’s out, the weather is warm and it’s time to relax and recharge. While most people flock to the coast to enjoy their time off, there are those whose job it is to make sure the beach is clean, safe and accessible. To accomplish that, a coastal operations manager has to be knowledgeable of the delicately balanced environment that they work in and aware of the tourists/residents who they serve.
I started in coastal management a decade ago when I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to manage the beaches that I grew up enjoying in South Texas. While there, I realized exactly how much they don’t teach you in school! I quickly set out to learn as much as I could about coastal operations and management, and found that there aren’t resources for this specific type of work.
Fortunately, our town had great consultants and was involved with ASBPA, as these were my sole resources besides a few books on dune management. ASBPA provided me with an abundance of knowledgeable people who, like me, dealt with coastal problems.
Uniquely coastal problems are not usually covered at a public works or parks and recreation conference. Coastal managers have to care for an environment that is constantly changing and highly corrosive, and maintaining equipment and infrastructure is a constant battle. We’re also the frontline folks who deal with the public and their expectations, but addressing those expectations can be challenging due to regulation by state and federal agencies, as is the case with beach grooming (e.g. seaweed management) or wildlife monitoring.
To address these and other demands of coastal managers, I am extremely pleased to announce that at this year’s fall conference ASBPA will be hosting an all-day track on coastal operations. Join us to hear from experts and peers about handling the unique challenges associated with operating America’s favorite playground – a beach!
And more… plus you can attend 150+ presentations on coastal science, engineering and policy related to maintaining a beach.
For more than 90 years, ASBPA has been helping communities restore, maintain and manage our nation’s beaches and coastlines; we are bringing that experience and expertise to helping communities operate our nation’s beaches when the dredges and engineers leave. Our operations track will be presented by beach managers from Florida, Texas, California and more; our full conference has U.S. beach professionals from Cape Cod to Waikiki, as well as internationally from Australia to the Netherlands.
Reuben Trevino is Director of Operations for the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, and was previously Coastal Resources Program Manager for the City of South Padre Island. He is an ASBPA Board member and co-chair of the 2018 National Coastal Conference.