Operation and maintenance (O&M) are crucial to the safety, efficiency and proper function of any private and public amenity. Our nation’s beaches are no exception to that and require a wide spectrum of day to day activities necessary to keep them clean, operational, and accessible to millions of daily visitors.
This year, due to the current worldwide pandemic, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) will host its 2020 National Conference as a “virtual,” online-only conference platform. The theme has been changed to “2020 Vision for Our Coasts: Navigation Stormy Times.” The conference will be held virtually October 13-16, 2020.
The conference will again expand beyond the traditional science and policy topics and will include special sessions on beach operations and maintenance (O&M). ASBPA is soliciting abstracts and presentation proposals related to O&M of beaches. Abstracts for presentations will be accepted online through June 12, 2020 and poster presentations through August 21.
Some form of maintenance is required in nearly every type of costal project; however, it is often overlooked by coastal engineers, scientists and project managers. Cesar Espinosa, Planning Specialist with the County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors, and ASBPA Conference Co-Chair, is very aware of the array of daily activities required to keep County beaches clean, safe, and operational, stating “every project that we undertake along the coast requires O&M. We work closely with our consultants to make sure that all plans and specifications meet our needs so that we are able to properly maintain our facilities and amenities.” Furthermore, “beach management in Hawaii involves periodic sand pushing using heavy equipment often to restore eroded coastal dunes and stabilize public access ways. Having a special conference session dedicated to O&M allows us to explore this practice more deeply than ever before and share the coastal science, experience and lessons learned with this practice and related operational beach management issues” says Dolan Eversole, Coastal Management Specialist at the University of Hawaii Sea Grant and Waikiki Beach Management Coordinator, and ASBPA Conference Co-Chair.
With this year’s theme, “2020 Vision for Our Coasts: Navigation Stormy Times” the national conference will include presentations on the usual science based topics such as coastal modeling, coastal erosion, coastal engineering, regional sediment management, climate change impacts and coastal resilience among others. However, O&M plays a key role in any coastal project and requires planning, funding, and dedication. With the closure of many U.S. beaches due to the current pandemic, an array of operational issues has arisen, including coastal access, social distancing, mandatory masks, and parking lot, bike paths, piers, boardwalks and beach accessways closures. With the initiation of the easing of travel restrictions and beaches begin to reopen, O&M becomes more important than ever. We invite you join the conversation on O&M of these precious coastal assets and ecosystems. ASBPA invites coastal professionals and managers to present on existing and emerging projects, plans, policies, opportunities and challenges and discuss the O&M efforts for their coastline.
Abstracts (up to 500 words) for oral presentations will be accepted through June 12, 2020 and poster presentations through August 21. Submit abstracts via the online form.