ASBPA’s Science & Technology committee, led by the Science Director, built upon ASBPA’s on-going work to identify the top 5 coastal management challenges, develop white papers and online tools that connect coastal students and managers to the data and research they need, and was able to secure grants to expand this work even further in 2021.
In 2020, ASBPA S&T published the report entitled “National Coastal Management Challenges and Needs” in Shore & Beach (Elko and Briggs, 2020). This report was the culmination of work supported by the USGS and USCRP toward a strategic evaluation of coastal management challenges. The effort identified research needs to inform appropriate investments in useful science, tools, and resources to address today’s most pressing coastal challenges. ASBPA aims to publish white papers and/or easy-to-understand products describing each challenge by 2022.
Overall, the prioritized coastal management challenges identified by the survey were:
This online tool provides a broadly-sourced national overview of the history of beach nourishment in the U.S. 476 communities have placed nearly 1.6 billion cubic yards of sand on US beaches since the 1920’s. In 2020, the annual database update occurred and a journal paper was published (Elko et al., 2021). The S&T Committee led the update by coordinating a national network of coastal professionals to provide recent nourishment data. A 2021 update will begin in April to verify existing data, identify missing and new projects, and promote use of database.
ASBPA S&T assisted in the developed of the Coastal Universities Guide in 2020. The Guide is an interactive map-based tool for high school or college students looking for an undergraduate or graduate coastal program. It’s searchable based on programs for engineering programs, environmental programs, geology programs, oceanography programs, and policy programs.
ASBPA has published at least one White Paper per year for the past 6 years. The intended audience for these papers is non-technical coastal professionals and stakeholders. 2020 papers include “Best Management Practices for Coastal Inlets” (Elko et al., 2020) as well as the two papers mentioned above (see references). A new white paper on the topic of coastal water quality is underway to meet several ASBPA goals. It will be the first white paper on the top five management challenges, it will provide a resource to members, and it will support ASPBA’s management of the U.S. Blue Flag Beaches program. Thus far, a database of each coastal states’ beach water quality monitoring protocols has been developed.
ASBPA’s Science Director serves as a co-Executive Director of the USCRP, a collaboration of federal agencies, academics, and stakeholders that aims to build a community of practice, identify research priorities and fundamental knowledge gaps for addressing societally-relevant coastal challenges, foster collaborative opportunities, enhance funding for academics and students), and promote science translation to users. During 2020, ASBPA helped to advance stakeholder engagement in the During Nearshore Event
Experiment (DUNEX), develop a story map, work with USCRP’s 489 members to populate the ASBPA Coastal Universities Guide, assist in the formation of a formal USCRP Federal Team that includes representation from 12 agencies, organize a virtual workshop on Human and Ecosystem Health in Coastal Systems scheduled for January 2021, and maintain the website, blog, email communications and social media accounts. To date, USCRP has hosted 5 workshops and awarded $11.1M for 51 academic studies.