ASBPA Announces 2021 Best Restored Shores!
As the nation considers its infrastructure needs, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association recognizes the importance of restoring coastal natural infrastructure given its critical role in protecting coastal communities and their economies. ASPBA established its Best Restored Shores awards program to recognize and encourage more effective coastal risk management that restores natural infrastructure to address growing erosion, flooding, and related hazards associated with increased storm severity and/or sea level rise. Now in its third year, the best restored shores awards for 2021 are Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in North Carolina; Samuel Myers Park in Wisconsin; and Sassafras Landing Living Shoreline in Delaware.
“Coastal communities need to creatively adapt to changing conditions. These award winners demonstrate how innovative thought processes, design, and materials result in projects that improve resilience to benefit people and the environment every day,” said Shannon Cunniff, co-chair of Best Restored Shores Award committee.
Resilient communities are better able to withstand and recover from adverse environment conditions and events when critical, natural and built infrastructure is identified and protected, and cooperation exists amongst stakeholders. In addition to moderating surface run off and reducing erosion, nature-based solutions can also provide climate mitigation (carbon storage), recreational space, nutrient cycling and pollution reduction, and other ecosystem services important to thriving communities and economies.
“Continued public support for shore restoration is crucial to building coastal resilience to storms and rising seas,” says ASBPA President Tony Pratt. “Successfully planning and implementing shoreline restoration projects can be challenging and too often their far-reaching economic benefits go unnoticed.”
Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson in North Carolina used innovative designs and materials to overcome the complex physical environment to re-establish the shoreline and encourage accretion of suspended sediment to save sensitive environmental and historically significant cultural resources along the Cape Fear River that were threatened by waves generated by large vessels. As a result, marsh grass populations are expanding and the project area has become a local favorite for fishing and crabbing.
Using a hybrid approach to coastal resiliency using traditional and nature-based features in Samuel Myers Park, the city of Racine, Wisconsin enhanced stormwater capture/infiltration, stabilized erosion and addressed invasive species to improve habitat and water quality, and enhance recreational experiences for visitors.
Delaware’s Sassafras Landing living shoreline project successfully increased protection to a freshwater pond, restored fringing salt marsh, and reduced nutrient loading into an adjacent tidal creek to improve the area’s resiliency to sea level rise. The site now serves to educate other shoreline managers, and its educational signage highlights the benefits of good living shoreline design to the public.
The Best Restored Shores award winners are invited to present their projects during the ASBPA National Coastal Conference on September 29 – October 1, 2021 in New Orleans, LA. A complete list of best restored shores award winners are available at https://asbpa.org/about-us/awards-program/.