Nicole Elko, Ph.D., has been named the new Executive Director for the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. She recently served ASBPA for over twelve years as Science Director providing science-based guidance to Congress, federal and state agencies, and local communities on national coastal resilience challenges. Prior to becoming the Science Director, she served on the ASBPA’s Executive Committee, was a Vice-President and Secretary of the Association.
Dr. Elko serves as a civilian advisor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Coastal Engineering Research Board (CERB). She is a member of NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP); serves on advisory committees for the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), S.C. Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management, and S.C. Sea Grant Consortium; and is a founder and co-Executive Director of the US Coastal Research Program (USCRP).
Based in Folly Beach, South Carolina, Dr. Elko was appointed to South Carolina Governor McMaster’s Floodwater Commission in 2019. In her role as Executive Director of the South Carolina Beach Advocates, she served a board comprised of mayors and administrators of the state’s numerous beach communities. As principal of Elko Coastal Consulting, Nicole has 25 years of experience in coastal management and has led planning efforts to help communities address sea level rise, coastal resilience, and marsh management along the U.S. Southeast and Gulf coasts.
Dr. Elko embraces ASBPA’s unique and bifurcated mission to preserve, protect and enhance our nation’s coasts by merging science and public policy. Elko states, “I humbly accept this role with great optimism, enthusiasm, and big dreams for the future of ASBPA. As the association approaches our 100th anniversary in three short years, we will continue to bring together national experts on state of the art coastal practices to protect and support the four coasts of the U.S.”
“On behalf of the board of directors, we are excited to announce Dr. Elko as the new executive director. With over 15 years of service to the ASBPA, Nicole has demonstrated her dedication and leadership within the association. Her ability to foster partnerships with coastal stakeholders will serve us well as we move towards our centennial celebration,” said ASBPA president Gary Jones, Director at County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors.
Dr. Elko received her Ph.D. (Geology) from the University of South Florida after working with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal Marine Geology Program, St. Petersburg, and while serving as the coastal coordinator for Pinellas County, Florida. In her free time, she enjoys fishing and surfing with her family and serving as the Director of the Folly Beach Wahine Classic, the longest running all-female surf contest on the U.S. East Coast. In the remainder of the year, she plans to connect with members and stakeholders to co-develop a vision that builds off ASBPA’s strengths and expands the organization’s opportunities.