The Sustainable Beaches Summit is a groundbreaking effort to bring together a diverse cross section of beach professionals and coastal educators from Federal agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and industry. The summit will convene March 29-31, 2004, at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Walton County, FL.
The first day of the summit will feature several workshops relating to various aspects of beach management. The workshops will allow participants to gain hands-on training in the latest beach-management techniques and will include field trips to the beautiful beaches of Walton County.
The meeting convenes on March 30 with a morning plenary session and will conclude the following day. Technical sessions will focus on five major concurrent tracks relating to beach management: water, sediment, monitoring and mapping, tourism, and education/outreach. In addition to the sessions, major sponsors (listed below) will have booths with beach-related information available in the lobby.
The monitoring and mapping track is being sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, one of three locations that compose the USGS' Florida Integrated Science Center (FISC). The monitoring and mapping track, which targets scientists and public-health officials, will showcase USGS beach research. The dual nature of the track allows for inclusion of microbiological studies being conducted with beach sediment, as well as some of the regional studies of large-scale coastal change being done with a variety of new techniques.
The Center for Sea Change is sponsoring the tourism and policy track, with a focus on the economics and planning of sustainable tourism. This track is expected to appeal to planners, tourism professionals, developers, and policy staff.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is sponsoring the sand and sediment track, geared toward engineers and consultants. This track will include such topics as dredging, maintaining beach fill, and the USACE's new focus on regional sediment management.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is sponsoring the education, outreach, and literacy track. The intended audience is educators, scientists, and policy staff. This track will incorporate sessions on K-12 educational programs, aquaria, getting the community involved in programs, and beach protection.
The Clean Beaches Council, with input from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will sponsor the final track on water, including recreational water quality, watershed management, and impacts of wastewater on beaches.
Speakers have been chosen for these tracks, and a preliminary agenda is available on the Sustainable Beaches Summit's Web site. Those interested in attending the summit are invited to register on the Web site from now until February 14. The summit will provide an excellent venue for network building and creating synergy among beach professionals of all backgrounds.
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Sustainable Beaches Summit