Photo courtesy of Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rainbow Harbor
I have personally attended the previous two Summits hosted by Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and found them to be the premier gathering of experts and practitioners in coastal and estuarine restoration and management. The value of Summit is multifaceted – the content highlighted by the speakers, sessions, and posters not only covers a broad range of important coastal issues, but does so in depth and rich with context.
Safe to say, Summit would not only be a rewarding survey of topics for an interested novice, but also provides complex and nuanced perspective for the most seasoned professional. In addition, it provides an unparalleled opportunity for practitioners to meet in person and have formal and informal interactions; such opportunities are rare in day-to-day settings, so there is value for community and network building as well as professional development and continuing education.
The Coastal States Organization (CSO) sees tremendous value in co-hosting the 9th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management. While CSO already works closely with Restore America’s Estuaries in a range of areas, the opportunity to partner and support a focus on coastal management for this event is uniquely valuable for our mission of supporting the work of state coastal managers.
The enhanced focus on coastal management in this year’s program is important to us as our governor-appointed members confront coastal management challenges on the ground across our nation’s coastlines. These talented and tireless public servants cover the gamut of coastal management – from tackling budget sessions in the statehouse and supporting communities in developing comprehensive planning for evolving coastal hazards, to collecting water quality data in waders, hip-deep in a back bay marsh.
State coastal zone managers employ the comprehensive and integrated approach necessary to ensure our coastal zones support the irreplaceable environment, strong economies, and vibrant cultures of coastal communities now and in the future. CSO eagerly looks forward to co-hosting the 2018 Summit and expects a constructive and empowering event with the goals of finding tangible, actionable results to further enhance coastal and estuarine restoration and management nationwide.
Bradley Watson is executive director of Coastal States Organization.