PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
November 2, 2014
Contact:
K. Diane Hoskins; 202-642-4615

Unprecedented National Summit unites coastal restoration and management experts to enhance America’s resilience and prepare for future Hurricane Sandy’s

Restore America’s Estuaries 7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and 24th Biennial Meeting of The Coastal Society: Inspiring Action, Creating Resilience

WASHINGTON – The post-Hurricane Sandy call by the American public for strengthening our nation’s coastal resilience has been heard loud and clear by the restoration and management communities. Restore America’s Estuaries and The Coastal Society have joined forces for an unprecedented summit convening a unique blend of policy, science and business interests. This long overdue collaboration provides an opportunity to address many of the issues held in common and serves as a response to the nation’s need for protection from natural hazards and other stressors. The joint summit, Inspiring Action, Creating Resilience, kicks off today at the Gaylord National Convention Center and marks the start of making critical connections to explore issues, solutions and lessons learned for blue carbon and for fostering resilient ecosystems, communities and economies. What would have happened if coastal restoration and management had been emphasized more by America’s communities, businesses and institutions years before Hurricane Sandy’s storm surges reached the East Coast?

“Our estuaries and coastlines are on the front lines when it comes to the effects of climate change,” said Jeff Benoit, CEO of Restore America’s Estuaries. “This year we wanted to explore the many-faceted impacts of climate change, and more importantly highlight solutions to these difficult challenges.”

“We are living in a time where coastal changes and extreme events are affecting millions of American lives and industries every day. As a nation, we are not prepared,” says Lisa Schiavinato, President of The Coastal Society, Co-director of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center and community development specialist at North Carolina Sea Grant. “Real solutions are available for the many coastal issues we face and this historic Summit is meant to draw them out so that together we can inspire resilient actions from coast to coast.”

This week’s summit is the largest gathering in more than ten years, bringing together over 1,200 coastal managers, restoration experts, scientists, resource users, educators and students in over 500 individual presentations, 120 compelling sessions, and more than 180 poster presentations. These presentations are to share and debate innovative solutions for managing coastal resources in all major coastal systems of the nation, including the Great Lakes and U.S. territories, through six focus areas:

  • Creating Resilience: Emerging Threats, Adaptation Approaches and Techniques
  • Restoration and Management: Best Practices, Lessons Learned and Moving Forward
  • Policy, Planning, and Funding
  • Inspiring Action: Education, Outreach, and Community Engagement
  • Regional Partnerships: Large-Scale Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management
  • Valuation and Measurement: What is our Impact?

Two highly engaging plenary sessions will provoke discussions among the two professional communities beyond the status quo and into the future of collaboration. On Monday morning Dr. Susanne Moser will present the Marc Hershman Keynote, Taken by Storm: America’s Impending Resilience Revolution. The Wednesday plenary, The Future of Coastal Resilience – Innovations and Trends will feature an energetic panel discussion led by Dan Zarrilli, Director of the New York City Office of Recovery and Resilience, and includes leading thinkers and future forecasters to explore various dimensions of coastal resilience.

Activities began on Saturday with a Community Service Day along the shore of the Anacostia River. On Sunday, a day of informative field sessions and workshops was capped by the evenings Presidents’ Opening Reception.

Organizers and sponsors are encouraging engagement in social media to connect with those who could not make it to the nation’s capital this week.  Today’s coastal restoration and management experts are increasingly turning to new forms of communications to strengthen projects and engage their stakeholders – the American public who live, work and play on our coastlines. A pioneering social media Blue Room and digital marketing strategy have been developed to spread solutions to those on the frontlines of coastal issues. Throughout the expo hall, sessions, and plenaries, the Summit organizers are promoting the use of the Summit social media hashtag, #RAETCS14, as well as providing a multimedia space, the Blue Room, to view posts on monitors from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, learn how to use social media, take individual or group photos at a “selfie wall,” and capture video recordings in the Blue Room Interview Studio. Blue Room staff will be interviewing organizers, presenters, participants, and sponsors on video to capture opinions, ideas, opportunities, and meaningful stories of impact in short clips to be uploaded to YouTube daily. This space is also available to communications and media professionals for their own purposes throughout the Summit. 

Summit Sponsors include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Coastal Program, the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Restore the Mississippi River Delta, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, and businesses like ARCADIS, CDM Smith, CH2 HILL, CSX, KBR, LightHawk, Mosaic, Washington Gas Energy Services, Battelle, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company and national organizations like the Ocean Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, and National Parks Conservation Association.

Restore America’s Estuaries is the leader of a national alliance of coastal conservation organizations across the country committed to protecting and restoring the lands and waters essential to the richness and diversity of coastal life.

The Coastal Society is an organization of private sector, academic, and government professionals and students dedicated to advancing the network of professionals focused on coastal areas through education, debate, and discussion of key issues. 

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For more detailed Summit information visit: http://www.estuaries.org/frequently-asked-questions

If you could like to schedule an interview with RAE’s President and CEO Jeff Benoit, call Diane Hoskins, 202-642-4615. For an interview with TCS’s President Lisa Schiavinato, contact Caitlyn McCrary 614-352-6258.