Groups Will Hold Annual Conference to Discuss Ways to Improve California's Beaches, Wetlands, and Water Quality


More than 200 elected officials, scientists, coastal engineers, and environmentalists will meet in San Diego Nov. 8-10 to address the science, policy, and funding of coastal restoration projects and studies in California. The conference, "Restoring the Beach: Science, Policy, and Funding," is being co-organized by the California Coastal Coalition (CalCoast) and the California Shore and Beach Preservation Association (CSBPA). The event, which will be held at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, Calif., is co-sponsored by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Scripps scientists will address a variety of topics, including beach closures, microbial contamination of beaches, beach sand nourishment, seawalls, increases in tide range, the Southern California Beach Processes Study, the intensification of waves in Southern California, and environmental monitoring programs for Southern California lagoons.

Keynote speakers include former Assembly Budget Chair Denise Moreno Ducheny and Richard G. Thompson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A lively discussion on the pros and cons of seawalls and other coastal structures will take place during the Saturday session of the conference.

The program also includes a coastal field trip led by scientists and engineers.

CalCoast is a statewide non-profit advocacy group comprised of 31 coastal cities; six counties; AMBAG, BEACON, SANDAG and SCAG; committed to restoring California's beaches and wetlands and improving water quality along the coast. CalCoast was the co-sponsor, with CSBPA, of the California Public Beach Restoration Act (AB 64-Ducheny) which created the state's first beach restoration fund in October 1999.

The California Shore and Beach Preservation Association (CSBPA) is an educational and professional association with members from academics, coastal engineering, and other professions, as well as property owners and individuals and groups interested in the coast of California. CSBPA is the state chapter of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. ASBPA was founded in 1926 to promote the "protection and proper utilization" of the shores of the United States.

Awards to be given out at this year’s conference include:

• The Coastal Achievement Award 2001 to the Southern California Caulerpa Action Team (SCCAT)

SCCAT is a unique workgroup of local, state, and federal officials that is working hard to eradicate Caulerpa taxifolia along the coast. Known as "killer algae," caulerpa is a non-native species that is threatening the Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, Calif. and Huntington Harbour in Huntington Beach, Calif.

• Coastal Project of the Year 2001 to the SANDAG Regional Beach Sand Project

This award will be given to the elected officials and staff of the Shoreline Preservation Committee of the San Diego Association of Governments for completing the state's first regional beach sand replenishment project this past summer. As a result of that project, 12 severely eroded beaches in the San Diego region were restored with beach sand dredged from the ocean.

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