The annual meeting of the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association (FSBPA) was held at the Tradewinds Hotel (St. Petersburg Beach, Florida). The conference started during the afternoon of February 18th and ended Friday morning, February 20th, 2009. The meeting brought together professionals specializing in ocean engineering, coastal modeling, environmental evaluation, mitigation, and rehabilitation. A total of 42 presentations were made at the conference. Eighteen (18) of these talks focused on coastal structure design and engineering, of which eleven (11) dealt with the evaluation of problem coastal areas and seven (7) were mainly related to the use and reliability of the current group of numerical models to describe coastal processes. The remaining six (6) presentations focused on habitat rehabilitation and mitigating the environmental effects of development projects.
Highlighting the conference, with respect to potential application in the Caribbean, were several presentations that dealt with coral rehabilitation and evaluation of biological stress. This conference and the pre-conference workshop on the US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Modeling System provided an opportunity to canvass the coastal engineering community with respect to critical research areas in the Caribbean. The questionnaire that we used as a scoping tool is a modification of the four questions that we presented at our GCFI scoping session last November. We based our survey questions on the suggestions for research areas gleaned from an earlier e-mail survey that we conducted in 2006. Of the approximately 150 people attending the conference and workshop, 30 participants were found with experience in the Caribbean and asked to respond to our written survey. Six (6) submitted their response at the conference and an approximately equal number promised to send a response by fax or email. The results are being added to a database for analysis and new results are being included as we receive them.
Contributed by K. Grove
Photo: Beach shoreline at Bahia Honda, Florida Keys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida)
Florida Beach and Shore Preservation Association – http://www.fsbpa.com/