March 30, 2012
Contact: Ken or Kate Gooderham, ASBPA executive directors -- (239) 489-2616
Harry Simmons, ASBPA president -- (910) 200-7867
Past winners compete in annual coastal contest:
Your chance to vote on America's best restored beach
Do you have what it takes to be the best of the best? Coastal communities around the country are about to find out.
To celebrate 10 years of honoring Best Restored Beaches (BRB) across America, the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is asking its members, past BRB winners and their communities, and anyone who loves the beach to pitch in to pick the Best of the Best Restored Beaches in three categories:
- Urban Beaches: This includes highly developed beaches, including intensely developed areas with high-rise condos and resorts.
- Community Beaches: This includes less densely developed beaches backed by low-rise or single-family dwellings.
- Park/Habitat Beaches: This includes areas that undertake beach nourishment solely for habitat restoration and park projects. These can be in remote regions or in the middle of a city.
The category isn’t a comment on a restored beach’s success, but on its popularity – so the different levels are a way to ensure similar beaches compete against one another. After all, a lot more people are going to be aware of, say, Ocean City than its less populated neighbor to the south, Assateague Island… so these two fine beaches shouldn’t be in a head-to-head vote.
Since all the beaches here have already been honored for their success and survival, this contest isn’t about which one is the better restored beach…simply the one(s) that can do the best job to get out the vote. Another motivation behind this contest is to keep reminding people that so many of this country’s favorite beaches have been restored – some so successfully that the folks who visit them don’t even know or remember it. It’s our way to highlight the importance of sound coastal management, as well as the need to maintain our coastal infrastructure to keep it healthy and wide for all users.
What’s a Best Restored Beach?
While Americans joyfully celebrate beaches by visiting them, few understand what it takes to keep that beach special. ASBPA created the Best Restored Beach award a decade ago as a way of highlighting the value of restored beaches.
Why should you want to visit a restored beach? Here’s the top reason, according to ASBPA President Harry Simmons – fun. Many of America’s most heavily used beaches are restored beaches – wide and sandy, providing abundant recreational opportunities for beachgoers.
“As Americans flock to our nation’s coastline during the upcoming beach season, most don’t even realize they may be enjoying a restored beach,” said Simmons, who is mayor of Caswell Beach, NC. “Coastal communities have restored more than 370 beaches in the United States, including such iconic beaches as Jones Beach in New York, Ocean City in Maryland, Virginia Beach, Miami Beach, Galveston Island in Texas and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.”
For the last 40 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities. Beach restoration is the process of placing beach-quality sand on dwindling beaches to reverse or offset the effects of erosion.
The three main reasons for restoration are:
- Storm protection – a wide sandy beach helps separate storm waves from upland structures and infrastructure.
- Habitat restoration – numerous species rely on wide, healthy beaches as a place to live, feed and nest.
- Recreation – America’s beaches have twice as many visitors annually as all of America’s national parks combined. Every year, there are more than 2 billion visitors to America’s beaches. In 2007, beaches contributed $322 billion to the America’s economy. More importantly, for every dollar the federal government spends on beach nourishment, it gets an estimated $320 back in tax revenues.
During times of economic hardship, the beach can be an even more desirable vacation destination than other domestic and foreign alternatives, offering families and visitors an accessible and affordable getaway. It is also an employment and tax generator:
- More than twice as many people visit America’s coasts as visit our state and national parks—all of them combined.
- Each year, governments take in $320 in taxes from beach tourists for every dollar it spends on beach restoration.
- Well over half of the nation’s gross domestic product ($7.9 trillion) is generated in 673 counties along the oceans and Great Lakes, according to NOAA’s National Ocean Economics Program.
Here’s how the Best-of-the-Best Restored Beaches contest works:
- Starting March 30, everyone can vote for their favorite beach in one of the three categories online at http://www.asbpa.org/about_us/about_us_best_restored_beach_2012.htm. (This user-friendly website will walk you through the process easily.) You can even leave a comment about what makes your favorite beach so special to you.
- You can vote once every 24 hours, all the way to April 27, and you can even see how your favorite beach is doing every time you visit.
- Once the voting closes, we will tally up the results and name a Best-of-the-Best Beach in each of the three categories, as well as the top vote-getter in each of seven geographic regions.
- Winners will be announced in mid-May (just in time for the start of the “official” summer beach season), and they all will be honored at a special ceremony next spring during the ASBPA’s annual Coastal Summit in Washington, DC.
That’s it – a simple way to honor restored beaches around the nation and show your support for your favorite coastline. Vote early and vote often… and may the best-of-the-best beach win!
The Best-of-the-Best Restored Beaches…who’s in the running?
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Ocean City, MD
- Cape May Inlet to Lower Township, NJ
- West Hampton Dunes, NY
- Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches, DE
- Fire Island, NY
- East Beach, Norfolk, VA
- Menauhant Beach, MA
- Sea Bright to Manasquan Beach Project, NJ
- Assateague Island National Seashore, MD
- Marine Park, Bellingham, WA
- Seahurst Park, WA
- Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, WA
- Pompano Beach/Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Beach, FL
- Delray Beach, FL
- North Boca Raton, FL
- Duval County, FL
- Miami Beach, FL
- Isle of Palms, SC
- Caswell Beach, NC
- Hilton Head Island, SC
- Bogue Banks, NC
- Folly Beach, SC
- Ocean Isle Beach, NC
- Indian River County, FL
Western Gulf Coast of Florida Beaches
- Panama City Beach, FL
- Pinellas County, FL
- Collier County, FL
- Venice Beach, FL
- South Walton & Destin, FL
- Lido Key, Florida
- Captiva Island, FL
- St. Joseph Peninsula, FL
- Navarre Beach, FL
Northern and Western Gulf Coast Beaches
- South Padre Island, TX
- Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL
- Perdido Pass, AL
- Chaland Headland Restoration, LA
South Central Pacific Coast & Hawaii Beaches
- Long Beach Peninsula, CA
- Pacifica State Beach, CA
- San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), CA
- Moonlight Beach, CA
- Kuhio Beach, Waikiki, HI
- Seal Beach, CA
- Surfside-Sunset Beach, CA
- Encinitas (Pacific Station), CA
Great Lakes Beaches
Complete descriptions of each of the beaches in the running for Best-of-the-Best Beach are available online at www.asbpa.org.
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ABOUT ASBPA: Founded in 1926, the ASBPA promotes the integration of science, policies and actions that maintain, protect and enhance the coasts of America. For more information on ASBPA, go to www.asbpa.org, facebook or www.twitter.com/asbpa.