When it comes to the business of managing beaches, ideas are exchanged every year at the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) national conference. In October, three Galveston park board staff members were recognized as industry leaders when they made presentations to their peers at the conference in Fort Lauderdale.

The ASBPA is the nation’s first organization to promote science-based policies for the preservation of coastal areas. Its annual conference provides an opportunity for coastal stakeholders to learn together and develop collaborative networks and resources to maintain and improve the health of coastal shorelines and ecosystems.

Park board Director of Operations Reuben Trevino, Park Manager Chris Saddler and Sales Manager Bryan Kunz attended the organization’s 2017 conference, “Beaches, Bays and Beyond,” and shared their knowledge with the 350 in attendance.

Saddler spoke about what happens behind the scenes at the beach parks in a presentation called “Beach Park Operations — Not Always a Fun Day at the Beach.” The duo addressed what it takes every day in order to open the beach park gates for more than 6 million visitors — from cleaning to monitoring wildlife. Kunz shared strategies the park board and the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau have undertaken over the last 20 years to encourage tourism growth, including bringing special events to the island and promoting and diversifying recreational opportunities.

Trevino, a member of the ASBPA board, said both presentations represent a departure from the usual science and engineering based content that center on sand movement and the mechanics of beach reconstruction projects. He said he thinks these broader topics help illustrate the benefits of the projects after they’re completed and shed light on best practices to maintain them. He said he is proud that the park board staff was positioned as industry leaders at the national level.

“It was an honor that the park board staff was chosen to speak at this conference,” Trevino said. “I think both presentations were very well received. We got a lot of audience engagement and had the opportunity to answer some great questions from the participants.”

Trevino said he looks forward to bringing his ASBPA peers to Galveston when it hosts the annual conference in 2018.

Park board meetings are open to the public and the public may address the board of trustees during the meetings. Park board meetings are typically held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at 601 Tremont St. If you are interested in seeing a park board issue discussed in this column or if you have any questions, please send them my way. I can be reached at mbassett@galvestonparkboard.org.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations coordinator for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

(1) comment

Byron Barksdale

Galveston Park Board and Administration need to expedite the proper replenishment of beach in front of the Seawall from 72nd Street to the West end of the Seawall. Currently, the “sand engine” generated beach (from beach East of 72nd Street) has created beach Gulf-side of the Seawall towards the West end of Seawall BUT only accessible by climbing over barnacle encrusted and slippery “rip-rap” and rocks…a dangerous venture for Seawall visitors in this area to access beach, fishing and swimming.
Cuts, bruises, head trauma and broken limbs will likely result in increasing frequency. Mitigating this danger situation is very easy. Replenish the beach properly from 72nd Street to the West end of the Seawall.

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