St. Pete/Clearwater Area to Host 2009 Coastal Summit

Shore preservation, responsible development focus of scientific conference

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

(St. Petersburg/Clearwater, FL -- October 24, 2007) -- By a unanimous vote, the Board of Directors of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) has named the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area the host destination for its 2009 annual Coastal Summit. 

The announcement, which came earlier this week at ASBPA’s Fall Coastal Conference in Galveston, Texas, marks the first time the scientific body has voted to hold its annual gathering in the St. Pete/Clearwater area. 

—This is a perfect fit,” said Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Executive Director and ASBPA board member DT Minich, who traveled to Galveston for the meeting. —For ASBPA to choose St. Pete/Clearwater as the location for its convention underscores Pinellas County’s long-term commitment to coastal preservation and responsible, sustainable development.” 

Pinellas County Coastal Coordinator and ASBPA board member Nicole Elko, who is responsible for maintaining and restoring the area’s beaches for the Department of Environmental Management, is pleased to see national attention brought to the area. 

—The combined dedication of both the tourism and academic communities to coastal protection makes the St. Pete/Clearwater Area an obvious choice for a meeting of this stature,” she said.

Local government officials were equally enthusiastic. 

—This is our opportunity to showcase to the nation the beauty of our beaches and demonstrate the effects of best sand-management practices,” said Tourism Development Council member Jody Armstrong, who is also the mayor of Redington Shores, one of Pinellas County’s many Gulf-front beach communities. 

—Once we show the industry what we have here and how we employ effective coastal management, people will definitely be back,” she added. 

The meeting is expected to draw some 500 attendees, including environmental scientists and engineers, as well as government and tourism professionals.

Founded in 1929, ASBPA is a nationwide organization dedicated to coastal preservation, environmental management and education. Its membership of more than 1,000 is dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing America’s beaches, shores and other coastal resources, and meets regularly to share research and make recommendations for the mitigation of human impact on coastal environments. 

Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater (VSPC) is the official destination marketing organization for Pinellas County. 

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