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Shore Preservation Group Honors Beach Advocates

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) recognized four individuals as top coastal advocates for 2006 at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on March 22.

The award winners, which included two members of Congress, an official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a congressional staffer, were honored during group’s 2007 Coastal Summit.

“Here in America we are fortunate enough to have some of the best beaches on the planet, hands down,” said Harry Simmons, mayor of Caswell Beach, North Carolina and President of ASBPA.

“But maintaining our beaches for future generations is a monumental task. Fortunately, there are some outstanding public servants working day and night to preserve our nation’s priceless shoreline and ASBPA is honored to recognize their tireless efforts.”

The honorees were:

U.S. Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) represents the entire state of Delaware, has been a hands-on leader in Congress on shore protection and coastal restoration issues. Congressman Castle is a driving force behind the Rehoboth-Dewey Beach project in Delaware – which ASBPA named one of the Top Restored Beaches in America.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) represents a large portion of New Jersey’s central coastal region, and has been a strong voice in Congress for America’s beaches. As a co-chair of the House Coastal Caucus, Congressman Pallone has consistently fought to increase funding for beach nourishment and wetland restoration efforts.

Christopher Frabotta. Following two tours in Iraq, Frabotta returned to Wilmington, North Carolina where he was given responsibility for managing several projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – many of which included beach nourishment elements. His “can’t take no for an answer” approach paved the way for groundbreaking cost sharing agreements with the state of North Carolina and local communities that helped advance critical dredging and nourishment efforts. Frabotta is now a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detailee for the House Appropriations subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

Joshua Bowlen. After four years as a staffer for Representative Walter Jones (R-NC), Bowlen has become familiar with the 3rd Congressional district, which covers over half of North Carolina’s 320-mile oceanfront and thousands of miles of estuarine shoreline. ASBPA recognized Bowlen for his hard work during the FY 2006 and 2007 budget cycles. For FY 2006, he helped secure federal funding for post-Hurricane Ophelia emergencies and helped Congressman Jones shepherd through an amendment that salvaged the government-fleet-maintained shallow draft waterways. Bowlen also took the lead during the past two budget cycles in securing $5 million for a Section 933 Project that uses dredged materials from Morehead City Harbor for beach nourishment.

Founded in 1926, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) represents the scientific, technical and political interests along the coast in an effort to shape national research and policy concerning shore and beach management and restoration. The group’s web site is www.aspba.org

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