National Working Waterfront Network (NWWN) and NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management hosted a webinar on economic resources for working waterfront communities available via the Digital Coast. The webinar highlighted publicly-available economic data sets, learning opportunities (including economic trainings and e-learning modules), and case studies that demonstrate how these resources can inform local decision-making. Recently released marine national economy statistics, which offer the most inclusive national estimates for all ocean, coastal and Great Lakes economic activity by major industry, were also discussed.
At the intersection of land and sea, the state of working waterfronts can provide insight into the health of our economy and natural resources. The infrastructure that supports working waterfront activities has lacked major investment for many decades, leaving it vulnerable to natural and manmade risks. The current administration has proposed a major piece of legislation in the form of a Federal bipartisan infrastructure bill that may provide a boost our country has not seen since the development of the interstate highway system. This episode will focus on the question of how exactly this major legislation will benefit working waterfronts and their uses.
On this show, we explore the Blue Economies of two Atlantic coastal states — Rhode Island and South Carolina. Our guests are going to guide us through the process their coastal states have undertaken to access valuable information and not only assess the current activities on their coastline, but also plan for the future of the working waterfront. An economist will also introduce us to a new and innovative strategy aimed at valuing non-market features on the waterfront such as wetlands, sand dunes, open space, oyster reefs and other types of mariculture.
With the accelerated growth of offshore wind in the northeast, states are aggressively investing in upgrading their port infrastructure. On this episode of Working Waterfronts, Ashley Bennis and an expert panel take on how the northeast ports are moving forward with this development and consider how this enormous investment can be used to develop more sustainable (green) ports and increased coordination amongst states and ports to respond to the entire OWE supply chain. In addition to US examples, the European experience, especially within the United Kingdom, will be shared to propose strategies and opportunities to appropriately respond to offshore wind development needs while also addressing the needs of the regions’ other blue economy sectors.
For Marinas all over the country directly exposed to intense storms, flooding, and land loss, being resilient means being able to reduce damage and resume business. There is a growing trend of stronger storms, accelerated erosion, record floods and longer droughts that create a lot of issues for coastal communities. Marinas are on the fronts lines, but this means that they can be the leaders in the face of a changing climate and rising sea levels. On this show, we are going to hear from three amazing professionals that work with communities. The regions we will be exploring are the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico- two vastly different regions at first glance. But also very similar in the issues they are dealing with and the strategies that are being implemented to combat them. Today, host Ashley Bennis will be sitting down with Sarah Orlando, Clean Marinas Program Manager with Ohio Sea Grant, located off of Lake Erie; Jody Thompson, the Environmental Extension Associate at MS-Al Sea Grant, A multi-state collaboration; and, Rhonda Price, the Deputy Director at the Office of Restoration and Resilience in the MS Department of Marine Resources.
In this inaugural episode, host Ashley Bennis talks with three working waterfront organizers from both the East and West coasts First up, Ashley will be chatting with Roland Lewis. Roland is the President and CEO of Waterfront Alliance in NYC. Under his leadership the Waterfront Alliance has organized a powerful constituency, instituted new programs, helped create a new waterfront plan for the City of NY and helped the Waterfront Alliance become the leading waterfront policy organization in NY. Then, Ashley speaks with John DiRe. John is a Representative from the grass roots grown Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition. He advocates for the interests of those whose livelihoods are linked to the marinship and its multifaceted evolution. Finally, Ashley chats with Deb Granger, A founding member of the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County in Washington State, and its current Interim Program Manager, she has spent most her life working on the waterfront and brings many years of experience from the seafood/fishing sector and is currently developing its Scholarship program for students interested in marine industry trades.
This week, Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham welcome to the show Margaret Pilaro, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and her compatriot and colleague, Bob Rheault, who heads up the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association. These two friends have been on the frontlines of one of America’s key coastal industries for years and right now their members are being hammered. The show kicks off with Nicole Faghin, Chair of the National Working Waterfront Network, and we learn about the state of America’s working shorelines, the Network, and we set the table for Margaret and Bob.
It’s an important show about coastal communities and the shellfish growers, most of whom are mom and pop operations with fewer than ten employees. With the near complete and overnight collapse of the shellfish market, truckloads of oysters and other valuable shellfish have been dumped into landfills. It’s a tough time but there is a grit to these shellfish folks and there is a lot to this industry. One of the best interviews we’ve done in awhile.