Thank You Partners and Course Participants for a Great Start in 2023!
The Florida Sea Grant Living Shoreline Program core team – Dr. Savanna Barry, Armando J. Ubeda, Rick O’Connor, Dr. Vincent Encomio, and Mandy Sunshine Baily- would like to thank the curriculum developers, collaborators, partners, and all course participants alike for making the first four Living Shorelines for Marine Contractors Courses of 2023 a success. We truly couldn’t have done it without you! From our inaugural course in Brevard County on the central east coast of the peninsula to the westernmost reaches of Santa Rosa County in the Panhandle, our courses often exceeded capacity and, for many, expectations.
Florida Sea Grant Living Shoreline Program team is currently the main organizer of all in-person courses statewide, but the success of each course is undoubtedly a multi-agency/organization effort. Although the Living Shoreline Program team currently leads the scheduling, funding, instructing, and organizational logistics, we rely heavily on the involvement of guest instructors, hosts, and assistants. These collaborators are invited to join us with their expertise in content and regional matters to provide the most relevant and updated information. We are committed to the cooperation necessary to approach our shared goal of promoting living shorelines and coastal resilience throughout Florida.
Partners in Curriculum and Instruction
From its origins, the curriculum of this course was developed in partnership. The curriculum emerged from a lengthy multi-agency/expert coalition to provide a solid foundation for the promotion of living shorelines and coastal resilience throughout Florida. This collaboration fostered a diversity in approach, focus, and application that remains an important part of current course instruction. Organization of the 2023 courses emphasizes multi-agency/organization representation. State agencies such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and Water Management Districts, federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), local governments, non-profit organizations, and private consultants add to the expertise. In this way, the course is better suited to address specific questions and support various living shoreline projects.
A multitude of reasons brings participants to the two-day course. For example, one may join as a marine contractor who is considering the addition of living shoreline installations to their business model. Another student may be a homeowner curious about nature-based solutions for controlling property erosion. At the same time, some others may participate as seasoned professionals in the field looking to accrue continuing education credits while learning of updates in permitting from the people (regulators) that work and represent the regulatory agencies themselves. This breadth of experience and perspective adds many layers to course dynamics. Alongside instructors, participants add to the knowledge of the course.
From plant species to permitting forms, a well-rounded baseline on all aspects of living shoreline installation is presented during each course. Discussion of living shoreline topics often leads to other considerations, such as funding, politics, education, and location-specific challenges, which may be interwoven with an installation. Some of the activities we perform during the course explore these dynamics and offer the chance to get direct feedback from a variety of experts. These examinations make the classroom portions of the course come alive with practical shared experiences that can be applied to real shoreline erosion control projects.
Want to Partner or Join a Future Living Shoreline for Marine Contractors Course?
If you or others in your network are interested in participating in a Living Shoreline Course, please see the Florida Sea Grant Living Shoreline for Marine Contractors site for upcoming dates at a location near you: https://www.flseagrant.org/workforce-training/living-shorelines-training-for-marine-contractors/ or contact Living Shoreline Program Assistant, Mandy Sunshine Baily (she/her) at email@example.com for more information.
And for more information about Living Shorelines, just follow this link: https://floridalivingshorelines.com/