ASBPA's Blue Flag Award: Setting the Standard for Coastal Protection | Going Coastal

August 8, 2023

Coastal conservation: the Blue Flag breakdown

In this episode of the Going Coastal Podcast, we discuss the ASBPA Blue Flag Award Program with Annie Mercer, program coordinator for ASBPA, and Porsche Nauls, Departmental Facilities Planner II LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors, and one of the two Blue Flag award winners this year.

The Blue Flag Award is an international eco-label awarded to beaches, marinas, and water sports facilities that meet a set of environmental, educational, and safety standards. The program is designed to promote sustainable practices and raise awareness of the importance of protecting coastal resources.

In this episode, Annie and Porsche discuss the benefits of participating in the Blue Flag Award Program, the challenges of achieving award status, and the importance of protecting coastal resources. They also share their personal experiences with the program and offer advice to students and young professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in coastal management.

This episode is a great resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about the ASBPA Blue Flag Award Program or who is passionate about protecting coastal resources.

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Jon Miller, Marissa Torres, Deb Fernandes

Jon Miller developed his love of all things coastal during summers spent vacationing at the Jersey Shore. He was fortunate enough to get turned on to a career in coastal engineering during his time as an undergrad at Stevens Institute of Technology. When he was offered an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Florida under Bob Dean, he jumped at the opportunity. After completing his PhD (and a brief detour in Australia), Jon was offered the opportunity to return to Stevens. Now a Research Associate Professor, Jon leads Stevens Coastal Engineering Research Group and serves as the NJ Sea Grant Coastal Processes Specialist. In his time at Stevens, Jon has mentored over 75 graduate and undergraduate students, and currently serves as the faculty advisor to both the ASBPA and ASCE COPRI student chapters. Jon serves on the Board of Directors of ASBPA, and has been involved with the Student and New Professional Group (now chapter) since its inception. In his spare time, Jon enjoys spending time at the beach with his family and coaching both of his kids in basketball. Heather B. Wade - is a coastal planner and policy specialist with the Oregon Coastal Management Program and a current Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University studying urban and regional science, coastal resiliency and management. Heather received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and master’s degree in urban and regional planning with an emphasis on environmental hazards management. Heather’s research focuses on the interconnections between planning, coastal management, and hazards reduction with an emphasis on local coastal planning implementation. In her free time, she likes to work in the garden, go camping with her family, and paint with her kids Isaac and Isabel. Marissa J. Torres is a Research Engineer with the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) - one of seven research labs within the ERDC - she has worked on a variety of research topics, including tidal dynamics, nearshore tide and wave modeling, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) post-processing methods, and snow hydrology. Prior to starting with CRREL, Marissa received her BS and MS in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island, where she focused on coastal flood and storm surge modeling. Outside of work, she enjoys backpacking, biking, kayaking, snowboarding, and snow-shoeing around New Hampshire and Vermont.