April 2007

Working Waterfronts Under Siege

May 9-11 Conference To Address Access Issues

Working waterfronts — whether it's a recreational boat marina, a charter boat landing or a commercial fishing facility — are under siege. Waterfront redevelopment pressures, skyrocketing land costs and taxes, polluted industrial sites, onerous regulations, and the aftermath of hurricanes all threaten the public's access to the water.

To ensure that public access is maintained and that waterfronts remain vital economic engines in their communities, the first- ever Working Waterways and Waterfronts - A National Symposium on Water Access will be held May 9-11 at the Sheraton Norfolk (Va.) Waterside Hotel. Conference organizers announced the full agenda today at www.wateraccess2007.com

Designed for both public and private stakeholders nationwide, the symposium will explore solutions to the loss of water access that is hindering recreational boaters, commercial fishermen, and water-dependent businesses around the nation's coasts.

Some of the agenda topics include the following:

  • Guiding State Waterfront Access Policy and Programs in North Carolina
  •  A Conservation Easement Saves a Working Waterfront in Maine
  • Sustaining Working Waterfronts: A Model for Adapting Harbor Infrastructure in California
  • Case Study on Marina Development in Ohio
  • The Portfields Initiative: Revitalizing Harbor Communities (Bellingham, WA + others)
  • The Economics of Waterway Access and the Florida Inland Navigation District
  • Preserving and Promoting A Viable Working Harbor (Gloucester, MA)
  •  Helping Communities Preserve Recreational and Commercial Working Waterfronts in Florida
  •  "Black Lagoon" Sediment Remediation in Trenton, Mich.
  • Preserving Working Waterfronts in the Wake of a Disaster (Louisiana)
  •  Providing Politically Supported Water Access Opportunities on Virginia's Middle Peninsula
  • Working Waterfront Challenges on the Great Lakes
  • Balancing Public Rights of Access and Use with Private Waterfront Development in New Jersey
  • Keeping Vessels at the Waters Edge: Stewardship of Trustlands in Massachusetts

Conference registration is $375. A daily rate of $115 is also available. Registration may be completed online through the conference Web site at, www.wateraccess2007.com, or by calling College of William and Mary Conference Services, 1-800-249-0179.

The conference is sponsored by Virginia Sea Grant, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, Boat Owners Association of The United States, the Coastal States Organization (BoatU.S.), the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the States Organization for Boating Access, North Carolina Sea Grant, Brunswick Corporation, National Fisheries Institute, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, The Southern Shrimp Alliance, Marine Retailers Association of America, Virginia Coastal Program, Virginia Seafood Council, Tidewater Marine Trades Association, Premier Materials Technology, Inc. and the Trust for Public Lands.