Sustainable Shorelines Is Chicago Conference Theme

Forest Park Beach aerial photo.Because of innovative coastal engineering, Chicago has some of the most durable and sustainable urban shoreline of any U.S. coastal city. Thus it was fitting that the 2008 National Conference of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA), held in Chicago on October 14-17, had the theme "Sustainable Shorelines." Conference co-chairs were Michael Chrzastowski (ISGS) and Charles Shabica (Northeastern Illinois University, retired). The Opening Session included official welcomes from Illinois State Representative Harry Osterman (14thDistrict) and Commissioner Suzanne Malec-McKenna (Office of the Mayor), who oversees the ongoing Chicago Shoreline Protection Project. The conference attendees represented most U.S. coastal states as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, and Egypt. Several of the technical talks focused on ongoing coastal projects along the Illinois North Shore and the Chicago lakefront.

Lake Forest, Illinois, received national recognition during the annual award banquet for its municipal beach, Forest Park Beach. ISGS coastal geologist Michael Chrzastowski presented the award to representatives of the City of Lake Forest on behalf of the ASBPA President. Each year the ASBPA recognizes a beach project along the U.S. ocean or Great Lakes coast that has proven itself for 20 or more years and has met its design purpose for such parameters as shore protection, recreation, aesthetics, and durability. Forest Park Beach was completed in 1987. The ISGS was responsible for a second phase of post-construction coastal monitoring of this lakefront project from 1991 through 1995. To date this project remains the most sustainable municipal beach along the Illinois bluff coast.