Waterfront symposium set for March

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Waterfronts are getting squeezed. Traditional activities once considered vital to coastal communities — boatbuilding, fishing, recreational boating and other water-dependent businesses — must now compete for limited space on the shoreline.

Residential development, zoning changes, shifting populations and energy production are just some of the pressures against a robust working waterfront. There’s also a new factor — more frequent, massive storm events — that is inflicting massive change, begging the question: How should devastated areas be redeveloped? And if so, what are the best uses for waterfront land?

All of these topics will be presented March 25-28 at the National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium in Tacoma, Wash., and presented by Washington/Oregon Sea Grant Programs. BoatUS is a patron co-sponsor and it created the first Working Waterfronts Symposium in 2007 to draw national attention to the critical loss of recreational boating access. Local policy-makers, elected officials, government agencies, planners, economic development, tourism and marine interests, non-profit organizations, community activists, grassroots groups and interested citizens are invited to attend.

Topics on deck include the economic and social impacts of working waterfronts; successful local, regional, state and federal strategies to address working waterfront issues; the future of working waterfronts, including the potential impacts of changing climate; and how to keep water-dependent businesses commercially viable.

Sessions include: Coastal Smart Growth Approaches; Government Funding Programs; Strategies for Recreational and Commercial Fishing; Dynamics of Port Sizes on the West Coast; Sustaining Small Community Waterfronts; and Financing Tools, Economic Strategies, Sustainable Seafood and Environmental Issues.

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