ORONO — Sandy beaches cover only about two percent of Maine’s vast coastline, but generate significant economic impact through tourism, recreation, and coastal living.
On Friday, July 15, these diverse interests will gather at Southern Maine Community College for the Maine Beaches Conference.
Now in its eighth year, the biennial Maine Beaches Conference serves as Maine’s keystone event for public discussion of the state’s beaches. It is the place where surfers, beach monitors and managers, and private property owners learn together about the latest scientific findings on beach erosion and water quality, and share their different views on the culture, economy, and policy of Maine’s beaches.
Highlights of the 2011 event include an art show featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photography of the Maine coast, an historical perspective on Maine beaches, and a live intercollegiate debate about whether Maine’s environmental regulations are achieving a balance between coastal protection and private property rights.
“As is often the case with finite resources, decisions about managing Maine’s beaches have been controversial. Coastal property owners, recreational beach users, state and federal agencies, teachers, researchers, and beach monitors all serve on our conference steering committee,” said coordinator Kristen Grant of Maine Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “Our members design and implement the conference, contributing both time and funding to make this collaborative event possible.”
Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information and to register, call 207-581-1435 or visit http://www.maine.gov/doc/nrimc/mgs/explore/marine/beach-conference/beaches-2011.htm