American Shore & Beach Preservation Association
Preservation Through Conservation

ASBPA 2016 Symposium

2nd Annual Symposium
“Texas Shorelines – Bays to Beaches”

University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Port Aransas, Texas

The Texas Chapter of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) held its 2nd Annual Symposium over two days on March 31st and April 1st, 2016 at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) located in beautiful Port Aransas. The Symposium began with an afternoon field trip on the 31st that was well attended and required two 15 passenger vans to transport all of the participants. Derek Brockbank ASBPA’s National Executive Director traveled from Washington DC to be a part of both the field trip and proceedings during the Symposium. Students also traveled from around the state to attend including a group from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

In keeping with the Symposium’s theme of “Texas Shorelines – Bays to Beaches,” with stops around the Port Aransas area, and on North Padre Island the field trip provided participants an excellent opportunity (in a short period of time) to experience the diversity of the Texas coast. The field trip was developed and lead by Dr. Skip Davis and Dr. Jim Gibeaut, both well-known and greatly respected for their many academic contributions. Their involvement with the Texas Chapter has helped validate and enhance the Chapter’s efforts to increase student and academic participation.

Prior to the Symposium, the Texas Chapter Board of Directors voted to fund the cost of ASBPA memberships for all students presenting at the Symposium. Ultimately, two students were included in the Symposium program: Ms. Shelby Bessette University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Mr. Phillipe Wernette Texas A & M University. The Chapter welcomes both students as new members into ASBPA and the Texas Chapter.

The Symposium began on Friday morning with a welcome from the UTMSI director to the more than 70 attendees. Twenty-one (21) presentations throughout the day covered a wide range of topics including the chemistry of oil spills, nearshore currents, beach visitation benefit calculations, and a presentation by Derek Brockbank, just to name a few. Following the final presentation, a poster session with 4 participants was conducted. Symposium activities concluded with closing remarks from Cris Weber Symposium Program Chair at 5:45 p.m.

Funding for the Symposium was generously provided by five corporate sponsors: Atkins Global Engineering, Freese and Nichols Engineering, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, HDR Engineering, and Naismith Marine Services. As a result of their generosity there has not been any cost to Chapter members for either of the two Chapter Symposiums, field trips, or lunches.

It was a great program and the Texas Chapter would like to thank all of those who worked so hard to make it such a success. Mr. Jace Tunnel and Ms. Dana Sjostrom at UTMSI were indispensable in the operation and success of the program. The Chapter has uploaded all 21 of the Symposium presentations, please find each below.

Thank you again to all who attended and we are looking forward to next year’s symposium.

John Lee
Vice President
Texas ASBPA Chapter


Schedule with Abstracts and Presentations

8:00 AM



8:10 AM

Cole Park, Corpus Christi Bay and a Tale of Cups
View Abstract
View Presentation

Yang Wu

8:30 AM

The lifeblood of Laguna Madre is wind-driven water exchange between Northern and Southern Laguna Madre through the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway
View Abstract
View Presentation

Richard Watson

8:50 AM

Sediment Budget for the Texas Coast
View Abstract
View Presentation

Richard A. Davis

9:10 AM

The North Galveston Jetty Sand Source Investigation
View Abstract
View Presentation

Bob Gearhart

9:30 AM

Scale dependent behavior of the foredune along the Texas coast: Implications for barrier island response to storms and sea level rise
View Abstract
View Presentation

Chris Houser

9:50 AM

15 min. break

10:05 AM

American Shore and Beach Preservation Association – Executive Director
View Presentation

Derek Brockbank

10:25 AM

Current Methods of Calculating Beach Visitation Benefits of Beach Nourishment Projects- Part 1
View Abstract
View Presentation

Michael Trudnak

10:45 AM

Considerations for Beach Nourishment in Texas
View Abstract
View Presentation

Christian LaPann- Johannessen

11:05 AM

Follet’s Island Nearshore Beach Nourishment
View Abstract
View Presentation

Arpit Agarwal

11:25 AM

Satellite monitoring of suspended sediments patterns in Texas Estuaries: distinguishing between natural processes, dredging, and commercial fishing
View Abstract
View Presentation

Anthony Reisinger

11:45 AM

Lunch (Provided by Texas Chapter)

1:00 PM

Texas Environmental Sensitivity index atlas revision
View Abstract
View Presentation

David Buzan

1:20 PM

Complete Coverage Littoral Zone & Backbeach Survey at Cedar Bayou by combining Structure from Motion photogrammetry, RTK GPS topography, and single beam hydrography
View Abstract
View Presentation

Seth Gambill

1:40 PM

Coastal Bend Nearshore Currents and Waves: Measurements and Models
View Abstract
View Presentation

Philippe Tissot

2:00 PM

One-year update on the restored Cedar Bayou Tidal Inlet
View Abstract
View Presentation

Aaron Horine

2:20 PM

Tarballs in Texas Beaches from the Texas City “Y” Oil Spill in 2014: Chemical, Microbiological, and Modeling Studies
View Abstract
View Presentation

Hernando Bacosa

2:40 PM

Growing your “Living Shoreline”
View Abstract
View Presentation

Steve Mercer

3:00 PM

15 min. break

3:15 PM

Restoration Found: Selecting the Right Location for Your Restoration Project
View Abstract
View Presentation

Philip Blackmar

3:35 PM

Saving Texas’ Largest Freshwater Marshes
View Abstract
View Presentation

Stephanie Gonzales

3:55 PM

South Padre Island Beach Management: Assessment of Dune Restoration
View Abstract
View Presentation

Shelby Bessette

4:15 PM

Wavelet Decomposition to Assess Development of Padre Island National Seashore
View Abstract
View Presentation

Phillipe Wernette

4:35 PM

McFaddin Beach Ridge Restoration, Preliminary Design
View Abstract
View Presentation

Evan Walters

4:55 PM

Closing Remarks

5:00 PM

Poster Presentations

Aquatic Monitoring of Lavaca Bay, Texas

Rules for Cooling Water Intake Structures

Dune Dynamics of the South Padre Island National Seashore Park and Considerations for the Visitors Center Redevelopment (abstract)

Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA) 2015 Beach User Survey Results (abstract)

Scale dependent behavior of the foredune along the Texas coast: Implications for barrier island response to storms and sea level rise (abstract)

Various presenters

5:45 PM

Symposium Close

Speaker Bios

8:10-8:30am: Yang Wu – Yang Wu is a Civil Engineer in the Stormwater Management and Water Quality group of Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN) based out of Houston, Texas. His three years of experience has included a diversified background working and supporting on hydraulic and hydrologic design, spatial analysis, TPDES permitting and program development, pollution control, water quality sampling, and environmental compliance.

8:30-8:50am: Richard Watson – Dr. Watson holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Watson is a marine and coastal geologist with over 50 years of experience studying the Texas Gulf Coast. He is an expert on sediment transport, including thorough knowledge of the longshore sediment transport system in the surf, the geologic history of the Texas Coast, inlet and tidal hydrodynamics, and Texas coastal boundary law. He has served as an expert witness in cases involving coastal boundary determination and beach erosion. He maintains a website about the Texas coast at where you can find many aerial photographs, papers and other information about the Texas Gulf Coast.

8:50-9:10am: Richard Davis – Dr. Richard A. Davis, “Skip”, is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus from the University of South Florida. He is a coastal geologist who has specialized in beaches, barrier islands and tidal inlets. Davis has published numerous journal papers and authored/edited 20 books in sedimentary geology, the most recent of which is ““Beaches of the Gulf Coast”” with TAMU Press. Most of his research has been on the Gulf Coast of Florida but with some on the Texas coast as well. He and his students have monitored the performance of numerous beach nourishment projects on the Florida coast. Dr. Davis has been a senior Fulbright Scholar in Australia and has held visiting professorships in Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand as well as Duke University and the Univ. North Carolina. He is now affiliated with the Harte Research Institute at TAMU-CC

9:10-9:30am: Robert Gearheart – Bob Gearhart is a senior project manager at SAM, LLC with 30 years of experience in marine-geophysical surveys and marine archaeology. Mr. Gearhart managed a program dedicated to marine archaeology at PBS&J (now Atkins) from 1998 through early 2013 when he joined the hydrographic survey department at SAM. He has a particular interest in the interpretation of magnetic data from marine archaeological surveys.

9:30-9:50am: Chris Houser  Dr. Houser’s general areas of expertise are process geomorphology in coastal and aeolian environments, with a specific focus on the impact of extreme storms on barrier islands and the recovery of barrier islands following storms. His current research projects include the role of boundary conditions in swash zone morphodynamics, wave attenuation through submerged vegetation, geological controls on beach-dune recovery and the evolution of blowouts and parabolic dunes along the coast of Texas.

Second Morning Session

10:05-10:25am: Derek Brockbank – ASBPA National Executive Director. Derek has been an organizer and led conservation campaigns around the country and in Washington, DC. His focus has been on climate change adaptation and restoring natural resources, most recently directing a campaign to restore the Mississippi River Delta and Coastal Louisiana through a coalition of conservation organizations including National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society and Environmental Defense Fund.

10:25-10:45am: Michael Trudnak – Michael is a Senior Coastal Engineer, Taylor Engineering in Jacksonville, Florida.

10:45-11:05am: Christian LaPan-Johannesen – Mr. LaPann-Johannessen earned a B.E. degree in Civil Engineering in 2014 and a M.E. degree in Ocean Engineering with a concentration in Coastal Engineering in 2015 from Stevens Institute of Technology. Since joining HDR in 2015, he has gained experience in shoreline protection, beach nourishment, marsh restoration, and ship wake modeling projects.

11:05-11:25am: Arpit Agarwal – Mr. Agarwal is a Senior Coastal Engineer and Project Manager with over 10 years of experience in coastal engineering. He interests lie in performing sophisticated analysis and numerical modeling on various costal phenomena such as wave transformation, circulation, shoreline morphology, sediment transport, and vessel hydrodynamics.

11:25-11:45am: Anthony Resinger – Dr. Anthony Reisinger is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Coastal & Marine Geospatial Laboratory at the Harte Research institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. This research is the result of his doctoral studies where he received a NASA fellowship to use satellites to monitor sediments of Texas Bays and Estuaries.

First Afternoon Session

1:00-1:20pm: David Buzan – David Buzan is an aquatic biologist with Freese and Nichols, Inc. who has worked on water issues in Texas over the past 37 years.

1:20-1:40pm: Zac Giessel – Zac received a Master of Science from A&M Corpus Christi in 2015 after completing a thesis which analyzed the utility of 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional models derived from SfM approaches and imagery obtained from unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Interests include photogrammetry and hydrography and the combination of datasets of different origins. Naismith Marine Services specializes in hydrographic and terrestrial surveying and is implementing aerially derived data and SfM processing to supplement traditional RTK GPS/acoustic surveys.

1:40-2:00pm: Philippe Tissot – Dr. Philippe Tissot is the Associate Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) and an Associate Research Professor at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. His research, conducted as part of the CBI Coastal Dynamics Laboratory, focuses on the measurement, analysis and prediction of coastal physical processes. Projects include developing and deploying operational predictions for navigation and emergency management based on statistical or hydrodynamic models, the study of regional relative sea level rise and its impact and the development of tools, such as mobile apps, to better communicate coastal information.

2:00-2:20pm: Aaron Horine – Aaron Horine, PE is a Senior Coastal Engineer with 12 years of experience planning, designing, and managing a variety of coastal restoration projects. He specializes in dredging, beneficial use of dredged material, habitat restoration, coastal protection and long-term sedimentation analysis and dredging plans. Additionally, he has 10 years of construction management experience working on projects along the Gulf and Pacific Northwest coasts as well as overseas.

2:20-2:40pm: Hernando Bacosa – Hernando Bacosa is at the Marine Science Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Port Aransas, TX. 2:40-3:00pm: Steve Mercer – Steve Mercer is the owner of Coastal Transplants and has been growing and providing plants for coastal dune systems since 1999. Coastal Transplants specializes in harvesting from local sites and returning propagated plants back to the location of harvest. While Coastal Transplants works for commercial and government customers; we also install approximately 500 private installations a year. We currently have annual contracts in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Second Afternoon Session

3:15-3:35pm: Philip Blackmar – Mr. Blackmar earned a B.S. degree in Ocean Engineering from Texas A&M in 2011 and a M.S. degree in Coastal Engineering from Oregon State University in 2013. Between his B.S and M.S. degrees he worked as a coastal engineering intern at HDR Engineering and following his M.S. degree he returned to HDR full time. Mr. Blackmar’s project experience includes shoreline protection, dredging, marsh creation/restoration, beach nourishment, numerical wind wave, ship wake, and circulation modeling, and the evaluation of coastal processes and their interaction with structures.

3:35-3:55pm: Stephanie Gonzales – Stephanie Gonzales studied Coastal Engineering at Texas A&M University. In her 4 years of working with a dredging contractor, she completed various beach nourishment and channel deepening projects along the East Coast. She currently works as an engineering consultant in Houston completing coastal work consisting of the design, evaluation and permitting of various shore protection projects including bulkheads, docks, and beach nourishment.

3:55-4:15pm: Shelby Bessette – Shelby Bessette is a graduate student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, who works in partnership with the City of South Padre Island. Shelby graduated from Winthrop University with a B.S. in Biology and Minor in Environmental Studies. She is native to Rock Hill, South Carolina, where her love for the coast first began. Shelby hopes to protect these precious ecosystems through outreach and mitigation. For future work, she hopes to bridge knowledge gaps between the environment, people, and politics through further projects and outreach.

4:15-4:35pm: Phillipe Wernette – Phillipe is a PhD candidate working under Dr. Chris Houser at Texas A&M University. His research focuses on quantifying the relationship between framework geology and coastal geomorphology.

4:35-4:55pm: Evan Walters – Growing up a water baby on the Texas coast, Evan Walters later went on to graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in Ocean Engineering specializing in Coastal Engineering. Although he currently works primarily on the Texas coast, he has also worked internationally in New Zealand and presented at conferences abroad. Currently he is a graduate coastal engineer at LJA Engineering, Inc. under Bill Worsham P.E. in Austin, Texas.

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