Representatives from KS Associates, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management, and GEI Consultants, Inc. will lead an education session at the 2023 Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) annual conference and trade show. The session, entitled “Understanding the Benefits of Nature-Based Shorelines,” will be held on Monday, January 20, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The conference takes place January 29 to February 1, 2023, at the Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio.
Presenting will be Mark Cencer, P.E., KS Associates’ director of coastal engineering services; Emily Kuzmick, training coordinator for the ODNR Office of Coastal Management’s Nature-Based Shoreline training and certification program; and Brian Majka, restoration ecologist at GEI Consultants. KS Associates and GEI Consultants worked with ODNR to develop a unique program to certify practitioners in the design and construction of nature-based shorelines. This is the first program of its kind in Ohio along the Great Lakes.
Attendees will gain an understanding of how to protect and enhance shorelines along rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water, focusing on the benefits of nature-based shorelines. Unlike hard structures such as stone revetments and concrete seawalls, living shorelines can help prevent erosion, improve water quality, and promote fish and wildlife habitat. The session will include information and and update on ODNR’s Nature-Based Shoreline training and certification program.
About the Presenters:
Mark Cencer, P.E. – KS Associates, Inc. – Mark Cencer, P.E., is the Director Coastal Engineering Services at KS Associates. He leads a team of engineers with specialized training, education, and experience in marine engineering. Mark has 18 years of experience in working with clients, including park districts, to enhance and protect their waterfront assets. He specializes in the design of marinas, floating and fixed docks, boat ramps, watercraft launches, shoreline protection structures, beach enhancements, and more. Mark is a co-author and instructor for the ODNR Office of Coastal Management’s Nature-Based Shoreline training and certification program.
Emily Kuzmick – Coordinator for Ohio Coastal Training Program (CTP) – Emily joined the Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve in 2015 as Coordinator for the Ohio Coastal Training Program (CTP). The Ohio CTP works with environmental professionals to identify training and technical assistance efforts relating to marine debris, stormwater and nutrient management, phenological species monitoring, and nature-based shoreline stabilization techniques. As CTP Coordinator, Emily organizes, hosts, and facilitates training events with a multitude of stakeholders, including conservation districts, NGOs, municipalities, and other government agencies. Emily is the training coordinator for the ODNR Office of Coastal Management’s Nature-Based Shoreline training and certification program.
Brian Majka – GEI Consultants, Inc. – Brian Majka is a restoration ecologist with more than 20 years of experience in the design and construction of ecological restoration projects throughout the Midwest. Brian specializes in the restoration of freshwater ecosystems, including rivers, wetlands, and shorelines. Brian is a co-author and instructor for the Michigan Certified Natural Shoreline Contractor Training Program and the ODNR Office of Coastal Management’s Nature-Based Shoreline training and certification program.
For more information about the 2023 OPRA Conference and Trade Show, visit OPRA’s web site. We hope to see you there!