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ASBPA Announces 2024 Best Restored Beaches

Posted on June 17, 2024

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association is proud to release our annual awards of the nation’s Best Restored Beaches.  The award winning projects this year are the Illinois Beach State Park Shoreline Stabilization in Zion, Illinois, and the North Cove Coastal Systems Restoration in North Cove, Washington.

The goal of ASBPA’s annual Best Restored Beach award is to acknowledge community beach restoration projects around the United States that increase a shoreline’s resiliency, the beach’s ability to mitigate storm damage and flooding from severe storms, and naturally allow the beach to adjust to short-term sea level rise while remaining an important part of the nearshore ecosystem.  ASBPA created the annual award list to raise awareness of the value of restored beaches.

Projects are judged on three criteria: the economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community; short- and long-term success of the restoration project; and the challenges each community overcame during the project.

“We have been restoring U.S. beaches for 100 years now!  The first project was in Coney Island, NY in 1923.  Beaches from all over the U.S. have received ASBPA’s Best Restored Beach award.  This year, we are excited to include beaches from the Great Lakes and West Coast,” said Nicole Elko, ASBPA Executive Director.

The Illinois Beach State Park Shoreline Stabilization in Zion, Illinois was selected as a Best Restored Beach as it combined beach nourishment for a recreational beach and a coastal habitat restoration component protecting state park infrastructure and critical habitats.  The primary goal was to develop shoreline erosion solutions that stabilize the shoreline and protect critical infrastructure while maintaining the character and mission of the state park and recreational user experience.

To meet these goals, the project protects critical infrastructure consisting of buildings, recreation areas, wetlands, natural habitat area, streams, parking lots, paths, and roadways.  The project creates 50.7 acres of additional sand beach habitat, 18.1 acres of in-water rock habitat, 1.1 acres of aquatic habitat elements, and ten tern nests.  Funding was made possible through Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program to improve infrastructure.

The North Cove Coastal Systems Restoration in North Cove, Washington was selected as a Best Restored beach demonstrating a long-term commitment by the North Cove community to protect their beach.  The project’s primary objective was to reverse chronic and rapid shoreline erosion ongoing for over a century, enhance coastal resilience to storms and climate impacts, restore shoreline habitat, and create recreational access.  The project, using natural materials and a nature-based approach, has stabilized and restored 1.1 miles of shoreline along the north entrance to Willapa Bay in Pacific County, Washington.

Approximately 46,500 cubic yards of material has been placed along the 1.1-mile project.  Along a 3,000’ reach on the western portion of the project, the dune area experienced a seven-times increase in width and five-times increase in area, and the accumulation of over 232,000 cubic yards of sand.

Congratulations to the 2024 Best Restored Beach Award Recipients!  The Best Restored Beach award project teams will be honored during the ASBPA National Coastal Conference on August 26-29, 2024 in Galveston, TX.

Beaches are the leading tourist attraction in the U.S. serving as a vacation destination for 50% of Americans.  Annually, beach tourists generate $520 billion in economic output, $240 billion in direct spending, and $36 billion in taxes to federal, state, and local governments.  For every $1 spent on beach nourishment annually, beach tourists generate about $3,000 in economic output, $1,400 in direct spending, and $200 in taxes.  Beaches are not only magnets for tourism, but they also perform a double duty of protecting land infrastructure during storms.

A complete list of Best Restored Beach awards and information on the science and policy of beach restoration are available at


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