Bald Head Island Conservancy

2nd Annual Johnston Coastal Sustainability Symposium A Success

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by Dr. Chris Shank, Executive Director

On Tuesday April 4, we hosted the 2nd Annual Johnston Coastal Sustainability Symposium.  Nearly 70 people attended the morning session held at the BHA Generator Society Hall where experts presented on topics including salt marsh protection and restoration, sustainability of natural vs. human-influenced beaches, development of ocean energy sources, challenges of defining sustainability and inclusion into long-range planning in policy-making, as well as topics specific to BHI including the Village’s current sand management strategy and the upcoming Frying Pan Shoals study aimed at identifying the benefits and risks of using this sand feature to nourish SE NC beaches.  Following the presentations, we held a Q&A session where the public engaged with our invited experts on topics such as Cape Fear River dredging, sea level rise, and protection of our maritime forest.  At the beginning of the session, we also announced the awarding of the very first Graduate Fellowship in Coastal Sustainability to Kimmy Hansen of UNC Chapel Hill who will be examining the impact of development on BHI’s maritime forest cover under different build-out scenarios.

For the evening dinner lecture held at the BHI Club, resource economist Dr. Craig Landry from the University of Georgia discussed the many variables that influence the economics of inhabiting barrier islands, including natural processes such as storms and sand movement to human activities such as tourism, sand management policies, and development.  These types of conversations are critical to educating BHI residents, homeowners, and guests about how we can best protect BHI’s wonderful natural environment for generations to come.  

Special thanks to those who attended, the BHA for allowing us to use the Generator Society Hall for the enthralling morning session, and the BHI Club for allowing us to utilize their wonderful Ocean Room venue and providing a fantastic meal following Dr. Landry’s lecture.

We also want to extend a very special thanks to Dick and Pat Johnston who continue to provide the resources for the Conservancy to pursue this critical activity for BHI and the region!

To learn more about the Johnston Center for Coastal Sustainability, the Graduate Fellowship, and watch a recording of the Symposium, please visit


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