Cummins joins Texas board of American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

February 06, 2009

By Rhonda Cummins

PORT LAVACA, TX — Rhonda Cummins, Texas Sea Grant’s Extension Agent-Coastal and Marine Resources for Calhoun County, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Texas Chapter of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA).

“I am pleased to work with such a dedicated group of individuals toward the protection, preservation and enhancement of the beaches, shores and other coastal resources of Texas,” Cummins said of the appointment.

ASBPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of government, scientists, engineers, planners and the public about the damages of erosion and other issues related to the overall planning and management of shores and beaches. The Texas Chapter, which has grown from fewer than 40 members at its inception in February 2005 to more than 150 members today, works closely with the Texas General Land Office as they manage Texas’ beaches and bays.

“We support the General Land Office’s efforts in securing funding for shoreline restoration projects,” said Jerry Mohn, president of the Texas ASBPA board.

Cummins represents Calhoun County on the board, which has 12 positions available for representatives from Texas’ coastal counties, six from inland coastal counties that have bays or estuaries reaching the Gulf, and five at-large positions.

She holds a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M University and has been the extension agent in Calhoun County since early last year. She has an extensive background in secondary education, having taught mathematics at Texas high schools and middle schools for more than 10 years, including more than three years at Calhoun High School. Cummins also served as a crew member and officer aboard a variety of educational sailing vessels in the Pacific and Great Lakes. She holds a Master’s license to operate 200-ton passenger vessels and was the captain of the Galveston Historical Foundation’s 81-passenger tour vessel.

Texas Sea Grant Extension is a cooperative effort of the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and commissioners’ courts in participating counties. Its network of agents who are trained to deal with coastal and marine issues at the county level is patterned after the highly successful agricultural cooperative extension model.

Texas Sea Grant is a component of the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is one of a network of 31 university-based programs in coastal and Great Lakes states. Through a partnership of industry, government and higher education, Sea Grant sponsors and promotes programs aimed at the understanding, wise use and stewardship of the nation’s coastal and marine resources to develop and maintain a sustainable economy and a healthy environment.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.