About Us


The first meeting of the Coastal Zone Foundation (CZF) was held on Oct. 3, 1984. The  foundation’s objectives included receiving proposals for important topics in coastal zone  management and coastal engineering, including such projects as land use studies, beach  attendance reports, reconnaissance and recording of waves and storm surge. These projects  would be devoted to collecting information that would generally be made available for  educational purposes. Additionally, the bylaws were broad enough to allow grants for coastal related purposes. 

The primary purpose of the CZF was the advancement and application of scientific and related  technical and professional knowledge necessary for management, protection and use of coastal  and ocean resources. More specifically, these were accomplished by conceiving and carrying  out coastal-oriented conferences and meetings such as the Coastal Zone symposium series.  

The face-to-face exchanges inherent in these events, together with comprehensive  proceedings, proved highly effective in widely disseminating coastal and ocean management  information and practice in the early growth of this topic. CZF played a key role in bringing  together volunteer and sponsoring organizations to plan and operate each event. Its contributions to the coastal zone can be recognized in the depth and strength of coastal zone  management programs in most coastal states and in many foreign national programs.

To read more about the organization’s history check out “A Brief History of the Coastal Zone Foundation“.  

Board of Directors

President – Lee Weishar

A Senior Scientist with the Woods Hole Group since 1989, He has more than 40 years’ experience in the fields of oceanography, coastal engineering, sediment transport, ecological restoration, environmental impact assessment, and project/program management. Prior to joining the Woods Hole Group, he was employed by the USACE Waterways Experiment Station (now ERDC).  Dr. Weishar specializes in coastal engineering and wetland/marsh restoration and the integration of biological, ecological, and hydraulic data into wetland restoration designs to ensure that the design will meet the restoration objectives.

Vice-President – Kate Gooderham

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, is president of Gooderham & Associates, Inc., a Fort Myers, Florida consulting firm established in 1986, specializing in issues management, public information campaigns, grassroots organizing, governmental lobbying and monitoring, coastal permitting and strategic planning. 

Gooderham is the past chair of the Lee County Coastal Advisory Council and is past vice chair of the Lee County Conservation Lands Acquisition and Stewardship Advisory Committee.  She is a former member and vice chair of the Lee County Disaster Advisory Council (DAC). In 2021 she retired as managing director for the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association.

Treasurer/Secretary – Aram Terchunian

Terchunian is a nationally-renowned coastal geologist and environmental scientist with First Coastal Corporation in Westhampton Beach, NY specializing in helping owners and municipalities enhance and protect their coastal assets. Aram’s specialties include coastal resiliency, wetlands management, nature based shoreline stabilization, coastal regulatory compliance and endangered species. A widely recognized expert in the national media, Aram provides a unique, practical perspective on how to prepare for and survive super storms and their devastating effects on our coastal communities. Aram received his BS in Environmental Science and Resource Management/Geology from Lehigh University and his MS from the University of Delaware.

Board Member – Karen Martin

Karen L.M. Martin, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Pepperdine University since 1990 (emeritus in 2021). Dr. Martin studies the eco-physiology of California Grunion with the help of the Grunion Greeter community scientists. She is chair and co-founder of Beach Ecology Coalition an NGO with local beach managers, resource agencies, municipalities, environmental NGOs and others to improve ecological management of beaches. Dr. Martin is a trustee with the Natural Resources Damage Assessment of the Refugio State Beach Oil Spill, and serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of The Bay Foundation, National Estuary Program and California Waterboards. She has over 60 peer-reviewed publications and three scholarly books.

Board Member – Gordon Thomson

Thomson is an Associate Principal and Senior Coastal Engineer at Baird & Associates. He has designed, permitted and constructed a wide array of beach nourishment, marsh restoration, and coastal structure projects along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Thomson has developed numerous reports and federal documents combining coastal principles and numerical modeling. He is a licensed professional engineer in eight states and is accredited by COPRI as a Diplomate in Coastal Engineering. He received a B.Sc.Eng and an M.Sc.Eng from Queen’s University, Canada.

Board Member – Gary Jones

As Director for the County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors, he is responsible for 30 miles of non-contiguous coastline in Los Angeles County, including Marina del Rey, the largest small craft harbor in the U.S. Jones has 25 years of experience in real estate, development and urban planning. Educated in Great Britain, he received his B.S. degree in Biology from Southampton University and his M.S. degree in Real Estate Studies from De Montfort University in Leicester.

Board Member – Tom Richardson

Tom Richardson is Executive Director of the DHS Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.  He is an engineering graduate of The Citadel, the University of Miami, and the International Institute for Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering in Delft, The Netherlands. In 2009, he retired from the U.S. Army’s Senior Executive Service as Director of the Engineer Research and Development Center’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory and began his current position at Jackson State University. He has been a Director of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association for the past 13 years and of the Coastal Zone Foundation for the past 6 years.

Board Member – Erin Hague

Erin Hague, CEP, ENV SP is Director of Tetra Tech’s Center of Coastal Services in Southeast Florida. She has more than 25 years of shoreline protection and coastal restoration project experience throughout the US. Her expertise is in identifying design solutions and strategies for coastal and ecosystem restoration, natural resource management, biological resource assessment, threatened and endangered species management. She has served as a technical expert for numerous small and large-scale projects in the coastal US and is proficient in managing multi-disciplinary projects involving geotechnical and biological field investigations, coastal planning, engineering design, stakeholder coordination and permitting.

Board Member – Wie Yusuf

Dr. Wie Yusuf is professor of public service in the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University (ODU) and Assistant Director for the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience. She is a Virginia Sea Grant extension partner, leading the Virginia Climate Adaptation and Resilience Program which is jointly funded by ODU and Virginia Sea Grant. She focuses her extension and engagement efforts on working with coastal communities to encourage the development and implementation of climate adaptation and hazards resilience plans and practices. She has an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, MBA from Indiana University Fort Wayne, and PhD in public administration and policy from the University of Kentucky. Her research focuses on policy issues at the intersection of governments, nonprofits, businesses, and civil society. These include complex and conflict-ridden issues such as stakeholder engagement and public participation, climate change and sea level rise, and coastal resilience.


Read a copy of our full bylaws here.

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