ASCE has honored Lesley C. Ewing, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, M.ASCE, with the 2020 Orville T. Magoon Sustainable Coasts Award for her lifelong dedication and significant contributions to coastal sustainability.
For more than 35 years, Ewing has made outstanding contributions to sustainable engineering practices for managing shorelines and coastal infrastructure. Like her mentor, collaborator and friend Orville Magoon, she has been a leader in advancing the practice of coastal engineering and engaging with nonengineering professionals and the public to ensure coastal values are balanced with project needs.
Ewing has established much of the current body of knowledge for incorporating coastal engineering with coastal management, including serving as an editor for the proceedings of ASCE/COPRI’s Solutions to Coastal Disasters Conference series (2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, and 2015) and the Sand Rights ’99 and Carbonate Beaches 2000 conferences; participating on ASCE field investigation teams following Hurricane Ike (2008) and the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami (2011), and leading the investigation of the Samoa Tsunami (2009); and serving as chair of COPRI’s Coastal Zone Management Committee and member of the COPRI Board of Governors.
As the only coastal engineer on the California Coastal Commission staff for the past three decades, Ewing has been instrumental in developing and implementing the rules for the state’s coastal zone. A genuine problem solver who encourages sustainable engineering practices, her analytical and reasoned approach has brought innovation to permitting on the California Coast. She regularly engages with the public directly and through service to organizations such as the Coastal Zone Foundation and the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, where she has been editor of the peer-reviewed Shore and Beach Journal since 2011. She most recently hosted the “Shorewords!” podcast, a coastal literature show, on the American Shoreline Podcast Network.
The Orville T. Magoon Sustainable Coasts Award recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to sustainable engineering practices in managing shorelines and coastal infrastructure through research, design, construction or management of the natural and built environment in the coastal zone. The award recognizes the balance of coastal values with project needs.