Meet the Team is a series of interviews featuring the various professionals on our project team – both in-front and behind-the-scenes – who regularly provide valuable input, countless design iterations, environmental surveys and much more. Without these talented individuals, we would not be where we are today in realizing the possibilities of The Bay Park.
Michael Herrman is a Coastal Engineer with Moffatt & Nichol, a global infrastructure advisory firm that specializes in structural, coastal, and civil engineering; environmental sciences; economics analysis; inspection & rehabilitation; and program management solutions. The company has played a vital role in the development of waterfronts worldwide, creating innovative, award-winning and sustainable infrastructure that enhances, protects, and defines the world’s waterways and coastlines. In his role as Marine and Coastal Engineer for The Bay project, Michael is responsible for the design of the waterside elements, which includes the Sunset Boardwalk, Kayak Launch, and Mangrove Bayou Restoration. We interviewed Micahel to learn a bit more about his background and what excites him about this project.
Can you share a bit more about your background, experience and personal story?
“I’ve been working to enhance waterfronts around the world for more than 23 years. My passion is for access, be it for boating, wading, swimming, fishing, or whatever way the public enjoys the water. As a Coastal Engineer, I’ve designed beaches, marinas, kayak facilities, riverwalks, boardwalks, piers and all manner of waterfront structures in the U.S. Canada, Caribbean, and even in the Middle East. My greatest thrill is seeing people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy these special places in ways that were never anticipated but are facilitated through smart planning and design.
Working in Sarasota on this project is important to me as my family frequently visits the area and The Bay Park site has so much potential to be a regional and worldwide destination. The Master Plan is exciting and diverse and we are thrilled to be a part of such a transformational waterfront revitalization project.”
What is your favorite park and your contribution or role in development? What were some important design elements and the biggest challenges you faced?
“Picking a favorite park is like picking your favorite child – but I’m ok with that! My favorite ‘park’ is the Tampa Riverwalk. The Riverwalk gives you a unique view of downtown Tampa and the surrounding neighborhoods via a continuous 2.6 mile path along and over the Hillsborough River. This project has resulted in new restaurants and the revitalization of parks along the river. This is a great place for observing nature, exercising, and sharing an experience with our friends and neighbors.
Moffatt & Nichol designed many of the overwater elements of the Riverwalk and we continue to work with various properties along the River to add boating access, water taxi docks, and new vantage points to enjoy the river and downtown.”
What excites you about The Bay Park design/plan, process, and team? What is your favorite and most rewarding part of the work?
“I’m excited to take a piece of waterfront property that has been lost to cars for many years and give it back to people. Waterfronts are unique and exciting places that benefit all facets of the community. Combine that with a plan that evolved through extensive community input to provide access, educational opportunities, and a world-class experience for everyone who visits makes The Bay Park extremely rewarding for everyone involved.”
Can you also share any other notable projects that you have worked on?
“Locally, we have worked on waterfront parks in downtown St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tampa. Our projects range from small dog parks to city-wide waterfront park master plans, and regardless of scale, we strive to stay connected to the places where we live and play. Beyond this region, our waterfront work touches parks and public spaces in most of the major waterfront cities in the U.S. and several international locations, and we are currently working with many of the same team members on a waterfront park in Nashville, TN.”