CSO Newsletter

The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.
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Spotlight on Coastal Management:

Oregon's Earthquake and Tsunami Community Disaster Cache Planning Guide

The Oregon Coastal Management Program has been working with 10 coastal jurisdictions to reduce tsunami-related risks to life and property through grants, a land use guide, early risk-reduction communication, and a Community Disaster Cache Planning Guide.

The guide provides coastal communities with an easy-to-follow process for customizing their disaster "cache" supplies and logistics for clean food and water, shelter and warmth, search and rescue operations, medical aid, traffic control, and other needs. It also addresses cache sizes, security, distribution, and insulation or ventilation as needed. Disaster-cache case studies, and 75-plus illustrations and diagrams, are included.

The guide is an added benefit to Oregon’s coastal communities as they plan and prepare for a tsunami. Community-level planning has been completed in 10 jurisdictions that have adopted tsunami hazard overlay zones into their land-use plans, and several other communities are working on it currently. The overlay zoning limits critical-facility development within tsunami inundation areas and requires evacuation design improvements. Many jurisdictions also improved their evacuation facilities.

Learn more and read the guide here.

Celebrating 50 Years of Ocean and Coastal Conservation

2022 is a BIG year for ocean and coastal conservation! Not only is it the 50th anniversary for the CZMA, it is also the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Marine Mammals Protection Act, and National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Learn more here and follow #OceanAndCoasts50 on social media!

Learn about the CZMA 50th here!
CZMA at 50 Podcast Series

Join CSO's Executive Director, Derek Brockbank, in a five part podcast series to learn about the basis of the act, why it’s important, how it’s changed, and more.

All five episodes of the series are now available! Listen to all of them here or wherever you get your podcasts!

In the States and Regions

West Coast and Pacific

Coastal Washington Tribe Creates Higher Ground By Building Tsunami Tower, First of Its Type Here
There is a new option to escape a tsunami if you’re on the southwest coast of Washington when the Big One strikes. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe on Friday dedicated a 50-foot tall evacuation tower in Tokeland, Washington. Tribal leaders and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said the new tsunami refuge platform should be an example and inspiration for other vulnerable coastal communities. When the next magnitude 9.0 rip of the offshore Cascadia fault zone occurs, people on the Pacific Northwest coast will have about 15 to 35 minutes to get to high ground to escape a possible tsunami. Tokeland is on a long, flat peninsula with no high ground within walking or running distance for many of the people there. Read more

Nearly 100,000 Pounds of Marine Debris Removed from Reefs, Beaches At Papahānaumokuākea
A team of 16 freedivers recovered a staggering amount of marine debris last month off reefs and beaches in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. During a 27-day expedition, the nonprofit Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project found 97,295 pounds of ghost nets and plastics. The team returned to Honolulu on Saturday aboard the 185-foot ship M/V Imua. This is the fourth time the group has gone out to remove trash from the islands since 2020. The amount of trash picked up has been steady. “It is just shocking how much of it is up there," said Kevin O’Brien, the president of PMDP. "In 2007, NOAA published a research paper that estimated 52 metric tons, or 115,000 pounds, of just fishing nets wash up on the reefs of the National Monument every year. "A 30-day cleanup project like the one we just completed will only barely keep up with that influx," he said. Read more

East Coast and Caribbean

State Regulators Approve Dominion’s Nearly $10 Billion Wind Farm Off Virginia Beach Coast
State regulators approved an application from Dominion Energy Virginia to build an enormous offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia Beach and recover the cost from ratepayers. In its order, the State Corporation Commission noted that the 176-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project will likely be the single largest project in Dominion’s history and said that because of its size, complexity and location, it faces an array of challenges. The commission included in its order three “consumer protections,” including a performance standard. The commission’s order also approved facilities that will connect the wind farm to the existing transmission system. Read more

A Record Amount of Seaweed is Choking Shores in the Caribbean
A record amount of seaweed is smothering Caribbean coasts from Puerto Rico to Barbados as tons of brown algae kill wildlife, choke the tourism industry and release toxic gases. More than 24 million tons of sargassum blanketed the Atlantic in June, up from 18.8 million tons in May, according to a monthly report published by the University of South Florida's Optical Oceanography Lab that noted "a new historical record." July saw no decrease of algae in the Caribbean Sea, said Chuanmin Hu, an optical oceanography professor who helps produce the reports. Scientists say more research is needed to determine why sargassum levels in the region are reaching new highs, but the United Nations' Caribbean Environment Program says possible factors include a rise in water temperatures as a result of climate change and nitrogen-laden fertilizers and sewage waste fueling algae blooms. The Biden administration declared a federal emergency after the U.S. Virgin Islands warned last month of "unusually high amounts" of sargassum affecting water production at a desalination plant near St. Croix that is struggling to meet demand amid a drought. Read more

Great Lakes

New Tool Available to Track Harmful Algal Bloom Reports
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) are reminding Michiganders to be aware of the potential for harmful algal blooms (HABs) in bodies of water. To help the public know where HABs have been reported, a new Michigan Harmful Algal Bloom Reports map is now available online at Michigan.gov/HABsMap. HABs form due to a rapid growth of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, which are naturally found in lakes, rivers and ponds. Toxins found in cyanobacteria (cyanotoxins) that can be found in blooms can be harmful to people and animals. “The new Michigan Harmful Algal Bloom Reports map is an exciting tool to increase awareness of HABs and to help prevent related illness,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. Read more

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 4 Other Organizations and Great Lakes States to Look At Coastal Resiliency
It’s tough to forget the images from 2017 and 2019. Historic water levels on Lake Ontario that spilled over the shoreline in Niagara County and beyond. Between the flooding in 2017 and 2019, the cost of damage to the state alone was more than $6 million. On average, homeowners saw $95,000 in damage. Could there be relief on the way? There is finally federal funding coming for a study on coastal resiliency, offering a glimmer of hope. In April, a fight to get federal funding that started back in 2018, came to fruition. The Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study was awarded a half million dollars this year. The total cost of the four-year study is estimated at $10.5 million. Great Lakes states must come up with 25% of that. Read more

Gulf Coast

World's Rarest Sea Turtle Lays Eggs On New Galveston Beach
A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, the world's rarest and most endangered sea turtle species, recently made the Galveston shoreline its home, laying eggs on a new beach near the corner of Seawall and 86th Street. This rare sea turtle species—which also happens to be the official state turtle of Texas—has lost nesting habitats due to storms, high tide and predation, said Dr. Christopher Marshall, a professor of marine biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston, in a conversation with ABC 13. "The Kemp's Ridley sea turtle is one of the most endangered sea turtle species in the world, so every egg matters." The nesting was reportedly possible thanks to a beach "renourishment" project launched by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in partnership with the Galveston Park Board of Trustees, the City of Galveston and the Texas General Land Office. Since 2015, the USACE has routinely transferred fresh sand dredged from the Galveston Channel primarily to an area along the Galveston shoreline known as Babe's Beach, according to a recent news release. Read more

Why Louisiana Residents Struggle to Get Property Insurance During Hurricane Season
Tens of thousands of people in Louisiana are scrambling to get property insurance in the middle of hurricane season. Most big companies have quit covering the state's Gulf Coast. And smaller firms are going out of business after Louisiana endured two major hurricane strikes in the last two years. The insurance shake-up comes amid a slow-going disaster recovery. Read more

Events & Webinars

August 18, 2022

August 24, 2022

August 25, 2022

August 30-31, 2022

September 20-23, 2022

September 29, 2022

October 4, 2022

October 5, 2022

October 25-27, 2022

November 17, 2022

December 4-8, 2022


Finalists Announced for Over $1 Billion in Funding to Build Community Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events
Remaining selections have been announced for $1.16 billion in climate resilience funding through two competitive grant programs to help communities across the nation enhance climate and disaster resiliency.  The selections include $1B in large resilience projects under Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) national competition and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) community-wide flood mitigation projects. Selections are from Fiscal Year 2021 funding round with $1 billion made available through BRIC and $160 million made available for Flood Mitigation Assistance. Selected projects will help improve community resiliency to a multitude of hazards including floods, droughts and wildfires. Learn more here.

FEMA Releases Flood Risk Disclosure Model State Requirements
FEMA has released a new resource, Flood Risk Disclosure: Model State Requirements for Disclosing Flood Risk During Real Estate Transactions, which serves to help states, tribes, and territories to develop or refine existing real estate disclosure laws of mandated disclosure forms to strengthen their flood risk disclosure mechanisms. Currently there are 35 states that have enacted some form of legal or regulatory mechanism requiring property sellers to disclose factors related to flood risk about their property. Learn more here.

NOAA Releases Mitigation Policy for Trust Resources
NOAA released its first comprehensive Mitigation Policy for Trust Resources, aimed at improving conservation through effective mitigation of adverse impacts to marine, estuarine, and freshwater resources. This policy supports NOAA’s mission to conserve and restore marine, estuarine, and freshwater resources and the ecosystems that support them. NOAA’s policy strives to implement climate resilient mitigation options that will last into the future. Under this policy, NOAA will use mitigation principles to reach our program objectives, expand best practices across the country, and incentivize private-sector investments in mitigation banks. The policy emphasizes collaborating with underserved communities and stakeholders to incorporate social equity objectives into mitigation planning. Learn more here.

CERF 2023 Biennial Conference Call for Submissions Now Open
The Scientific Program Committee for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation’s 27th Biennial Conference (CERF 2023) invites proposals for Scientific Sessions and Workshops. "Resilience and Recovery" is the conference theme. The Committee is seeking Scientific Session Proposals, Workshop Proposals, and Design Competition Team Proposals. The deadline for submissions is September 19, 2022. Learn more and submit here.

USCRP Translating Coastal Research Into Application Grants
The U.S. Coastal Research Program is accepting proposals in anticipation of approximately $4,000,000 will be available to move research project findings detailed in The Nearshore Report (https://uscoastalresearch.org/publications) toward application through service delivery that integrates research, its application, and community engagement. The application deadline is August 30, 2022. Learn more here.

NOAA Seeks Nominations for Ocean Research Advisory Panel
NOAA is soliciting nominations for members of the Ocean Research Advisory Panel of the Ocean Policy Committee (OPC), a Cabinet-level interagency body mandated by Congress to coordinate ocean, coastal and Great Lakes science and technology and management policy across Federal agencies. NOAA is seeking nominations for members who represent the views of (1) ocean users, State, Tribal, territorial or local governments, academia, and such other views as the Co-Chairs of the Ocean Policy Committee consider appropriate; and (2) members eminent in the fields of marine science, marine technology, and marine policy, or related fields. Nominations are due August 15, 2022. Learn more here.

NOAA Releases Draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a draft Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy. The draft Strategy addresses agency policies and plans, research, and outreach. NOAA requests input on identifying underserved communities, eliminating barriers, and integrating equity and environmental justice into operations, programs, and policies. NOAA is accepting feedback on the draft through August 31, 2022. Read the draft here and submit feedback here.

2022 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be accepting photo submissions through September 5th, 2022 for the Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest. All photographers are welcome, regardless of skill level, and the organization will be accepting photos in four categories: Sanctuary Views, Sanctuary Life, Sanctuary Recreation, and Sanctuaries at Home. The winning photographs will be announced in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System. Learn more and submit your photos here.

NOAA RESTORE Science Program Funding Opportunity
The NOAA RESTORE Science Program announced the 2023 funding opportunity. The funding opportunity provides natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with the chance to compete for funding to conduct a collaborative, previously planned research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Letters of Intent are due August 15, 2022. Full proposals are due November 15, 2022. Learn more and see the full funding announcement here.

NOAA releases Restoration Blueprint for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries released a proposed rule and a revised draft management plan for the Restoration Blueprint—a significant update to Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s management plan, boundary, regulations, and marine zones. NOAA will accept public comment on the Restoration Blueprint through October 26, 2022. There will also be multiple advisory council and public information meetings will provide opportunities for engagement and public comment. Learn more here.

Job Openings

In The States

In The Agencies

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

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The views expressed in articles referenced here are those of the authors and do not represent or reflect the views of CSO.

If you have a news item or job posting to include in future CSO Newsletters, please send an email to: rkeylon@coastalstates.org with a subject line: "Newsletter Content". Please include the information to be considered in the body of the email.

Please note: CSO reserves final decision regarding published newsletter content and may not use all information submitted.

Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | cso@coastalstates.org | www.coastalstates.org
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