At the Agencies
Scientists beginning a new four-and-a-half year
of deep-sea coral, canyon, and gas seep ecosystems in the mid- and south Atlantic depart from Norfolk, Va., on September 12. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are collaborating on the study, which will shed light on little-known natural resources of the deep ocean off the United States' Southeast coast.
NOAA has announced nine research grants will go to organizations around the country seeking to better understand and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms, known as HABs.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $630,000 grant to the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, which is housed at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. The funds will go towards efforts to reduce nutrient pollution; protect and restore key habitats and improve resilience and community education around the Casco Bay Watershed.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today (Oct 2) announced final regulations that define the process used by its Marine Minerals Program for issuing negotiated, noncompetitive agreements for sand, gravel, and shell resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The rule describes who may qualify for a negotiated agreement, the application process for qualifying projects, and codifies new and existing procedures for using federal sand, gravel, and shell resources for shore protection, beach restoration or coastal wetland restoration projects undertaken by federal, state and local governments. It also addresses the use of OCS resources for construction projects authorized or funded by the federal government.
In the States and Regions
The Board of Public Works today (Sept. 20) approved funding for a new
Coastal Resiliency Grant Program
to help Maryland's coastal communities enhance their resiliency to the effects of extreme storms and weather. The
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
program will help design four shoreline improvement demonstration projects across the state with an additional two projects pending. "Maryland is one of the most vulnerable states to the effects of a changing climate and sea level rise," Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. "This innovative new program - the first of its kind - will use natural and nature-based solutions to help protect coastal communities, infrastructure and public resources from climate-related impacts, such as erosion, flooding, storm surge and more."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) three grants totaling $16,697,817 million to administer environmental programs, continue water quality management planning, and protect its beaches.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently issued an emergency order that will expedite the process for seawall eligibility and waive associated fees, enabling certain coastal residents of St. Johns County to protect their property from future hurricanes. But, there's an Oct. 4 deadline for residents to submit applications for review.
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has been awarded a $14.2 million grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) to complete engineering and design activities for the Mississippi River Reintroduction into Maurepas Swamp project under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).
West Coast and Pacific Islands
The Washington Department of Ecology has denied a water quality permit sought by
Millennium Bulk Terminals
to construct and operate the largest coal export terminal in North America.
denied the permit
because the coal export terminal near Longview would have caused significant and unavoidable harm to nine environmental areas: air quality, vehicle traffic, vessel traffic, rail capacity, rail safety, noise pollution, social and community resources, cultural resources, and tribal resources.
"After extensive study and deliberation, I am denying Millennium's proposed coal export project," said Ecology Director Maia Bellon. "There are simply too many unavoidable and negative environmental impacts for the project to move forward."
Some of the environmental impacts from building the coal terminal would have included:
- filling 24 acres of wetlands,
- dredging 41.5 acres of the Columbia riverbed,
- installing 537 pilings in the river for a new trestle and docks.
Lifesaving Beach Initiative Reaches More than a Million
Over just 12 months, 2,019 life jackets, throw rings, public signs, and other types of safety equipment were delivered to 50 beaches across the Great Lakes region. Related outreach materials and a social media campaign on drowning prevention were seen by more than 1.4 million people. The results are lifesaving, as in the case of a beachgoer who jumped off Lake Michigan's Whiting Park Pier, entered the active drowning phase, and would have died if not for trained first responders armed with a throw ring and throw bag. Led by the nonprofit Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium and supported by the NOAA Coastal Storms Program, the partnership included the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, and NOAA's National Weather Service and Office for Coastal Management. (2017)
The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has awarded five small grants to promote green infrastructure in communities across the binational Great Lakes region. The grants will help bring resources and expertise to small and medium-sized communities that have not yet tried or have struggled to advance green infrastructure (known as Low Impact Development or LID on the Canadian side of the basin), a cost-effective approach to water management that restores or mimics the natural water cycle.
Announcements & More
Mark your calendar! And share!
NOAA's Office for Coastal Management has recently launched several new or updated products related to natural infrastructure and coastal resilience.
How to Map Open Space for Community Rating System Credit: NOAA has produced an interactive, online How to and companion GIS Workflow and Mapping Guide to help communities earn credits in FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS) program by mapping and documenting preserved open space. They can be found at:
Under the CRS, participating communities can earn discounts on NFIP flood insurance policy premiums through their efforts to reduce their flood risk, including preservation of open space in flood hazard areas. These new resources help communities identify places where they could earn credit for existing and future efforts to preserve open space in floodplains. The "How to" outlines the process - from mapping to documentation of preserved open space - in seven easy-to-understand steps, geared for community CRS coordinators and planners. The companion GIS workflow provides geospatial (GIS) analysts with information on data, information, and instruction needed for key mapping tasks.
Also new on Digital Coast:
NOAA has also recently launched on Digital Coast:
- New Peer-to-peer case studies , which share how practitioners are implementing natural infrastructure and their lessons learned.
- A new Green Infrastructure Benefits Handout, which helps communicate with local officials about the benefits of green infrastructure to reduce climate and hazard impacts. It provides benefits, key points, and short success stories.
- An update to our How to Consider Climate Change in Coastal Conservation online self-guided resource, which now includes new worksheets to help users work through the steps as well as case studies and additional resources
Join American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) at their National Coastal Conference, with the theme, "Beaches, Bays and Beyond", in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 24-27. Program and registration online at http://asbpa.org/conferences/.
MARINE PLANNING PROCESS - Course
October 16-December 15, 2017
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017
Date & Time: October 10, 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET
Title: Synthesis of public water supply use in the United States: Spatio-temporal patterns and socio-economic controls.
Date & Time: October 18, 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET SSMC4 Large Conference Room #8150
Date & Time: January 25, 2018 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET
Seminars are open to the public. For remote access, location, abstracts and more, visit the OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar at:
Seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice; please check the web page for the latest seminar updates.
Events & Webinars
October 4 , 2017
October 16 - 20, 2017
October 18, 2017
October 21, 2017
November 8 - 9 , 2017
February 21 - 22, 2018
June 11- 14, 2018
July 2 - 5, 2018
December 8 - 13, 2018