At the Agencies

The U.S. Commerce Department today (June 28) announced the appointment of 22 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 12.
Read more

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Florida Department of Environmental Protection a grant for $1.38 million to support a broad range of environmental programs. "The EPA is protecting the environment by engaging our state partners," said Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This grant will help Florida meet their local environmental needs." The funds being provided will support the state to continue the operation of its environmental programs while giving greater flexibility to address environmental priorities, and strengthen its partnership with EPA.
Read more

President Trump and Secretary Zinke Open up Comment Period for New 5-Year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program.  Today( June 29), at an Energy Week event hosted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, President Donald J. Trump announced that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has taken action to open up the public comment period for a new 5-year National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). President Trump announced on stage that the comment period is the first step in executing the new 5-year plan which was put in action by the April 28 executive order on American Energy.  The 2017-2022 Five Year Program , which is set to begin this summer, will continue to be executed until the new National OCS Program is complete.
In the News
The House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday afternoon will mark up its fiscal 2018 spending bill for the Interior Department and U.S. EPA.
The legislation, which the committee will unveil tomorrow, is expected to diverge from the Trump administration's budget blueprint, which proposed steep cuts for various EPA and Interior programs popular with lawmakers and constituents.  The White House wants to slash EPA's budget by 31 percent and is seeking an approximate 13 percent cut overall for Interior in fiscal 2018. But Republican and Democratic appropriators in both chambers have said they are uncomfortable over a bevy of proposed cuts targeting a wide range of programs, from regional water cleanup initiatives to land acquisition and conservation efforts. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this past week providing $45 million in flood relief to communities along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, where record-high water levels have damaged property and severely affected many businesses.  The pared-down legislation - originally pegged at $90 million - expands eligibility and funding for programs previously announced by Cuomo and will provide assistance to homeowners, small businesses, farms, not-for-profit organizations, homeowner associations, owners of multiple dwellings and local governments that have suffered direct physical damage due to flooding.

In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

From Florida to California, communities are struggling with large algae blooms. The algae chokes lakes and estuaries and sometimes are toxic. In many coastal areas, communities are beginning to tackle a major contributor to offshore pollution, residential septic systems.
Read more

More than a decade of collaboration with multiple state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, steered the design of Brevard County's Mid Reach Beach Mitigation project, which is now underway east of the Satellite Beach shoreline.
Read more

A new online tool has been launched to inform and educate decision-makers, including local Planning Boards, on how to properly address the effects of sea level rise, extreme weather events and storm surge in the Ocean State. The website, titled PREP-RI, provides what is called "resilience education" by using videos and other data that will educate people about coastal concerns.  
Read more

Gulf Coast 

The Baton Rouge-based Water Institute of the Gulf will work with Deltares, a Netherlands-based water think tank, to develop a variety of coastal protection and restoration solutions that can be used in both countries and other locations around the world, the two organizations announced Monday.
Read more

The Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition, made up of five national and local environmental groups, will get $15 million over two years to continue supporting Louisiana's implementation of its coastal master plan restoration projects, the Walton Family Foundationannounced Monday (June 26). The coalition includes the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.

West Coast and Pacific Islands 

In California, a major wind power project aims to capture the Central Coast's wind and turn it into electricity. Trident Winds proposes to build a wind farm of 60 to 100 turbines off the coast, from Cayucos to north of Piedras Blancas.
Great Lakes

The Canada-United States Collaboration for Great Lakes Water Quality says Lake Erie's general health is in poor condition and deteriorating -- due to problems like harmful algae blooms.

Press Release - Governor Scott Walker announced $2.4 million in grants today (July 10) to protect and improve the Great Lakes resources in Wisconsin's coastal communities. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration's Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the 34 grants will be used by local and state governments, regional planning commissions, universities, and nonprofit organizations to assist with projects totaling nearly $2.4 million. 
Announcements & More   

Worth reading! 

Researchers release a study on ecological restoration economy concluding that "the domestic ecological restoration sector directly employs ~ 126,000 workers and generates ~ $9.5 billion in economic output (sales) annually. This activity supports an additional 95,000 jobs and $15 billion in economic output through indirect (business-to-business) linkages and increased household spending."

Mark your calendar!

The Association of State Floodplain Managers invites you to participate on the National Flood Mitigation & Flood Proofing Workshop on August 14 -17!

The workshop will focus on the following questions: 
  • How do we mitigate against flood risk?
  • How do we make sure existing and new development becomes more resilient to flood hazards?
During the workshop you will  learn  tools, techniques and best practices that the nation's leading floodplain managers, engineers, architects, designers, emergency managers, property managers, owners and others can use to reduce flood risk.

The National Wildlife Federation announced the release of a new publication, Building Ecological Solutions to Coastal Community Hazards: A Guide For New Jersey Coastal CommunitiesThe guide outlines ecological approaches to mounting coastal hazards such as sea level rise, erosion, saltwater intrusion, flooding and coastal storms. It presents clear solutions that are actionable at the municipal level, highlighting four important coastal systems for New Jersey: coastal urban areas, beaches and dunes, coastal forests and shrublands, and tidal marshes, providing case studies, specific recommendations, and regulatory background. 
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  
Tile: Green Fins: A tool for reducing the direct impacts of diving and tourism industries
Date & Time: July 13, 2017 - 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET 

Tile: Timing the flood: sea level rise, tidal flooding and future exposure along America's coasts
Date & Time:  August 10, 2017 - 4 pm - 5 pm - SSMC4 Large Conference Room #8150

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.   


The Voice of the Coastal States and Territories on Ocean, Coastal & Great Lakes Affairs


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