At the Agencies   
 
USDA

Dover, New Hampshire, January 30, 2018 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages people and groups wanting to protect critical wetlands, agricultural lands and grasslands to consider enrolling their property into conservation easements. This year, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $250 million in technical and financial assistance to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts, and other groups protect these valuable lands.

The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) focuses on restoring and protecting wetlands as well as conserving productive agricultural lands and grasslands. Landowners are compensated for enrolling their land in easements. "Protecting these lands preserves New Hampshire's heritage, natural resources and open space," said Rick Ellsmore, NRCS New Hampshire State Conservationist. "Easements are also important tools for people who are trying to improve the management of their land."

A
pplications for ACEP are taken on a continuous basis, and are ranked and considered for funding several times per year. The next New Hampshire deadline is March 2, 2018.
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EPA

EPA provides $1.3 million to states for diesel reduction efforts. Clean diesel projects throughout the Northwest and Alaska are receiving a $1.3 million boost from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grants from its Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program.
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This webinar, titled "EPA's Storm Water Management Model (SWMM)", is scheduled for Tuesday February 20th at 12pm Eastern. 
 
Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) developed the draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy (Investment Strategy) per a request by the Government Accountability Office after Hurricane Sandy. The Investment Strategy is intended to provide a national approach to investments in mitigation activities and risk management across all levels of government and the private and non-profit sectors in order to reduce the nation's exposure to disaster losses. Additional information on the effort and the Investment Strategy can be found  here
 
The current draft of the Investment Strategy contains initial ideas about how to improve mitigation investment, focusing on themes such as improved collaboration across sectors, innovative financing, shared fiscal responsibility, increased data sharing, improved risk-informed communication, and a resilient built environment. The draft document, however, is just that - a draft - it offers only a starting point for arriving at a final, national strategy. It is intended to provoke feedback and input from diverse perspectives - we need your feedback to help make this a truly national strategy. A copy of the draft document and a fact sheet on the effort are attached.
 
Please review this draft and, based on your experience and expertise, provide feedback, any specific ideas, illustrations or examples that could add to or improve the recommendations, and thoughts on implementation. Comments can be submitted to the development team at  FEMA-NMIS@fema.dhs.gov .  
 
The MitFLG intends to finalize the Investment Strategy by the fall of 2018. In order to meet this ambitious timeline, comments are requested by March 11, 2018.

USACE

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today (Feb 9) published in the Federal Register its request for proposals for beneficial use of dredged material pilot projects pursuant to Section 1122 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, Beneficial Use of Dredged Material. Proposals must be submitted to USACE on or before March 12, 2018. More information on the program and solicitation can be found in the Federal Register notice, 83 Fed. Reg. 5763 (Feb. 9, 2018).
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In the News   

Atlantic coast states might be protesting President Trump's plan to expand offshore oil drilling, but they're increasingly embracing a different kind of seaborne energy: wind.
States bordering the outer continental shelf are looking for carbon-free electricity, even as the Trump administration rolls back rules requiring it. Last week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that his state will aim for 3,500 megawatts of installed offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 1 million homes. Massachusetts has a goal to build 1,600 MW of offshore wind power by 2027, and New York has committed to 2,400 MW by 2030.
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Investing in healthy reefs, wetlands, and other natural systems - or "green infrastructure" - will significantly reduce the impacts of flooding, storms, and wildfires. And in many cases green infrastructure can be more cost-effective than traditional gray infrastructure, particularly for coastal protection. These investments will also boost local economies, improve public health, and bolster ecosystems.
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In the States and Regions 
 
East Coast  
 
Coastal cities across the world are at a high risk of flooding by the end of the century, according to the results of a shocking new study. Sea levels are set to rise by at least two feet (65cm) by 2100, more than twice as much as predicted by some models. Melting ice in Greenland and Antarctica is largely responsible for the trend,experts say,described by the team as a 'game changer' in the climate change debate. It could mean places as far flung as South Florida, Bangladesh, Shanghai and parts of Washington, D.C. being engulfed by rising waters.
  Read more  

Today (Feb 8), in advance of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's public meeting on the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas leasing program today in Tallahassee, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Noah Valenstein submitted a letter opposing the inclusion of any lease sales in Florida's coastal and offshore areas.
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Gulf Coast 

A new Mississippi State research project will study a wetland restoration approach along the Gulf of Mexico, and findings will help improve future environmental restoration efforts. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the organization's Gulf Research Program recently announced that the MSU project is among five newly funded projects focused on enhancing environmental restoration outcomes, along with two others focused on improving information about public health risks resulting from oil spills.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

The Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve has begun work to restore 61 acres of lost coastal salt marsh in the Elkhorn Slough. The work, which started in January, adds soil from the Pajaro River flood control project to increase the elevation of drowned marshes. Organizers say the $3 million restoration project will help protect wetlands from sea level rise, provide healthy habitat for sea otters, and capture greenhouse gases.
 
Great Lakes

The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes has released the 2017 State of the Great Lakes Report. The report highlights the Great Lakes connection to Michigan's environment, economy, and culture. The annual State of the Great Lakes Report is produced by the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. It reflects on the past year, recognizes accomplishments in protecting and restoring water resources, and identifies obstacles to tackle to ensure healthy natural resources and communities. Some of the points in the 2017 report include the 40-year anniversary of Michigan's Coastal Program, a new Michigan Water School for elected officials and exciting potential applications for autonomous vessels in the Great Lakes for shipping and scientific data collection.
It also includes tips for community members to make a positive impact on their local water resources, connects to the Michigan Water Strategy and features water-related initiatives across the state. The full report can be found here.
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Announcements & More   
 
Show your support for Estuaries!

Please join Restore America's Estuaries, NERRA, and the Association of National Estuary Programs on a social media campaign  #IHeartEstuaries to help protect, conserve, and restore estuaries around the country. 

The Climate Resilience Fund (CRF) is accepting Proposals for Spring 2018!

This grant competition will focus on coordination of climate adaptation and resilience services. Grants will be made available to qualifying organizations seeking support for collaborative projects that build upon existing resources that support climate change adaptation and resilience activities and outcomes. Concepts for the 2018 Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem competition are due February 23, 2018. For more information, please download the Request for Proposals. 

Coral Reef Task Force Meeting Announcement
 
The 39th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting will be held in Washington D.C. from February 19th to the 23rd. The public Business Meeting will be held from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 22 at the Main Department of Interior Auditorium, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC, 20240. For more information, please click here .  
 
FEMA and Interagency Partners Release Draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy for Public Comment
 
For our nation to become more resilient, we must develop a more effective and efficient way to invest in mitigation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tasked the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) to develop a National Mitigation Investment Strategy (Investment Strategy). As of January 11, the public is encouraged to review the draft Investment Strategy and provide comment.The draft Investment Strategy makes a series of recommendations, organized by six desired outcomes which, if met, could result in a nation better equipped for, and less vulnerable to, natural hazards. The draft Investment Strategy provides a national approach to investments in mitigation activities and risk management across federal, state, local, and territorial and tribal government and the private and non-profit sectors.
 
Comments on the draft Investment Strategy will be accepted until March 11, 2018 either through email to fema-nmis@fema.dhs.gov or through the IdeaScale site at  https://fema.ideascale.com/a/ideas/recent/campaign-filter/byids/campaigns/60968.
 
To learn more about FEMA's commitment to the National Mitigation Investment Strategy and building a true culture of preparedness across all communities, read Investing in Mitigation to Build a More Resilient Nation at www.fema.gov/blog.
 
Worth Exploring! Using Nature to Address Flooding
  
Explore Different Types of Nature-Based Solutions - http://nrcsolutions.org/ 
Nature offers a powerful set of tools for addressing hazards like flooding and erosion. Nature-based solutions use natural systems, mimic natural processes, or work in tandem with traditional approaches to address these specific hazards. Communities across the country- along rivers or coasts, large or small, rural or urban - can incorporate nature-based solutions in local planning, zoning, regulations, and built projects to help reduce their exposure to flood and erosion impacts.

Training  
 
Environmental Communications Planning  
This course is designed to give environmental professionals the necessary tools to write a successful and comprehensive Communications Plan. These plans can be used internally, to manage change or initiatives within an organization, or externally to communicate a message to stakeholders and/or the public. For more information, click here. 

Restoration Ecology 
Using Mitigation and Sustainable Design Techniques to Reduce Stormwater Impacts and Increase Storm Resiliency. For more information, click here.  
 
Grant Opportunities

NOAA Coastal Resilience
Pre-proposals are due by 11:59 PM Eastern time, on March 7, 2018. Full proposals from eligible applicants should be submitted through www.Grants.gov by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the date to be provided directly to eligible applicants. 
 
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  
 
Date & time: February 15, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET  
 
Date & time: February 22, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET  
 
Seminars are open to the public. For remote access, location, abstracts and more, visit the OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar at:   http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/seminars/ 
Seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice; please check the web page for the latest seminar updates.   

Events & Webinars      

February 21 - 22, 2018 
March 6 - 8, 2018
May 9, 2018
June  11- 14, 2018
September 17 -19, 2018 December 8 - 13, 2018
Call for Proposals Now Available
 
Investing In Our Coasts: Environment, Economy, Culture

America's coasts continue to be a focal point for gauging our nation's well-being on many fronts. The Summit theme, "Investing In Our Coasts: Environment, Economy, Culture," explores the wide variety of roles our coasts play, ranging from economic to environmental to cultural.  
 
RAE welcomes you to submit a proposal for the Program and participate via an oral presentation, dedicated or alternative session, or poster. Please see the Call for Proposals for details and plan to join us!
 
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.  

If you have a news item or job posting to include in future CSO Newsletters, please send an email to: gwilliams@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.