At the Agencies

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on proposals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act that would allow companies that are proposing to conduct geophysical surveys in the Atlantic Ocean using seismic air guns to incidentally, but not intentionally, harass marine mammals.  

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly today (June 2) announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Notices of Funding Opportunity for 10 DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.6 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation's readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
In the News
 
U.S. President Donald Trump promised to create a "first-class" system of roads, bridges and waterways in an speech in Cincinnati on Wednesday (June 7). He proposed using $200 billion in public funds to generate $1 trillion in investment to pay for construction projects.
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The threat to coastal regions posed by climate change, over development and other human caused stressors is well-established. Among the most prized and valuable land throughout the world, shorelines everywhere are imperiled by sea level rise, beach erosion and flooding. But a recently published NASA-funded research study in which Villanova University Biology Professor Samantha Chapman played a key role has discovered a new, natural phenomenon that could offer an economic and ecological solution to coastal wetland protection-the spread of mangrove trees.
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In the States and Regions 
 
East Coast 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is giving $10.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to improve public boating access and navigation throughout the state. The funding which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and signed by Governor Larry Hogan will go toward 49 projects in 18 counties from Allegany to Worcester.
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Mainland Miami ponders returning neighborhoods to nature in order to survive rising seas - On mainland Miami, miles away from the pumps that keep Biscayne Bay from slowly swallowing South Beach, the neighborhood around Ray Chasser's riverfront house sometimes seems like it's drowning one high tide at a time.
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After the emergency dredging at Green Harbor wrapped up this year, Marshfield town officials began looking at ways to repurpose material dredged up in the future.
Due to a misalignment of the jetties coming into Green Harbor, sediment builds up much quicker than it should, making the channel boaters use to get in and out of the harbor narrower and more shallow, Harbormaster Mike DiMeo said. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredges the area nearly every year, and dumps the sediment offshore. But that may change if the town is able to secure a grant to reuse the material.
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Gulf Coast 

The city of New Orleans will take ownership of the Gov. Nicholls Street and Esplanade Avenue wharves on the Mississippi River under a deal with the Port of New Orleans, connecting public access to the waterfront from Crescent Park all the way to Spanish Plaza downtown, city leaders announced Wednesday (June 7).
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Researchers at Tulane University have developed a subsidence map of coastal Louisiana, putting the rate at which this region is sinking at just over one third of an inch per year. The map, published in GSA Today, a monthly open-access publication of the Geological Society of America, has long been considered the "holy grail" by researchers and policy makers as they look for solutions to the coastal wetland loss crisis, the researchers said.
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Due to the efforts of the Louisiana and Arkansas congressional delegations, state and local groups, business and industry interests and the Ouachita River Valley Association, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allocate an additional $2 million in fiscal year 2017 appropriations funding to dredge the Ouachita-Black Rivers Navigation Project in Arkansas and Louisiana, according to Randy Denmon, president of ORVA. 
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

City proceeds on plans to fix sea wall near Waikiki Aquarium - The city is moving forward on plans to shore up a portion of the crumbling sea wall that protects Kapiolani Park between the Queen's Surf groin and the Waikiki Aquarium. Waves attack the sea wall, topping the structure and pooling water behind it, according to a recent report. The city portion of the sea wall, which last underwent major repairs in 1987, has problems with its foundation, damage to its concrete cap, missing and loose rocks, and cracks in its retaining walls, the report said. Repairing the wall could cost $1.8 to $3.1 million.

Great Lakes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District announces additions to its fiscal year 2017 program based on the recently approved Work Plan. The additional $16.5 million will be used in 2017 to repair breakwaters, dredge harbors, repair critical components at the Soo Locks and complete various projects and studies throughout the Great Lakes.
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Announcements & More   

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.

State expands nationwide search for head of N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

RALEIGH  -  State environmental officials are reopening and expanding their nationwide search for a director for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

The position is responsible for managing North Carolina's marine and estuarine resources. The director manages 320 full-time, seasonal and temporary employees and a $36 million annual budget. Among its responsibilities, the Division of Marine Fisheries regulates fish and shellfish harvests, sets catch limits for fishermen, monitors fish harvests, and inspects seafood processing and distribution facilities. The position, which was reposted Tuesday on the state's job posting website, will remain open until 5 p.m. June 23. People interested in applying for the state Division of Marine Fisheries' position or learning more about it can visit:
The Coastal Conservancy announces the availability of technical assistance to help vulnerable communities develop Climate Ready Projects.  The Climate Ready Program seeks to encourage local governments and non-governmental organizations to take steps to prepare for a changing climate by advancing planning and implementation of on-the-ground actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or lessen the impacts of climate change on California's coastal communities and natural resources. Applications are due on June 30, 2017. Link to the Grant Announcement and to the FAQ.  
 
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 
 
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.   

 

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.