CSO Newsletter
The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
Highlights in Building Strong Coasts
This month, the NOAA Office for Coastal Management (OCM) is highlighting resources, tools, and projects that are aimed at building strong, resilient coasts.

One highlight is an example from Puerto Rico

Vida Marina, using funding from the Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Coastal Resilience Fund, used innovative restoration techniques to restore dunes following Hurricane Maria. The innovative techniques included using aerial imagery and biomimicry to promote sand accumulation that is resistant to storm surge and wave action. They used these techniques to restore 23 sites along the north coast of Puerto Rico. Learn more about this project here.

Learn more about NOAA's coastal resilience tools and other State and Territory coastal resilience projects by following the #StrongCoast campaign on NOAA OCM's Facebook and Twitter all this month!
In the States and Regions
Gulf Coast
Federal Hurricane Prevention for New Orleans that Cost Billions Worked During Ida, Senators Agree
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Ida was the $14.5 billion system’s “first big test,” Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Thomas E. Carper, (D-Del.), said. Carper and ranking Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said the system of levees and flood walls passed the test with flying colors — at least in the New Orleans area. Col. Stephen Murphy, the commander of the Corps’ New Orleans District, agreed with the senators’ assessment. Before Katrina, the patchwork of hurricane prevention infrastructure was “a system in name only,” Murphy said. The federally funded system upgrades kept the damage from Ida from being much worse, he said. “While we couldn’t be more proud of the performance of the greater New Orleans area’s Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System and how it validated the massive national investment of $14.5 billion, other parts of the state were not as fortunate,” Murphy said. Read more

A $5M Beach Renourishment Project: 268,500 Tons of Sand Coming to these Collier County Beaches
Collier commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to spend nearly $5 million to renourish three county beach areas with work set to begin late this month. The board voted to award Phillips and Jordan, a civil and infrastructure contractor, an agreement to haul sand to portions of Naples, Vanderbilt and Pelican Bay beaches. “We are required by permit to do an annual beach monitoring — essentially a survey of beaches up and down Collier’s beaches,” Andy Miller, coastal zone manager for the county, said. “We rely on our consultant who does surveys to make recommendations for which beaches have eroded, which beaches need the sand.” Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
NJ Plans to Expand Buyouts of Flood-Prone Properties
New Jersey’s program to buy out flood-prone houses is being redesigned to include properties that are expected to flood in response to climate change as well as those that are already eligible for state purchase because of repeated flooding in the past. A new version of the Blue Acres program will add a proactive element to its existing policy which reacts to events like Tropical Storm Ida by buying and demolishing flood-prone properties whose owners have voluntarily offered them for sale to the state. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette called the updated program “Blue Acres 3.0” because it’s a progression from the first version that began in the 1990s and the second one that sharply expanded the program after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Given forecasts for bigger storms, more rainfall, higher temperatures, and rising seas because of climate change, it’s time to anticipate those events with the program, and to integrate it with the state’s resilience strategy, LaTourette said. Read more

Resilience Planning — And A Few Innovative Ideas — Top State’s First Flood Fund Grants
Of 19 flood preparedness projects Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration pledged to fund last week using $7.8 million in carbon auction money, more than a dozen aim to study and set up frameworks for how local governments can best put money on the ground in future years. The focus on long-term planning can be seen in grant applications for local governments from the town of Oyster on the Eastern Shore to Buchanan County in the southwestern coalfields, where this August flash flooding in Hurley knocked 20 houses off their foundations and left one dead. “We’re looking at this as an opportunity to lay out a plan for the future and take our most jeopardized areas and really protect them,” said Winchester City Engineer Kelly Henshaw. Read more
Great Lakes
Town of Yates Shoreline Project Kicks Off
New York Governor, Kathy Hochul, said that construction has already begun on a $2.5 million resiliency project awarded to the Town of Yates – part of New York State's Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. During the historic flooding of 2019, the park experienced substantial erosion along the shoreline. The recreational space was inundated with water due to poor run off conditions, posing safety risks for park goers and inhibiting use of the park. The resiliency work to be undertaken will stabilize the shoreline, mitigate future flooding, and ensure continued access to Yates Town Park during high water events. Read more

Port Clinton's Waterfront Walk, Marina Project Underway
Work on the long-awaited waterfront walkway project along the Portage River near downtown Port Clinton has finally broken ground after some final tweaks in the lengthy planning process. The multimillion-dollar project calls for the construction of a 900-foot linear boardwalk along the Portage River from Jefferson Street to the east jetty, along with other improvements. Highlights of the plan include a marina with numerous full service floating slips with electrical, water service and fire protection in the river location. The project has been making progress toward the eventual start of construction for several years since being awarded a $1.9 million grant from ODOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program in 2017. Prior to that, extensive planning for the project was funded through the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Coastal Management Access Grant, which the city was awarded in November 2015. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
DLNR: Coastal Properties Face Expensive Challenges in Combating Erosion
“The options available to land managers and owners of coastal properties facing serious beach erosion are limited, expensive, and unlikely to provide permanent fixes,” according to conclusions of a presentation made to the Board of Land and Natural Resources on Friday. Shellie Habel, a coastal geologist with the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Program, is assigned to the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands. Her update to land board members pointed to the difficulties involved in combating beach erosion. 
“The challenges are mounting to the degree that DLNR will need to clarify its goals and focus its effort accordingly to effectively steward coastal resources,” Habel said. Read more

Pacific Coastal Research & Planning Completes Removal of Derelict Fishing Vessel Lady Carolina from Saipan Lagoon
Pacific Coastal Research & Planning a Saipan-based environmental non-profit organization, is pleased to announce the successful completion of the project to remove the derelict fishing vessel Lady Carolina from the central Saipan Lagoon. The Lady Carolina was an 83-foot, 54-ton, steel-hulled fishing vessel that had been grounded in a shallow, highly visible area of the central Saipan Lagoon since it broke free of its mooring during the devastating passing of category 4 Typhoon Soudelor in August 2015. The vessel was further damaged during Typhoon Yutu in 2018. This removal project was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This project also received continuous support from local government agencies, including Commonwealth Ports Authority, Bureau of Environmental Coastal Quality’s Division of Coastal Resources Management and Division of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Lands and Natural Resources and DLNR-Division of Fish and Wildlife. Read more
Events & Webinars
New Initiative to Make Climate Information and Decision Tools More Accessible
The Biden Administration is launching a whole-of-government initiative to deliver accessible and actionable information to individuals and communities that are being hit by flooding, drought, wildfires, extreme heat, coastal erosion, and other intensifying climate impacts. The initiative will include:
  • A launch by NOAA of a redesigned Climate.gov that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the accessibility of accurate and timely climate information.
  • The release of two new reports delivered to the National Climate Task Force outlining the ways the federal government will improve access to climate tools and services. 
  • The initiation of a process by FEMA to assess the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) standards to help communities align their construction and land–use practices with the latest understandings of flood risk reduction. RFI available here.
Learn more about the initiative and additional actions here.

NOAA Listening Sessions: Shaping the Future of Coastal Flooding Tools for Long Term Decision-Making. 
NOAA is seeking to better understand information needs of the planning community to improve resilience to coastal flooding. Join a webinar on November 8, 2021, 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern) to learn about several existing NOAA products for coastal hazards reduction and resilience planning, and provide input for how NOAA can better fit your needs. Register here.

Call for Abstracts: 2022 ASFPM Annual National Conference
The Call for Abstracts seeks a broad range of professionals to submit for 30-minute concurrent sessions and/or 2-4 hour workshops that address issues, problems, and solutions associated with managing and communicating flood risk, making communities more resilient, and protecting floodplains and fragile natural resources. Submissions are due October 31, 2021. Learn more and submit here.

Call for Abstracts: Gulf of Mexico Conference
The Gulf of Mexico Conference (GOMCON) seeks to promote the integration of science and management into decision making. To support that goal, the Executive Committee invites abstracts for presentations across a variety of topics and geographies from within the Gulf region. Learn more and submit here.

IOOS Association is Seeking Nominations for the 2022 Caraid Award
The IOOS Association created the Caraid Award in 2020 as an annual award to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to observing and understanding our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes through vision, leadership, friendship and collaboration. Nominations for the 2022 CARAID award are now open. Candidates can be an individual, a group, or an organization that has contributed to observing and understanding the oceans, coasts, and/or Great Lakes through collaboration, innovation, and/or a commitment to working with stakeholder. Learn more here.

FEMA Local Hazard Mitigation Planning Course
FEMA offers a two-day local mitigation planning course that can be taken in-person or virtually. The training covers the fundamentals of mitigation planning requirements for communities. This training is intended for local community officials, emergency managers, planners, planning consultants and other individuals or sectors who are involved in hazard mitigation planning. Learn more about this and other courses here.

Upcoming NOAA Office for Coastal Management Trainings
NOAA's Office for Coastal Management regularly offers on demand and instructor-led trainings through the Digital Coast Academy. Upcoming trainings include:
  • Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication, October 28, 2021, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here.
  • Coastal Adaptation Planning Essentials, November 30-December 2, 2021, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here.

Climate Change in the West: Submit Your Photos
Calling all students in 5th through 12th grade! Send in your photos showing how climate change has impacted you or your community in the West before November 15, 2021. Winning submissions will be shared with NOAA climate experts who will develop a written response about the climate impact or change captured in the photo, and both the photos and responses will be shared on the NOAA Western Region website. Applicants from across the U.S. are eligible, but photos must be taken in one of these western states: Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Learn more and submit your photos here

NOAA’s Community Resilience Education Grant Competition Now Open
announce the NOAA Environmental Literacy Program’s new funding opportunity for community resilience education. Through environmental literacy, projects will build resilience to extreme weather and climate change. This funding opportunity is soliciting requests of $250,000 - $500,000 for two types of projects through separate competitive priorities. The first deadline for pre-applications is November 1, 2021. Learn more here.

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship
It’s an exciting two-year fellowship program that will place one graduate student at each of the 29 national estuarine research reserves. Through a research project, fellows address a key reserve management need to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies. The research reserves represent the apex of estuary science. At these coastal sites, fieldwork, research, and community engagement come together to create the scientific advances that change our communities and our world. Applications are due December 10, 2021. Learn more and apply here.

Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowship
Any U.S. citizen who will complete a master’s or other advanced degree at an accredited U.S. university between August 1, 2020, and July 31, 2022, is eligible to apply for the Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowships. A variety of degrees are applicable to the fellowship because the projects are new and different each year. Previous fellows have had degrees in environmental studies, natural resource management, marine affairs, marine science, geology, public affairs, communications, social sciences, and regional land management. The most important prerequisite is an interest in coastal issues. Application packages must be submitted to the Sea Grant program office in the state where you earned your degree by January 21, 2022. Learn more about the Fellowships and how to apply here.

NOAA Office of Education 2022 Undergraduate Scholarship Applications Now Open
The Hollings Scholarship Program and the EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program are accepting applications until Monday, January 31, 2022. The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship provides funds for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that directly support NOAA's mission. Participants conduct research at a NOAA facility during two paid summer internships. Since 2001, 219 students have completed the program and over 75% go on to graduate school.
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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.

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