CSO Newsletter
The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.
Save the Date! September 29 - October 1, 2020
2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Summit Goes Virtual!
Join CSO and Restore America's Estuaries for a highly-interactive,  virtual 2020 Summit September 29 - October 1, 2020 ! We will  provide additional information  once we work through the logistics of going to a Virtual format.
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
Explore Thousands of Habitat Restoration Projects with the NOAA Restoration Atlas
Since 1991, the NOAA Restoration Center has supported restoration projects across the United States. The Restoration Atlas is an interactive tool that lets you browse more than 3,100 of those projects by location, habitat type, and more.

Through the  Restoration Atlas , visitors can access nearly 30 years’ worth of habitat restoration work—spanning  wetlands rivers oyster beds coral reefs , and more. You can view project information by browsing the map or filtering by topics such as location, habitat type, or restoration technique.

Learn more here !
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
Corps Proposes $4.6B Plan to Steel Miami for Storm Surge
A $4.6-billion U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to protect Miami from future storm surge, largely by building massive sea walls and elevating infrastructure systems, is the latest of such plans the agency has developed for East Coast communities. The Corps unveiled a draft of the Miami-Dade Back Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study, including its proposed plan to protect the most vulnerable parts of the region, and held virtual public hearings. The Corps is also developing similar programs for Charleston, S.C., and the Florida Keys.  Read more

Additional Analysis Issued for Offshore Wind Project
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed a supplement to its draft environmental analysis of the proposed Vineyard Wind offshore energy project. The BOEM is now requesting public comment. Vineyard Wind is proposing an 800-megawatt energy project located approximately 12 nautical miles offshore Martha’s Vineyard and 12 nautical miles offshore Nantucket in the northern portion of its lease area. Read more
Great Lakes
Great Lakes Advisory Board in Grand Rapids Re-established
The U.S. EPA reestablished the  Great Lakes Advisory Board . According to the EPA , the members of the re-established Great Lakes Advisory Board will provide expertise to assist EPA and its federal partners in making progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes, as reported by Region 5 Administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager Kurt Thiede. Read more

Metroparks Study a Small Step in Long, Unlikely Journey to Move I-90, Reunite Gordon Park
A $125,000 grant was awarded earlier this year to the Cleveland Metroparks by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to look at the I-90 section near Gordon Park and “examine the potential for the beneficial re-use of local dredge materials to create natural habitats such as emergent wetlands, shrub habitat, and coastal mud flats along the shoreline to create additional habitat for bird, fish, and other species.” The Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Office of Coastal Management, and City of Cleveland have each pitched in to cover the $251,000 cost of the study, which has been christened the “Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study,” or CHEERS. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
Whatcom Land Trust to Buy, Protect Wetland Near Creek
The Washington Department of Ecology has partnered with Whatcom Land Trust on a conservation project that would protect coastal wetland and the fish and wildlife who depend on it. The Whatcom Land Trust has received a $915,000 grant to buy and protect wetland along  California  Creek. The grant is expected to go toward a $1.3 million plan to buy four pieces of land along the creek that is a major tributary to Drayton Harbor near Blaine. Read more

Saving Coral Reef Fisheries with Management Areas
Hawaiʻi’s nearshore waters need more effective management,  according to a comprehensive study , led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers, which also found that a diverse integrated system of marine management areas can help restore the state’s declining coral reef fisheries and boost the resilience of coral reefs in a changing climate. Read more
The Next Texas Energy Boom is Offshore Wind
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just released two studies looking at the potential for offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico. They found that Texas, and specifically the areas up near Port Arthur and south of Corpus Christi, is best suited for development of anywhere along the Gulf Coast. The reports find the Gulf of Mexico possesses approximately 15% of the U.S.’s gross offshore wind energy potential and 25% of the country’s technical offshore wind energy potential.  Read more

Construction Continues on Critical Alabama Shoreline Protection Project
Construction continues on a new barrier to restore and preserve  Bayou La Batre‘s Lightning Point , one of Alabama’s most iconic and important coastal habitats. The Nature Conservancy in Alabama  (TNCA) says contractors have finished installing 1.5 miles of breakwaters around the mouth of Bayou La Batre’s navigation channel, creating a new coastal barrier on both sides of the channel to protect the shoreline from the effects of storms. TNCA says contractors used 51,000 tons of rock to build the breakwaters and jetties, pumped more than 275,000 cubic yards of dredged material to fill the marsh creation areas and planted more than 13,000 plants so far. Read more
Events & Webinars
New Shoreline Management Handbook from VIMS
A new  Shoreline Management Handbook website has been developed to provide information necessary for shoreline management in Virginia. The contents range from broad concepts behind the passage of the original tidal wetlands protection legislation in 1972 to contemporary details of the shoreline permit application and approval process; what it means to serve on a Wetlands Board; how public hearings are conducted; and how shoreline management relates to larger restoration goals are also covered.

New Economic Outcomes of Urban Floodplain Restoration Report
American Rivers, ECONorthwest, and Environmental Sciences Associates have release a new report on  Economic Outcomes of Urban Floodplain Restoration . Here is a fact sheet summarizing the report’s findings, and a summary can be found on this  blog . This report demonstrates that there is a substantial economic benefit to local and state budgets when communities invest in urban floodplain restoration. For questions contact  Brandon Parsons , American Rivers’ Floodplain Restoration lead in the Pacific Northwest.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance External Stakeholder Working Group Seeking Members
The External Stakeholder Working Group (ESWG) provides an opportunity for FEMA staff to increase engagement and transparency with non-federal partners in the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) programs at the state, federally recognized tribe, territory, regional, and local levels. The HMA programs provide pre- and post-disaster funding to implement mitigation actions in communities across the country. The Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program and the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program are both funded by an annual appropriation. The deadline to submit an Expression of Interest Form is July 10, 2020 . Learn more here .

Request for Proposals: Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem
The Climate Resilience Fund has issued a  Request for Proposals , seeking applications for its Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem Program. CRF thinks of these grants as “glue money”; funding that will be used to build upon, strengthen or connect two or more tools or resources within the climate services sector. Rather than funding the creation of new products, the competition is designed to incentivize innovative collaborations to scale existing resources, thus the size of these grants is intentionally small at a maximum request of $50,000. A total of $300,000 will be available. Applications are due July 17, 2020 .

2019 State of the Great Lakes Report
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released the 2019 State of the Great Lakes (SOGL) report, which provides an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem. These status reports inform state and federal policies towards the Great Lakes and help to prioritize protection and restoration work. Overall, Great Lakes water quality is assessed as “fair and unchanging.” While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has occurred, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges cited in the report include invasive species and excess nutrients that contribute to toxic and nuisance algae. Find more information on the report  here .

Great Lakes Observing System Request for Information
In October 2019, The Great Lakes Observing System released their 5-year strategic plan and launched the Smart Great Lakes Initiative. They are now working on their next 5-year proposal (2021-2026) to NOAA’s  Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) , which will reflect priorities as highlighted in the strategic plan. They’re currently seeking information and ideas to include in the programmatic buildout of the  strategic plan , forge new alliances and partnerships to support the  Smart Great Lakes Initiative , and shape their cooperative agreement with IOOS. Learn more and share your thoughts  here .

USDA Announces $5 Million in Wetland Mitigation Banking Program Funds
The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of up to $5 million for wetland mitigation banks. This funding through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program is available to help conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs. Applications must be submitted through  Grants.gov  by July 6, 2020 . Learn more here .

NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program 2020 Request for Proposals
The National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant (CWG) Program is a newly created, nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance. Restore America’s Estuaries will be administering the NEP CWG Program in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Grantees will be selected based on a two-step process: Letters of Intent, followed by full proposals by invitation only. LOI submittals are due on August 7 . Find the Request for Proposals   here .
Job Openings
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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