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 28-30, 2020
2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Summit Goes Virtual!
We are excited to announce plans for a highly-interactive,  virtual Summit to be held September 28-30, 2020. Our decision to continue with the Summit was based on the outpouring of support and encouragement from sponsors and past attendees to move forward and bring our community together as we’ve done since 2003.  Please hold the dates September 28-30.  We will  provide additional information  once we work through the logistics of going to a Virtual format. We look forward to having you join us and are excited at the opportunity of a virtual Summit!

Please stay safe and healthy!
Bradley Watson
Executive Director
Coastal States Organization

Daniel Hayden
President & CEO
Restore America's Estuaries
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
Community Leadership in Washington Paves the Way for Promising Erosion Treatment
In Washington State, the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe and North Cove community led a vigorous local effort to find effective treatments for severe shoreline erosion along Willapa Bay. Their determination is starting to pay off in pilot projects that are halting erosion in its tracks via rebuilt dunes and the placement of cobble berms—called “dynamic revetments”—along the shoreline. The Washington Coastal Zone Management Program provided award-winning technical and monitoring assistance and worked to secure grants, one supported by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management .

Learn more about the project here !
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
$1.1M awarded for wind farm studies
Rhode Island, Massachusetts and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced grants worth $1.1 million for four regional studies (versus site specific studies) that will collect data vital to the development of offshore wind and fishing. INSPIRE Environmental, Newport, in conjunction with the New England Aquarium and Standard Approaches for Acoustic and Imagery Data, will use acoustic telemetry to study highly migratory species. The initiative will include the acoustic tagging and tracking of species such as tuna and sharks at popular recreational fishing spots in wind farm areas. The study aims to provide new baseline data on highly migratory species enabling ongoing assessment of any impacts (negative or positive) of offshore wind on highly migratory species and associated recreational fishing. Read more

State Cabinet approves Florida Forever land conservation deals
Gov. Ron DeSantis and state Cabinet members drew praise from environmentalists Thursday after agreeing to spend $79 million on seven Florida Forever land deals. The deals include protecting thousands of acres in Franklin and Wakulla counties that include frontage on the Gulf of Mexico and conserving a chunk of property in Hendry County that is an area for Florida panthers. Read more
Great Lakes
Study: 35 years of investing in Great Lakes restoration is paying off
An international partnership over the last 35 years makes economic sense and revitalizes communities. The United States and Canada have invested over $22.8 billion over the last 35 years to restore Areas of Concern throughout the Great Lakes, according to a  study  published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. The study found that the money has been well-spent with investments in cleanups helping revitalize communities with over a 3 to 1 return on investment. Basically, for every $1 spent, the communities received $3 worth of benefits. Read more

Ohio Approved the Country's First Freshwater Offshore Wind Farm
Ohio legislators have approved plans to build North America’s first-ever freshwater offshore wind farm. The Ohio Power Siting Board unanimously approved the Icebreaker wind project, a six turbine project slated to be constructed off the Lake Erie shore near downtown Cleveland. The wind farm would include a 12-mile long submerged cable to transmit the electricity generated by the wind turbines to Cleveland power substation. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
University of Guam secures $20 million to expand coral research
The University of Guam has been awarded $20 million to expand its research capabilities on coral reef survival in rapidly changing environmental conditions. The five-year grant is from the National Science Foundation's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, more commonly referred to as EPSCoR, and will considerably expand upon work undertaken during the previous five-year, $6 million Guam EPSCoR grant project, the Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium. Read more

Newport Beach homeowners fined $1.7 million for illegal yards on beach
Nearly three dozen Newport Beach homeowners who built yards that illegally extend onto the public beach have agreed to a combined $1.7 million in fines as well as to the city restoring the encroachments to their natural state. The deal, recommended by Coastal Commission staff for the state panel to approve at its June 11 meeting, would resolve decades of illegal encroachments by beachfront homeowners on Peninsula Point located at the east end of the Balboa Peninsula. The illegal yards extend as much as 80 feet onto the sand and include lawns, hedges, trees, irrigation systems, walkways and fences. They interfere with the two central components of the 1976 Coastal Act approved by voters: public access and environmental preservation. Read more
New oyster industry comes to Texas
The Texas oyster industry has struggled in recent years because of overfishing, hurricanes and floods, but a new program could be a boon for consumers and the Gulf economy. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission votes Thursday to adopt rules that govern how people are allowed to grow oysters in cages in state waters. Lance Robinson heads the agency’s Coastal Fisheries Division and says many states have practiced oyster mariculture for decades. He says he believes both consumers and the Texas economy will benefit. Read more

Gulf dead zone expected to be larger than normal
Researchers predict this summer’s Gulf of Mexico dead zone will be larger than average. The main reason is increased floodwater pushing pollution down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, scientists said Wednesday. “Not only does the dead zone hurt marine life but it also harms commercial and recreational fisheries and the communities they support,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “The annual dead zone makes large areas unavailable for species that depend on them for their survival and places continued strain on the region’s living resources and coastal economies.” Read more
Events & Webinars
New NOAA and BEA Report on Ocean Economy
NOAA and the Bureau of Economic Analysis released new statistics highlighting the marine economy’s contribution to the Nation’s economy. The statistics, prepared under the newly developed Ocean Economy Satellite Account, provide the results of a more comprehensive measurement of the marine contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) than existed previously. These statistics offer national estimates for all ocean, coastal and Great Lakes related economic activity by major industry, helping us to understand the current state of the marine economy. The new economic statistics measure the marine economy as a percentage of U.S. GDP, total output and value added as well as information on other economic indicators. The marine economy grew by 5.8 percent from 2017 to 2018 and 2.3 million jobs in 2018. The statistics provide valuable information to policy makers and industry, helping them in decision-making and planning future investment in the marine environment, Learn more   here .

NOAA, BOEM Develop New Tool to Assess Dredging Impacts to Essential Fish Habitat
NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Office for Coastal Management (OCM) and Quantum Spatial, Inc. completed a 2-year study, funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The new geospatial decision-support tool, ShoalMATE, provides BOEM with a consistent, science-based framework to streamline Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) consultations, to identify, address, and minimize impacts to fish and their habitats. The tool generates a written report and customized maps, which allows for review and assessment of proposed offshore dredging on EFH in project areas anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico and US Atlantic continental shelf. Read more about it  here  

NOAA’s Historical Hurricane Tracking Tool Gets Major Facelift
In time for the approaching hurricane season, NOAA Office for Coastal Management's Historical Hurricane Tracks website has received a major update, both in look and functionality. The updated site accesses and displays hurricane tracks from multiple NOAA data sets in one user-friendly location. The search function makes it easy for users to find and explore tropical storms by name, year, or area, the results of which can be saved and shared easily with others.   

ASBPA Launches The Coastal Universities Guide
Coastal science and engineering are critical in-demand fields whose practitioners spend their days working on beaches, marshes and in boats. With shorelines currently changing more than anytime in human history, these fields should be incredibly popular for students, but too many aspiring young scientists do not know about them. American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is trying to change that with the launch of a new “Coastal Universities Guide.” The Coastal Universities Guide is an interactive map-based tool for high school or college students looking for an undergraduate or graduate coastal program. Learn more here .

Updated Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters 
June is the official start of the hurricane season for the Gulf Coast. Designed specifically for homeowners, the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters, created by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and the Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs, is a critical resource for anyone wanting to reduce the risks to their family and property from natural hazards. The handbook covers essential information on emergency preparedness, evacuation planning, flood/wind insurance, and steps to protect life and property. Learn more here .

Make Your Next Virtual Meeting a Success
Since many offices have shifted to virtual meetings, trainers from NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management have updated and developed new tips and tricks to help virtual meeting hosts. These documents provide a list of items to consider when planning a virtual meeting, common tools to engage and facilitate participants, and ways to overcome common technology challenges. There’s even a best practices guide for participants to follow to improve meeting experience. Find these resources on the Digital Coast website. For more information, contact Jan Kucklick .

Federal Funding Opportunities for Flood Resilience: A Guide for Small Cities  
In April, the  American Flood Coalition  published a new guide on federal funding opportunities for resilience and flood mitigation. The guide—which includes information such as eligible activities, funding amounts, and application processes on 24 federal programs—is specifically designed for municipalities with populations under 50,000; however, any local leader may find the guide useful. The Coalition is also developing an externally facing, interactive website to share the information included in the guide.

Softening Our  Shoreline s: Policy and Practice for  Living   Shoreline s Along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts
The Softening Our  Shorelines report is designed to promote the broader application of  living  shorelines across the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. National Wildlife Federation partnered with the Coastal States Organization to review the use of  living  shorelines across these regions and analyze policies and permitting requirements that may provide incentives—or barriers—to the broader use of these ecologically friendly  shoreline protection techniques. The report provides a state-by-state summary of policies relevant to  living  shorelines and offers recommendations and best practices for how federal and state agencies can promote the increased application of  living  shorelines. Read the report  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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