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:
NEW CSO and ASBPA White Paper
"Sediment Placement Regulations of U.S. Coastal States and Territories"
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) and CSO have partnered to highlight coastal program successes in managing sediment resources and elevate effective regional sediment management policies in the national spotlight. Many states and federal agencies have prioritized implementation of Regional Sediment Management (RSM) principles and are increasingly pursuing Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials (BUDM) opportunities, recognizing the cost savings and beneficial ecological outcomes these projects make possible. But challenges still remain. This project, funded by USACE Institute for Water Resources, aims to focus on the perceived challenge of conflicting state and federal policies and regulations around how dredged sediment can be used beneficially.

ASBPA and CSO is working with coastal states, USACE, and key partners to conduct a comparative policy analysis of state BUDM policies and develop recommendations and best practices through expert interviews and regional practitioner workshops. Workshop participants benefit from peer-to-peer information sharing and strategic engagement with Federal and NGO partners. This white paper highlights initial results by region, and will be followed by a final report in 2022.

Learn more and read the white paper here.
Celebrating 50 Years of Ocean and Coastal Conservation
2022 is a BIG year for ocean and coastal conservation! Not only is it the 50th anniversary for the CZMA, it is also the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Marine Mammals Protection Act, and National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Learn more here and follow #OceanAndCoasts50 on social media!

Learn about the CZMA 50th here!
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
FEMA Presents Coastal Erosion Hazard Map
The Federal Emergency Management Agency presented coastal erosion hazard projections for Essex County for 2030, 2050 and 2100, including Plum Island and Salisbury Beach. In 2015, the federal agency’s Technical Mapping Advisory Council recommended that FEMA look closer at coastal erosion and future conditions of sea level rise, Kerry Bogdan of FEMA’s Region I explained during a virtual Essex County town hall. A year later, FEMA initiated a study that sought to map long-term erosion and future flood risks along New England coastlines. Bogdan noted that the study is nonregulatory, so it will not be used to require certain homeowners to buy flood insurance. “We did this as a risk hazard communication tool,” she said, noting that it is aimed at informing homeowners and community officials of what areas may be at risk for coastal erosion over time. Read more

NC’s Salt Marshes Hold 64 Million Tons of CO2; What Happens if They Die?
There are about 220,000 acres of salt marsh on the North Carolina coast, a collection of grasses that live in the muddy zone frequently washed over by tides. Right now, those marshes are holding about 64 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to researchers from Duke University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Each year, North Carolina's marshes capture the equivalent of an additional 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide - about as much greenhouse gas as 54,347 cars generate per year. But as the world continues to warm and sea levels rise, salt marshes and seagrass are likely to drown or be washed away. As that happens, they will shift from being a tool in the fight against global warming, a so-called carbon sink, to their remains being a contributor to it, a source of carbon. If sea levels rise 4 feet by 2100, researchers estimate that 134,000 acres of North Carolina's salt marsh will be lost to drowning or erosion by 2053 and 194,000 acres by 2073, Duke University and NOAA researchers included in a draft version of North Carolina's Coastal Habitat Protection Plan. By 2026, the plan says, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality should work with local governments, nonprofits and scientists to conserve those corridors, protecting them from development. Those efforts are, however, likely to come at a high price tag, said Braxton Davis, the director of North Carolina's Division of Coastal Management. "What we probably need is a coastwide plan in North Carolina that really drives our funding decisions," Davis said. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
Maui Is Getting Ready To Move Part Of A Major Highway Due To Climate Change
With $22 million in new federal funding, Hawaii officials are moving forward with long-awaited plans to protect a critical stretch of state highway in West Maui. The scenic Honoapiilani Highway ranks as one of the most threatened highways in Hawaii because of rising sea levels, king tides, storm surges, ocean swells and other coastal hazards fueled by climate change. The Honoapiilani Highway is the main artery in and out of West Maui. Keeping it open and functional is considered crucial for public safety, commerce, tourism and other transportation needs. Over the last decade, the stretch of highway in question has undergone repairs three times due to storm and wave damage. Various state and county planning documents have called for realigning parts of Honoapiilani Highway because of climate-related hazards. Read more

Oregon Group Hires Climate Scientist to Walk the Talk on Coastal Tourism
The Oregon Coast Visitors Association's push to tackle climate is encouraging news for the U.S. travel industry, starting with hiring a Ph.D. climate consultant. Figuring out what works for each destination is a complex undertaking but every minute counts to mitigate the climate's impact on tourism. The clock is ticking. As surprising as it might seem, a U.S. destination management organization stepping up to tackle climate action head on remains a novelty in the travel industry, despite America ranking among the world’s top three biggest carbon polluters. But that’s what the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is doing, one of seven destination marketing groups for Oregon — it’s placing climate change front and center on its agenda, pushed in part by the return of wildfires to Oregon’s coastline, followed by a global pandemic, supply chain disruptions and record crowds heading to its great outdoors. Read more
Gulf Coast
Land Office Awards Grants To County Sites
Three projects in Cameron County are targeted for grants from the Texas General Land Office to better facilities and public access at two beaches as well as improve rainwater runoff at a Rio Hondo school. The Cameron County grants are part of $10 million allocated for 19 projects across nine coastal counties through the GLO’s Coastal Management Program. Twelve of the projects, approximating $2 million in federal funds, will improve the management of the state’s coastal resources and ensure the long-term ecological and economic productivity of the coast using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funds. The other seven Projects of Special Merit will receive approximately $8 million in state funds through the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act. Read More

Overlooked Channels Influence Water Flow and Flooding Along Gulf Coast
An unnoticed network of channels is cutting across the coastal plain landscape along the Gulf Coast and influencing how water flows, according to research from The University of Texas at Austin that could help predict flooding from major storms in the future. The coastal plains are relatively flat, which has kept most research on flood risk and water flow focused on large rivers in the region. But the new research led by scientists with UT Austin and the Water Institute of the Gulf revealed that although the surface elevation is steady, the landscape is covered in narrow but deep channels that play an important role in moving water. “Typically, flood risk has been characterized in Texas and Louisiana based on how close you are to a river,” said the study’s lead author, John Swartz, who started the research as a doctoral student at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences and is now a research scientist at the Water Institute of the Gulf. “But we see through things like Hurricane Harvey that what is happening to the broader landscape when there is a lot of water present is really important.” Read more
Great Lakes
Winter Research In Great Lakes Will Help Scientists Understand Climate Change and What Happens When Ice Disappears
A group of scientists walked out on to frozen Lake Michigan to do something they’ve done time and again throughout the Great Lakes: collect water. They drilled down past the shoreline of a park in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where it was quiet enough to hear the ice pop as sunlight warmed the frozen surface. But back on land, everything started to freeze. Pens, people’s hands. Most concerning, the water samples. The work was part of the first coordinated sampling across all five Great Lakes to figure out what’s happening in one of the world’s largest freshwater systems in winter — something scientists know surprisingly little about. Read more

5 New Lakefront Projects Led By Cuyahoga County, Cleveland Metroparks
Gain Support, Accelerating Drive To Open Up Shoreline
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have been largely stalled for decades when it comes to opening up new public access to the region’s largely off-limits Lake Erie shoreline. Now, however, coordinated efforts among local, state, and federal agencies are raising the possibility that new trails and amenities could be delivered along five miles of lakefront or major roads close to it starting within several years. In recent interviews with cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, planners for Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, and other agencies described important progress on five significant lakefront projects planned in Rocky River, Lakewood, and Cleveland. All are aimed at increasing public access to the water, controlling erosion, and improving connections to inland communities and neighborhoods. Read more
Events & Webinars
March 1, 2022

March 3, 2022

March 8, 2022

March 8-10, 2022

March 10, 2022

March 15, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 17, 2022

March 18, 2022

March 30, 2022

March 30-31, 2022

March 31, 2022

April 6-7, 2022

April 13, 2022

April 13-14, 2022

April 27, 2022

April 25-28, 2022

May 15-19, 2022

July 19-21, 2022

October 25-27, 2022

December 4-8, 2022
Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper Tool Expanded to Include Great Lakes
NOAA has expanded its popular Digital Coast tool, the Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper, to cover coastal areas along the entire Great Lakes. The tool’s geography now includes the East Coast, West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean. The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper is an online visualization tool that supports communities that are assessing their coastal hazard risks and vulnerabilities. The tool creates a collection of user-defined maps that show the people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. The maps can be saved, downloaded, or shared to communicate flood exposure and potential impacts. In addition, the tool provides guidance for using these maps to engage community members and stakeholders in making decisions to mitigate flood risk. Learn more and check out the tool here.

2022 RAE Coastal & Estuarine Summit: Now Accepting Presentation Proposals
Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) proudly presents the 2022 Coastal and Estuarine Summit with support from Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). This event will bring together the coastal restoration and management communities to explore issues, solutions, and lessons learned in their work. The fate of New Orleans and other south Louisiana communities depends on successful coastal management and restoration, as does the health of the Gulf of Mexico, making this the perfect location for the 2022 RAE Summit. RAE is requesting for proposals for sessions that will provide both practical and inspirational help and guidance to our community in meeting the challenges and seizing the opportunities for coastal restoration in the years to come. Proposals are due April 8, 2022. Learn more and submit proposals here.

National Working Water Front Conference Call for Proposals
The 6th National Working Waterfront Conference will be held on July 19-21, 2022 at the waterfront campus of UMass Boston. The event provides a forum for stakeholders from across the U.S. and Canada to connect and showcase innovative, successful, and timely solutions to waterfront and waterway issues. Abstracts and session proposals are currently being excepted. The deadline to submit is March 8, 2022. Learn more about the conference and how to submit proposals here.

2022 NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Request for Proposals Now Available
Restore America’s Estuaries has announced the availability of the 2022 National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Grant (NEP CWG) Request for Proposals. NEP CWG is a 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. New this year, organizations may request a full or partial waiver from the non-federal match requirement. Learn more and apply here. Informational webinars will occur on March 24 and March 30.

New Hampshire Critical Flood Risk Infrastructure Grant Applications
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Coastal Program and Watershed Assistance Section are accepting Critical Flood Risk Infrastructure Grant applications for flood resilience and stormwater management projects located within New Hampshire’s Coastal Watershed. Coastal watershed communities and their stormwater infrastructure are highly susceptible to damage from severe flood risks, including relative sea-level rise (RSLR), coastal storms, RSLR-induced groundwater rise, extreme precipitation, and freshwater flooding. Applications are due April 15, 2022, learn more and apply here. An informational webinar will take place on March 7, 2022, register for the webinar here

Public Comment on Conservation and Stewardship Tool as part of America the Beautiful
The Department of the Interior, in coordination with the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce and the Council on Environmental Quality, has invited public comment regarding the development of the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas, a new tool that will be used to track conservation and restoration of U.S. lands and waters. The Atlas is part of the America the Beautiful initiative to conserve, connect, and restore at least 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030. Comments are due by March 7, 2022. Learn more here.

Department of Transportation Notice of Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Transportation has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity for $1.5 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. RAISE grants can be used for a wide variety of infrastructure projects. Applicants are encouraged to consider how their projects can address climate change, ensure racial equity, and remove barriers to opportunity. The application deadline is April 14, 2022. Four webinars on the grant program will be offered in February, more information on these webinars is available here. The NOFO is available here.
Job Openings
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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.

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