CSO Newsletter

The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.

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Spotlight on Coastal Management: Making Martha's Vineyard Beaches More Accessible

The Dukes County Commission for Disabilities, in collaboration with Healthy Aging M.V. and the Island Disability Coalition, is working to make beaches more accessible for those with disabilities and mobility and vision impairments this summer. 

The Times spoke with Dukes County Associate Commissioner for Disabilities, Richard (“Dick”) Cohen, who is part of the team pioneering the effort. As results from the Beach Within Reach survey start to return, Cohen is optimistic and enthusiastic about the effort. 

The Island-wide survey consists of questions to gauge a wide range of accessibility issues, like the availability of handicapped parking, the availability of beach and floating wheelchairs, and the existence of a firm and stable, accessible route for wheelchairs from the parking lot onto the beach and to the “high tide mark,” as Cohen puts it. 

The Island-wide survey consisted of a questionnaire that was sent to each of the Island towns, the Trustees of Reservations, the Land Bank, and the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation (there are nearly 40 public-access beaches on Martha’s Vineyard).

“A person in a wheelchair or with a walker has trouble negotiating the sand,” Cohen said. “The idea is to put features in to enable the person to do so as independently as possible."

According to Cohen, at least 6 percent of the Island’s population has significant visual or mobility impairments. He suspected the number would be higher if the elderly population were included, and even higher with the visiting summer population. Read more here.

In the States and Territories

West Coast and Pacific

CA Coastal Commission on a Mission: Funding, Focus Aims at Beach Access for All

The California Coastal Commission in recent years has been ramping up efforts to ensure greater beach access for underserved communities, by baking it in as a requirement when approving new developments or correcting violations, as well as by granting millions for beach-equity initiatives. “Certain communities and populations have been excluded for so long, it’s absolutely essential we make extra effort to make up for that,” said Sarah Christie, the commission’s legislative director. “I think equity demands a greater focus to ensure those communities are fully supported to have the access they’ve deserved all along.” Read more here.

Parts of East Oʻahu Shoreline to be Designated to Kaiwi Coast State Park

Residents have opined for more than 50 years to designate some lands along the Maunalua-Makapuʻu scenic byway into the Kaiwi Coast State Park. On Thursday, Gov. Josh Green stood from the Makapuʻu Lighthouse Lookout to sign Senate Bill 1254, which establishes a pathway to designate lands from Makapuʻu to Wawamalu as part of a state park. Sen. Chris Lee of Oʻahu said the land is currently designated as a scenic shoreline, but turning it into a state park will allow for new resources and protections. Read more here.

Great Lakes

Solving the Problem of Lakefront Access and Erosion Control; Euclid’s Solution Inspires Progress Along Lake Erie

Lake Erie is one of the greatest natural resources in the world, but unlocking the lake’s potential, as well as making the shoreline accessible to everyone, has proven to be a significant problem in Northeast Ohio. While Ohio has just over 300 miles of shoreline, only about 20% is publicly accessible, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There is not a simple solution, and certainly not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, but the Euclid community has at least cracked the code to the point where people have taken notice. Could the public-private deal that turned a crumbling section of the city’s shoreline into a beautiful lakefront trail, while at the same time stopping significant erosion in its tracks, be worked out in other shoreline communities? Read more here.

USACE Shoring Up Michigan Beach

Dredging and beach nourishment along South Beach is now underway in South Haven. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, began hydraulically dredging the federal navigation channel and nourishing the South Haven Harbor shoreline this past week. In coordination with the City of South Haven, the Corps of Engineers will dredge 57,300 cubic yards of material from the Black River Federal Channel. The tested-safe material will then be placed on South Haven’s public South Beach from the South Pier and extending 1,900 feet southward for beach nourishment. Beach nourishment returns sediment trapped between breakwaters to the natural shoreline drifting process. Beach nourishment also helps slow erosion occurring in the area of depletion. This beach nourishment is designed to reduce the risk of flood damage from Lake Michigan to the South Haven Water Filtration Facility. Read more here.

Gulf Coast

Ike Dike work Closer to Starting After $550 Million Appropriation from Texas Legislature

Work on an extensive storm surge suppression system along the Texas Gulf Coast, a longstanding wish-list item for the Houston region and its petrochemical industry, could get underway sometime soon after state leaders allocated another $550 million toward the initiative. Now the "Ike Dike" project, as it has become commonly known, just needs a funding appropriation from the federal government, which authorized the initiative late last year. Executive director Nicole Sunstrum of the Gulf Coast Protection District, the non-federal sponsor of the project, said an allocation from Congress could be coming as soon as later this month. Once that happens, she said her organization can enter into a formal partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with environmental and detailed design work to follow. Read more here.

USACE Announces Federal, State, and Local Partnership Agreement for Southwest Coastal Louisiana Risk Reduction Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana have signed a partnership agreement for the $6.5 billion Southwest Coastal Louisiana hurricane and storm damage risk reduction and coastal ecosystem restoration project. “Today's announcement is transformative for the people of Southwest Louisiana who have held strong in the face of some of the worst storms the country has ever seen,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The formalization of this partnership is a testament to the continued, shared commitment of the State and the Corps to work together to implement projects to help reduce flood risk and storm damage to the people and businesses living and working in the region.” Read more here.

East Coast and Caribbean

Coastal homeowners Sue Over Rhode Island Shoreline Law, But State Is Prepared to Fight

Coastal property owners have filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Rhode Island's new shoreline-access law. The suit claims that the new legislation, which allows the public to use the shoreline up to 10 feet inland of the seaweed line, amounts to an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment. It comes as little surprise: Opponents of the new law, some whom are involved with the suit, had made clear that they intended to challenge it in court. "While public beach access may be important to state legislators and officials, they may not simply redefine private shorelands as a 'public beach' by the stroke of a pen, consistent with the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment," the complaint argues. Read more here.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Issues New Septic Regulations for Cape Cod

On June 21, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued final regulations addressing nitrogen pollution caused by septic systems on Cape Cod. The regulations will require landowners in “Nitrogen Sensitive Areas” on the Cape to upgrade their septic systems within seven years, unless the landowner’s town applies for a watershed permit to comprehensively address nitrogen pollution. The new rules go into effect on July 7 and will impact most Cape Cod towns. Read more here. .

Events & Webinars

July 19, 2023

July 26, 2023

August 8, 2023

October 10-13, 2023

October 16-19, 2023

October 17, 2023

October 24-25, 2023

November 12-16, 2023


[NEW] Calm Waters Group Seeking Survey Responses on Stakeholder Management

Calm Waters Group is currently building OurTownHall – a stakeholder management platform for underserved communities. This project will help agencies scale up their reach, accuracy, and efficiency of community engagement and accelerate community participation in planning and infrastructure projects. Responses will help to better understand the challenges faced in conducting stakeholder management. Responses will be anonymous and solely used for the purposes of this project and only shared with the internal project team. Aggregate responses may be shared to support future development of the project. Government survey; Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) survey

[NEW] Ocean Acidification Mini-Grant Opportunity

NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program has announced a FY24 Education mini-grant opportunity to provide assistance for the development of ocean and coast educational tools in underserved and/or Indigenous communities. Letters of intent are due by Friday, September 15, 2023.

[NEW] Request for Proposals on Including Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Decision-Making for Ocean and Coastal Management

The Lenfest Ocean Program released an RFP for projects that elevate Indigenous Peoples in sharing their traditions, culture, knowledge, and wisdom to improve evidence-based decision-making for the management, conservation, and restoration of coastal marine species, habitats, and ecosystems. The RFP is intended to support identification, analysis, and/or communication of Indigenous Knowledge and wisdom (where it is culturally appropriate); and engagement approaches that facilitate the inclusion of this knowledge into ocean and coastal management decisions. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 16, 2023.

[NEW] Report on Nature Based Solutions and Coastal Adaptation Released

The University of Arizona's Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, in collaboration with the Aspen Global Change Institute, has just published a report titled Understanding the Effectiveness of Coastal Nature-based Solutions: Practitioner-based Learning. This assessment involved interviewing more than 60 coastal adaptation practitioners from the US and Pacific Islands to document their experience in implementing nature-based solutions to protect coastal areas against sea level rise and coastal storms.

[NEW] Free Translation of Climate Science Information and Research Documents Available

Climate Cardinals is an international youth-led nonprofit that has grown to 9,000 volunteers in 40+ countries & translated 750,000 words of climate information into 100+ languages. They are open to any translation requests from organizations producing verifiable and scientifically-valid climate information and research. They are interested in documents shorter than 25 pages. Our past partners include the UNEP, Yale, Italian Government, and UNICEF. The have capacity for translation in ALL languages, but only have the capacity for translation and review in the following languages: English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Croatian, Bosnian, and Polish. For questions about this project, please reach out to their general email: [email protected], with an email directed to Hikaru Hayakawa, Partnerships Director, or Andrew Gao, AI Director. Submit documents here.

NOAA OCM Launches Federal Consistency Learning Module

The Office for Coastal Management has released a new learning module in the CZMA 101 series: Federal Consistency BasicsThis module provides an introduction to the Coastal Zone Management Act federal consistency provision. It is designed to help the user build a basic understanding of core federal consistency concepts and what happens in the workflow of implementing federal consistency. The new module includes: definitions, examples, and considerations for core concepts, flowcharts for subpart C: Consistency for Federal Agency Activities (subparts D and E coming in the fall), and links to guidance and quick references.

NOAA Launches Self-Guided Risk Communication Training

The new self-guided training, Preparing for Effective Risk Communication, provides the steps to develop a risk communication strategy focused on, and designed to meet the needs of, a specific audience. The training includes information on how to listen more effectively, share information appropriately, and build relationships for improved conversations about hazards. Tips are also provided for those moments when you are put on the spot with a difficult question.

USACE Developing Coastal Engineering Index

The Corps' Engineer Research and Development Center is developing the Coastal Engineering Resilience Index (CERI). CERI computes using a custom GIS toolbox that uses lidar data from the USACE National Coastal Mapping Program to extract parameters that describe the beach and dune system — measurements like the dune’s height and the beach’s slope and width. Using the data from USACE and NOAA models to extract wave and storm surge information, CERI then computes the index along the beach to estimate maximum shoreline recession and beach overtopping for specified storm events. The index has been computed for pilot sites located on the northern Gulf of Mexico and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, as well as the USACE New York District’s area of responsibility in New Jersey and on Long Island. There are plans to compute CERI for most of the remaining U.S. sandy shorelines later this year. Read more here.

NOAA Announces $2.6 Billion in IRA Funding

The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a $2.6 billion framework to invest in coastal resilience through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). As part of the President’s Investing in America Agenda this initiative will support communities and people on the frontlines of climate change, dedicating nearly $400 million specifically for Tribal priorities and benefiting coastal and Great Lakes communities nationwide with an emphasis on environmental justice. Additional investments from the IRA will improve weather and climate data and services, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s America the Beautiful conservation initiative and strengthen NOAA’s fleet of research airplanes and ships that are used to study and collect data about the ocean and atmosphere. Read more here.

Justice40 Accelerator Applications Open for Community-Based Organizations

The Justice40 Accelerator will support community-based and community-led groups/organizations working at the frontlines of environmental crises and advancing community-driven climate solutions. Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status, fiscally sponsored projects, and cooperatives based in the U.S., including sovereign lands located within the U.S. and its territories, are eligible to apply. The application closes on Monday July 31, 2023. Learn more here.

Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission Releases Waterfront Toolkit

The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission has launched the Waterfront Planning Toolkit, a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program funded project designed to provide assistance and resources to communities interested in planning for the unique obstacles and opportunities that come with development on the waterfront. It strives to articulate the value of waterfront plans and help communities shape the long-term resilience and sustainability of their waterfronts by establishing a set of tools and best practices to promote successful planning efforts.

DOI Releases Summer Issue of NEWSWAVE

The Summer 2023 edition of NEWSWAVE demonstrates the many ways the Department of the Interior (DOI) is working to to fulfill their ocean stewardship commitments, through advancing renewable offshore energy, restoring coastal wetlands, investing in nature-based solutions and conducting the science to understand and guide management decisions in the face of climate change. Secretary Haaland’s NEWSWAVE 5 highlights a broad range of examples that show how DOI bring their collective missions together to support our blue portfolio, such as hosting the White House 2023 Conservation Summit at the Main Interior Building, where key actions, including the first ever Ocean Climate Action Plan, were announced. 

EPA Announces New Funding for Underserved Communities

EPA announced the availability of $30 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for restoration projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the Great Lakes. EPA has published a request for applications for the newly created Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program that will fund implementation of environmental protection and restoration projects that will further the goals of GLRI in communities with environmental justice concerns. Applications are being accepted through Friday August 11, 2023.

FEMA Releases Season 3 of Level Up Audio Project

FEMA Region 9 releases Season 3 of the Level Up Audio Project, a podcast series dedicated to highlighting individuals who are making hazard mitigation planning and action a priority in their work and communities. Each episode features a roughly 20-minute conversation with individuals who share stories, best practices and lessons learned. The goal is to inspire mitigation action and strengthen the community of hazard mitigation and climate adaptation professionals working at the local level.

Job Openings

In The States

Washington Sea Grant - Director

Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Management Program - Natural Resources Specialist, Opt. 4

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Coastal Programs Section - Restoration Project Coordinator

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Coastal Programs Section - Restoration Scientist

South Carolina, Sea Grant Consortium - Coastal GIS Specialist

Washington Department of Ecology - Senior Shoreline Scientist (Environmental Specialist 5)

Washington Department of Ecology - Floodplain Management Policy Lead (Environmental Planner 5)

Washington Department of Ecology - Resilience Project Coordinator

Washington Department of Ecology - Coastal and Ocean Management Unit Supervisor

Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands & Environmental Assistance - Regional Shoreline Planner

Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands & Environmental Assistance - Senior Floodplain Management Planner

Oregon Sea Grant - Natural Resource Policy Fellowship

California Coastal Commission - Multiple Coastal Program Positions

In The Agencies

USACE Savannah District, Engineering Division, Hydrology and Hydraulics - Civil Engineer (Hydraulics)

USACE Jacksonville District, Engineering Division, Coastal Design Section - Civil Engineer

Lynker, Silver Spring, MD - Program Analyst

Lynker - Pacific Islands Regional Marine Debris Communication and Outreach Coordinator

Cardinal Point Captains Inc. - Restoration Specialist / Resource Protection Specialist

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

Greater Farallones Association - Postdoctoral Researcher – Coastal Resilience

Greater Farallones Association - Marine Science Education Fellow

Environmental Law Institute - Senior Attorney

Environmental Law Institute - Staff Attorney

UC Santa Cruz, Institute of Marine Sciences - CCCR and ORRAA Coastal Resilience Postdoctoral Fellow

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Program Director, Coastal Resilience

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Manager, Coastal Resilience

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Staff Scientist, Coastal Resilience

Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) - Coastal Resilience Coordinator

San Francisco State University, San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Coastal Science Education Coordinator

The Nature Conservancy - Senior Advisory, Legislative Affairs

Deborah Brosnan & Associates - Projects Manager: Environment, Sustainability, Climate-Change

Job Boards

Office for Coastal Management State Programs

Sea Grant Careers Page


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: [email protected] with a subject line: "Newsletter Content". Please include the information to be considered in the body of the email.

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Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | [email protected] | www.coastalstates.org
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