CSO Newsletter
The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories & Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
New Jersey Coastal Management Program
Learn more about New Jersey's Coastal Management Program here.

Find more information on the work being done by the State Coastal Zone Management Programs on CSO's Publication page: www.coastalstates.org/csopublications/
Historic Water Levels in the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are experiencing record or near record water levels. The high lake levels this year present many challenges for residential and commercial property owners. Levels are forecast to continue higher until mid-summer.
NOAA Water Levels Viewer - The Great Lakes Dashboard

Governor Cuomo Declares State of Emergency for Eight Counties Impacted By Lake Ontario Flooding
Governor Cuomo today declared a State of Emergency for the eight counties impacted by potential Lake Ontario flooding: Cayuga, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wayne. The Governor's order directs state agencies to protect State property and to assist local governments and individuals in responding to and recovering from the flooding. Read more.

Rising Great Lakes water levels fuel worries about damage to shoreline structures
Rising Great Lakes water levels are causing damage to some structures on Michigan shorelines. The Holland Sentinel reports a section of seawall at Kollen Park in Holland sustained damage during a storm.

Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, said lake levels are expected to topple record highs this summer. Read more.

Governor Cuomo announces $300 million in state funding for shoreline flooding relief
On Monday, both Governor Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer were in town to talk about the Lake Ontario shoreline damage and to send a stern message to the group that manages the lake.

Cuomo announced New York state is giving $300 million to fund shoreline emergency and relief efforts. It's part of the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, and local governments will match 15 percent for every dollar the state spends. Read more.
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
State Awards Over $95K to Protect Buzzards Bay Watershed
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $95,000 in federal grants for land protection and water quality projects in the Buzzards Bay watershed.

The $95,419 of federal funds will help the Towns of Rochester and Gosnold protect critical habitat and allow the Town of Mattapoisett and its partner, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, to continue important water quality monitoring in Buzzards Bay.

The three grants are being matched by $79,540 in private contributions and in-kind services that will support the protection of important habitat in the region. Read more.

Amid Rising Sea Waters, Coastal Maine Town Seeks Ways To Stem Future Flood Damages
When Kathleen Billings was a kid, she could count on high tide falling several feet short of topping the causeway between Deer and Little Deer islands.

Today, high tide goes almost level with the road and, with heavy storms or especially strong winds, salt water covers at least some portion of the road, said the 56-year-old Billings, who has been Stonington’s town manager since 2007.

“When you go over it, you can really notice a lot more water that is level with your car. It makes you look like you are driving across the tide,” Billings said Friday. “You don’t worry about it when it’s at low tide, but when the water looks like it’s right alongside you, it’s a different story.” Read more.
West Coast and Pacific
Federal scientists to investigate spike in gray whale deaths on West Coast
U.S. scientists plan to investigate why an unusual number of gray whales are washing up dead on West Coast beaches.

About 70 whales have been found dead so far this year on the coasts of Washington, Oregon, Alaska and California — the most since 2000. About five more have been discovered on British Columbia beaches. That’s a very small fraction of the total number of whales believed to have died, because most simply sink and others wash up in such remote areas they’re not recorded. Read more.
Gulf of Mexico
Near record low-oxygen ‘dead zone’ predicted for Gulf
The summertime low-oxygen “dead zone” on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas is likely to be close to record size, at 7,829 square miles, or roughly the size of Massachusetts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday.

And NOAA researchers warned that this year’s increased size, estimated by modeling of nutrients carried to the Gulf by the record-setting high Mississippi River, could be repeated in the future because of the effects on rainfall of climate change. Read more.
Great Lakes
Schumer pushes for Lake Ontario study during Olcott visit
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, visited Olcott on Monday morning where he called for Congress to secure funding for the "Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study.

Schumer and fellow Democrat, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are calling for approval of $12 million to perform the study, which Schumer estimates would take about a year. He said the study would evaluate and recommend an array of structural, natural and regulatory measures to protect the shoreline. The potential list includes building breakwaters, adding coastal armoring, developing new resilient design standards, restoring protective barrier island and conducting beach sand replenishment. Read more.
Events & Webinars
NOAA Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy
This report examines the critically important economic contributions of the oceans and Great Lakes. The report presents the NOAA Office for Coastal Management’s Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) data set, and includes a variety of infographics at the national, regional, and state levels.

Read the report here.

NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the 2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy (SK) Grant competition is open for applications. 
NOAA Fisheries announces the the FY20 Saltonstall-Kennedy (S-K) Federal Funding Opportunity and inviting applicants to submit pre-proposals by July 30, 2019 . This year, the priority focus areas are:
  • Promotion, Development, and Marketing  
  • Science or Technology that Promotes Sustainable U.S. Seafood Production and Harvesting  
Read more about the  SK Grant Program and How to Apply

NOTE:   All interested applicants must submit a Pre-Proposal to the grant opportunity, NOAA-NMFS-FHQ-2020-2006111, posted at  www.Grants.gov . Pre-proposals are due via Grants.gov  by 11:59 pm, Eastern Time, July 30, 2019.  

Guide to Finding Federal Assistance and Resources for Environmental Justice Efforts
This guide offers general guidance and tips on searching for funding opportunities, as well as information on tools, trainings and other relevant resources that are available to help address community needs.

EPA Issues Memo to Increase the Agency’s Compliance with Clean Water Act  
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step toward ensuring the Agency is meeting its statutory obligations and carrying out the cooperative federalism principles embodied in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In a memorandum to EPA Regional Administrators, EPA Assistant Administrator for Office of Water David Ross directed regional offices to comply with statutory deadlines for acting on state and tribal CWA submittals while improving responsiveness in the agency’s oversight role. 

EPA Issues Guidance on Clean Water Act Water Quality Certification
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released guidance on Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) that provides recommendations to clarify and streamline the 401 certification process. Read the full document  here

Webinars on the Community Rating System
The CRS Webinar Series provides training opportunities to communities that are not yet participating in the Community Rating System or local government staff that are new to the CRS, and to local government staff with experience in the CRS. The Series includes basic introductory sessions and more advanced topics, most averaging about an hour in length.

  • June 18 Credit for Drainage System Maintenance (Activity 540)
  • June 19 Preparing an Annual Recertification
  • July 16 Developing a Repetitive Loss Area Analysis
  • July 17 Flood Warning & Response (Activity 610)

Register  here

FEMA Seeks Public Comment for New Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
FEMA is seeking comments on the development and implementation of Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) Section 1234: National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The new program: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), is part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act which became law in October 2018. Communities from all levels of government and key stakeholders, including private businesses, citizens, vulnerable and at-risk populations, critical infrastructure sectors, and non-profit, academic, and philanthropic organizations are encouraged to provide comment. Comments will be accepted from May 20 through July 15, on  FEMA IdealScale  or by email at  BUILDBRIC@fema.dhs.gov .
In June, FEMA will host a webinar series to provide an overview of the different topic areas that are important for the development of the BRIC program. This will be followed by an open conversation with stakeholders through the chat platform.
For detailed information and a description of each session, visit the  website .  
Webinar 1: Infrastructure Mitigation Projects and Community Lifelines
2 to 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday June 6.  
Webinar 2: Hazard Mitigation Planning, Grant Application and Evaluation, and Risk Based Funding
2 to 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday June 13
Webinar 3: Funding & Resource Management and Benefit-Cost Analysis
2 to 4 p.m. EDT, Thursday June 20.
Webinar 4: Building Codes and Enforcement and Capacity and Capability
2 to 4 p.m. EDT, Tuesday June 25.
How to Participate:
• FEMA Teleconference: 1-800-320-4330 PIN: 338559#   
For more information on DRRA, visit  the website .

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program was created to acquire, restore, and enhance wetlands in coastal areas through competitive matching grants to eligible State agencies. The Program is funded by revenues collected from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors and sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, and a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines. Revenues are deposited into and appropriated from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

Proposals due: June 28, 2019
Job Openings
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: gwilliams@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.
Coastal States Organization | 444 North Capitol St. NW, Suite 638, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | cso@coastalstates.org | www.coastalstates.org