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:
Coastal Infrastructure Project Highlights
Natural and nature-based infrastructure are amazingly effective at protecting our coasts from coastal flooding, erosion, runoff, and other coastal threats.

For example:
  • Coastal wetlands provide approximately $23.2 billion in storm protection to coastal communities each year;
  • Coastal wetlands have been shown to reduce damages from coastal storms by up to 30%;
  • Oyster reefs can reduce wave energy by up to 50%;
  • Oyster reefs, mangroves, and dunes provide water filtration which improves water quality; and
  • Wetland and reef restoration in the Gulf of Mexico results in $7 of flood reduction benefits for every $1 spent.

Learn more fast facts about the benefits of natural infrastructure here.

Implementing natural and nature-based infrastructure projects for coastal communities really works! The Texas Coastal Management Program supported Exploration Green, an innovative project that converted a former golf course into a 200-acre wetland and green space that absorbs floodwaters. The project resulted in 3,000 homes no longer being in a "100-year" or "500-year" floodplain. In 2017, event though the project was only in its first phase, it still saved about 150 homes from flooding when Hurricane Harvey hit.

Learn more about other natural and nature-based projects and investments in these projects through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act 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!
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
Projects to Improve the Ecosystem Along the Delaware and River Access in Chester Receive $575K from DEP
Local organizations are receiving a total of $574,974 to protect and restore the Delaware Estuary Coastal Zone, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday. The grant funding will help pay for 12 education, design, and engineering projects that aim to benefit habitat and the ecosystem. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants, which are administered by DEP’s Coastal Resources Management Program, have been given out annually since 1980. The program has provided more than $50 million in funding for coastal zone projects. “Our coastal zones are vital environmental, economic, and community resources for the commonwealth,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a statement. “Each year, the diverse Coastal Zone projects help us rethink, reexamine, and rededicate our efforts towards a comprehensive approach to ensuring the sustainability of these habitats.” Read more

Florida Will Spend $80 Million On Sea-Level Rise Projects
Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday the state would award $80 million in grants to South Florida cities and counties to deal with storm-water and flood-control problems — with nearly $40 million going to two Miami projects. “As a storm-prone state, we need to make sure we’re mitigating the effects of these weather events,” DeSantis said at a press conference at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades on Friday morning. Miami will receive $19.8 million to improve storm water infrastructure in the southwest part of Wynwood, and $18.4 million to alleviate chronic flooding in East Little Havana. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
The Guam Coastal Management Program has released a new Guam Shoreline Atlas study with emphasis on shorelines experiencing erosion, containing at-risk infrastructure, or needing shore protection. The study was prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District and describes the physical characteristics of Guam’s shoreline. “This Atlas provides us with an overview of current shoreline conditions throughout Guam. With this, our shoreline managers and environmental protectors have the tools they need for us to effectively combat erosion and preserve our beaches,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. Read more

Washington Experiences Only Slight Tsunami Surges From Undersea Eruption Near Tonga
Washington’s coastlines experienced only minor surges from a tsunami triggered by a spectacular underwater eruption in the South Pacific. The event marked the first Pacific-wide tsunami warning from a volcanic eruption instead of an earthquake, said Harold Tobin, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington. Despite the unusual nature of the event, the tsunami-warning system worked well, Tobin added. The advisory was issued quickly and communicated widely. While Washington was unscathed this time, the tsunami advisory is a reminder of the region’s vulnerable position and geologically volatile nature. People in areas with no high ground, like parts of the Long Beach Peninsula and Ocean Shores, would be hard-pressed to evacuate in time. A recent analysis by Washington’s Emergency Management Division estimates the state needs to build at least 58 vertical evacuation structures — either towers, berms or tsunami-resistant buildings — to ensure coastal residents can escape the high water. Read more
Gulf Coast
Louisiana, Corps of Engineers Agree to $6B Coastal Protection Project
The federal portion of a $6-billion coastal protection project in Louisiana will move forward after the signing of a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District and state and local officials on Jan. 18. The Morganza-to-the-Gulf of Mexico plan calls for construction of about 98 miles of levees with 22 flood gates, 10 road and rail gates, pump station protections, 23 environmental control structures and a lock complex on the Houma Navigation Canal in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes southwest of New Orleans. Read more

How Will Offshore Wind Energy Affect Marine Life in the Gulf? Feds Are Taking A Look
Federal energy regulators have begun reviewing the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind development in the Gulf of Mexico, in keeping with President Joe Biden’s goal to produce thousands of megawatts of offshore wind energy within the next few years. The administration hopes to open the Gulf to wind lease sales by 2025, a step that will align with broader plans to produce at least 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the federal agency that oversees offshore oil, gas and wind permitting, began crafting a draft environmental assessment for a 30 million-acre area stretching from the Mississippi River to the Texas-Mexico border. The assessment will consider how the construction and operation of offshore wind turbines affects fisheries, marine mammals, birds and other elements of the marine environment. Read more
Great Lakes
Times Beach to Be Restored with $10 Million in Infrastructure Funds
The Times Beach Nature Preserve, a 55-acre site on Buffalo's Outer Harbor that has been battered into disuse by frequent storms in recent years, will be restored thanks to one of the first local outlays from last year's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal. Rep. Brian Higgins, a Buffalo Democrat, announced Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers will receive $10 million in infrastructure funding to restore the site, which is located just south of the current U.S. Coast Guard facility on the city's waterfront. Under the restoration plan, the break wall that aims to protect the site from violent waves will be fortified, while habitats and public access walkways will be repaired. Read more

$1.5M In Federal Funds to Go Toward Restoring, Protecting Lake Michigan Shoreline
Federal funding is on the way, which will be a big shot in the arm when it comes to the shoreline restoration effort and protecting the Great Lakes. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Sen. Dick Durbin, along with a slew of other federal and city leaders, announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allocated $1.5 million in funding from the "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act" to the "Chicago Shoreline Storm Damage Reduction Project." The funding will support ongoing efforts to restore the Chicago shoreline after extensive coastal storm damage and rising lake levels. Read more
It's World Wetlands Day!
Events & Webinars
National Adaptation Forum Call for Proposal Now Open
Share your expertise at the National Adaptation Forum in Baltimore, Maryland October 25-27, 2022! The forum is a premier gathering of adaptation professionals. The call for proposals is now open and the deadline to submit is February 16, 2022. Learn more about the Forum and how to 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 February 25, 2022. Learn more about the conference and how to submit proposals here.

FEMA Publishes New State Profile Date for Risk Rating 2.0
FEMA has released new data on the agency’s Risk Rating 2.0 flood insurance rate pricing methods, including data that compares rate changes from the new rating methodology to the legacy rating system in place since the 1970s. The comparison data can be viewed on the Risk Rating 2.0 state profiles pages where there is a spreadsheet and a PDF narrative that explains the new methodology vs. the old methodology for each state and territory. Learn more here. 

FEMA Releases National Preparedness Report
FEMA released the 10th annual National Preparedness report which covers the state of national preparedness, risks the nation faces, and how those risks drive community-wide emergency management capability requirements. The new report also addresses how community leaders can take steps to address capability gaps. Read the report here.

Upcoming Deadline: 2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund RFP
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announces the 2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund (ECRF) to support projects that increase the resilience of coastal communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2020 and 2021. The fund supports conservation projects that create and restore natural systems to help protect coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms, floods, sea-level rise, inundation, coastal erosion, wildfires and associated landslides/debris flows, and enable communities to recover more quickly from these events, all while improving habitats for fish and wildlife species. The ECRF seeks to fund shovel-ready projects to improve wildlife habitat that also improves community resilience and recovery both in and around impacted areas. Proposals are due February 3, 2022. Learn more and apply here.

Call for Abstracts and Session Proposals for National Working Waterfront Network Conference
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. Abstract and session proposals are due February, 25, 2022. Learn more and submit 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
In The States

In The Agencies

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

Job Boards

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.
Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | cso@coastalstates.org | www.coastalstates.org