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:
Maximizing Coastal Coordination With
Long Island Sound Blue Plan
The Connecticut Coastal Management Program led a multi-partner effort to develop the Long Island Sound Blue Plan which features an interactive map viewerpractitioner’s guide, and other resources to help protect coastal resources and guide offshore development. This inventory of the Sound’s natural resources and uses is helping people across the public-private spectrum plan for wind transmission cables, address ship traffic issues, open public access, avoid site conflicts, inform seagrass conservation, and more.

For example:
  • The Plan informed the recent designation of the Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve.
  • The Plan and data viewer are helping offshore wind energy planners and developers assess siting alternatives for potential transmission cables, which would travel from offshore wind areas to land locations in Connecticut and New York.
  • Aquaculture representatives are using the viewer and natural resources inventory to identify potential conflicts early and collaborate on solutions.
  • The Connecticut Town of Darien used the map viewer’s features to enhance coordination between planners and a local coastal water commission concerning mooring, fishing, water trail, and sailing areas.
  • The City of Bridgeport's waterfront advisory board is using Blue Plan maps to consider new public access sites near Pleasure Beach, the Bridgeport Harbor, Yellow Mill Channel, and Pequonnock River.

Learn more about the Long Island Sound Plan 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!
CZMA at 50 Podcast Series

Join CSO's Executive Director, Derek Brockbank, in a five part podcast series to learn about the basis of the act, why it’s important, how it’s changed, and more.

All five episodes of the series are now available! Listen to all of them here or wherever you get your podcasts!
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Beach Restoration Project in Waikīkī Wins National Award
A restoration project at a popular Hawai‘i beach has garnered national accolades. The Waikīkī Beach Maintenance Project won an award for best restored beach from the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association. The project was one of four beach restoration projects recently honored by the association. Projects were judged on their economic and ecological benefits, short- and long-term success and the challenges a community overcame during the project. The Waikīkī project, completed in May 2021, was focused along the shoreline of Mamala Bay on O‘ahu’s south shore in a spot known as Royal Hawaiian Beach. It involved the placement of 21,700 cubic yards of sand, roughly doubling the beach’s width. The project was part of planned maintenance of Waikīkī Beach every 5-10 years. It employs a “sand recycling” concept, using offshore sand eroded from the beach placed back on the same beach. Read more

California Coastal Commission Approves Upcoming Offshore Wind Activities
The California Coastal Commission has approved offshore wind activities in Morro Bay and Humboldt Bay that will result from the upcoming lease sale for five areas located in the waters offshore central and northern California. Under its federal consistency review authority, the Coastal Commission evaluated whether the leasing process proposed by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is consistent with the California Coastal Act, including site investigations that those who win at the auction will be conducting as well as the potential future lease development activities, including construction and operation of offshore wind farms. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Starting July 1, Sea-Level Rise Studies Required for Florida Gov’t Coastal Structures
Starting Friday, July 1, state and local governments will have to conduct a sea-level impact study if they build anything near Florida’s coastline, the result of a state law passed in 2020. Although the law applies only to government entities using state funds, it could have an impact on neighboring private properties and their insurance premiums. It’s possible that insurers could use the studies to help determine risk from floods, pollution and other hazards in some coastal areas. . . . The rules to implement the bill were finalized last year by the state Department of Environmental Protection. . . .DEP has created an online tool that helps users visualize future sea levels and coastal flood hazards. Read more

A ‘Living Shoreline’ Takes Root in New York’s Jamaica Bay
A flotilla of water birds bobbed on West Pond as hundreds of tree swallows swooped overhead, their blue iridescent backs glinting in the sun. Manhattan’s skyline loomed in the distance. The pond, part of Jamaica Bay, a National Park Service wildlife refuge next to Kennedy Airport between southwest Queens and Rockaway Beach, is one of the few freshwater stops for migrating birds in the urban New York City region. In 2012, it was breached by Superstorm Sandy’s tumultuous waves and 115 mile per hour winds, becoming a tidal lagoon. Now, a “living shoreline” restoration project devised by the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy is showing early signs that new marsh grasses, protected by degradable jetties, could become a prototype for other coastal resiliency projects looking to protect habitats and coastlines from the increased storms and rising sea levels of climate change. Read more

Abandoned Boats Are A Growing Problem In Virginia Waters
Whether lurking as hazards beneath the water’s surface or becoming eyesores as they drift ashore, abandoned boats are a growing problem in Chesapeake Bay waters — especially in Virginia. And they’re not as easy to get out of the water as they were to put in. The U.S. Coast Guard has documented 170 abandoned and derelict vessels in Virginia waters since 2013, and state officials are building a list of even more that need to be removed. The Lynnhaven group, along with Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program and the Clean Virginia Waterways project at Longwood University, has applied for a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Marine Debris Program to fund more boat removals. The federal program funneled nearly $2 million into 10 marine debris removal programs in states in 2021, helping them tackle a backlog of derelict vessels decomposing in their waters. The Coastal Zone Management Program, operated under Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, has largely completed a report on the status of the state’s abandoned boat problem. Read more
Great Lakes
EGLE partners with Army Corps of Engineers for educational beach walks
This summer, the Michigan Coastal Management Program (MCMP) in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to host eight community Beach Walks along the shores of each of the Great Lakes that border Michigan: Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior. The walks are open to anyone, and dates and locations are listed at the end of this article. Dr. Jim Selegean, a hydraulic engineer with the Corps’ Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office in Detroit, will lead the walks. Selegean has studied coastal issues and our shrinking beaches for more than 30 years and leads the district’s coastal engineering and field measurements unit. The program’s goal is to increase coastal communities’ resilience – the ability to understand and use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations. Community members will learn about Great Lakes water levels, coastal hazards, Great Lakes storm dynamics, impacts from coastal erosion and flooding, and more. Read more

Chicago Beaches Bear Brunt of Climate Change, Erosion as Lake Michigan Levels Fluctuate
Chicago’s beaches are bearing the brunt of fluctuating lake levels and worsening erosion. This, as Lake Michigan levels drop, following two years of record highs. The Chicago Tribune did a deep dive into the issue this weekend as the city looks to take action to address repairs that are needed on Chicago’s lakefront. Casey Sebetto, coastal resilience specialist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Program and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Prairie Research Institute, says lake levels are cyclical in nature, but the extent to which lake levels have fluctuated is significant. Read more
Gulf Coast
Preserving The Future
Protecting a nationally recognized estuary in a rapidly developing coastal area can be a bit like putting together a puzzle where the pieces are constantly being shuffled and changed, the challenge faced by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Managed by the ADCNR State Lands Division (SLD) and funded in part through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Weeks Bay Reserve is part of a network of thirty protected estuaries around the country. The Reserve System was established to provide research, education, and outreach related to understanding the function and management of estuaries, which provide important ecosystem services such as protection from storm surge, removal of nutrients and pollutants from coastal waters, and serving as a nursery ground for recreationally and commercially important fish and shellfish. Will Underwood, Coastal Section Administrator with the ADCNR SLD, said that part of the long-term strategy for maintaining the health of the waters of Weeks Bay includes willing-seller land acquisition. “Successful acquisition of land in a rapidly growing area such as Baldwin County requires a great deal of teamwork with partners,” said Underwood. “We have been fortunate to have access to a variety of funding sources over the last decade – including competitive funding from NOAA, support from the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, and funding from the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Alabama Trustee Implementation Group.” Read more

National Academies’ Gulf Research Program Awards $3.7 Million to Support Innovative Community Engagement Methods and Enhance Data Usage to Develop Equitable Outcomes to Climate Hazards
 The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grant awards for 13 new projects totaling $3.7 million. Communities in the Gulf region and Alaska — many of which are disadvantaged or historically marginalized — confront numerous complex and interrelated challenges associated with climate change, including impacts from a range of events such as sea level rise, flooding, severe storms, wildfires, and erosion. Seven projects awarded grants under the Innovative Community Engagement Methods grant opportunity seek to develop and employ innovative approaches to engage communities in activities addressing the impacts of climate change on human health and community resilience. Additionally, when confronting challenges associated with climate hazards or other disasters, local governments often struggle to make effective use of science and data in planning and decision-making processes, despite an abundance of data and decision-support tools. The GRP is supporting six projects through its Bridging Knowledge to Action grants that will facilitate the use of open and accessible data to help state, local, or tribal governments achieve better outcomes associated with climate hazards or other disasters. Read more
Events & Webinars
NOAA Announces Nearly $3 Billion in Funding Opportunities from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
NOAA has announced  funding opportunities from NOAA's $2.96 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to address the climate crisis and strengthen coastal resilience and infrastructure. Over the next five years, NOAA’s targeted investments in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and climate data and services will advance ongoing federal efforts toward building climate resilience. NOAA will select high-impact projects that will incentivize investments in communities, states, and regions that can drive additional funding to complementary projects. Funded projects will support three major initiatives:
  • Climate Ready Coasts will help coastal communities build the future they want to see, investing in natural infrastructure projects that build coastal resilience, create jobs, store carbon, remove marine debris, and restore habitat.
  • Climate Data and Services will support a whole-of-government effort to address the climate crisis by getting critical information and tools in the hands of decision-makers, particularly to address floods, wildfire, drought, and ocean health.
  • Fisheries and Protected Resources will advance efforts to restore important fisheries habitat and promote community economic development.
Learn more about these funding opportunities here.

Coastal Love Photo Contest Winners Announced
Congratulations to the 2022 Coastal Love photo contest winners! Each year the NOAA Office for Coastal Management holds a coastal management photo contest. This year's theme was “Show Us Your Love for the Coast" highlighting photos from walks by the water, fishing excursions, support of coastal businesses, and more. See the winners and honorable mentions here.

2022 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will be accepting photo submissions from May 27th through September 5th, 2022 for the Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest. All photographers are welcome, regardless of skill level, and the organization will be accepting photos in four categories: Sanctuary Views, Sanctuary Life, Sanctuary Recreation, and Sanctuaries at Home. The winning photographs will be announced in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Marine Sanctuary System. Learn more and submit your photos here.

FEMA Launches Disaster Response Landing Page on FloodSmart.gov
Hurricane season is upon us. In preparation for a predicted above average season and already high nationwide flood events this year, The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) launched the Disaster Response Landing Page on FloodSmart.gov. This webpage is designed to provide state, community and local officials with the most up-to-date and relevant NFIP publications and resources needed to prepare for and respond to floods. Learn more here.

FEMA released updates to the State and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guides. They are the official interpretation of the mitigation planning requirements in the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) and other federal statutes as well in federal regulations, specifically Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations Part 201 Mitigation Planning. FEMA routinely updates policies to improve and better support stakeholders in meeting federal requirements. Learn more here.

NOAA Notice of Intent to Designate Hudson Canyon As A National Marine Sanctuary
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Notice of Intent to begin the public scoping process to consider designating a national marine sanctuary in the Hudson Canyon area approximately 100 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey. A sanctuary designation would conserve the area’s ecosystems, promote sustainable use, and create new opportunities for scientific research, ocean education, and recreation. NOAA is accepting public comments on this Notice of Intent through August 8, 2022. There is one remaining virtual public scoping meetings on August 3, 2022, and in-person meetings on July 19 and 21, 2022. Learn more about the proposed sanctuary, and public scoping meetings here.

NOAA RESTORE Science Program Funding Opportunity
The NOAA RESTORE Science Program announced the 2023 funding opportunity. The funding opportunity provides natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with the chance to compete for funding to conduct a collaborative, previously planned research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. Letters of Intent are due August 15, 2022. Full proposals are due November 15, 2022. An informational webinar will be held on July 14, 2022, register here. Learn more and see the full funding announcement here.

NFWF Announces America the Beautiful Challenge 2022 Request for Proposals
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), through anticipated cooperative agreements from the Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Agriculture’s U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is pleased to announce the launch of the America the Beautiful Challenge (ATBC) 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP). The ATBC vision is to streamline grant funding opportunities for new voluntary conservation and restoration projects around the United States. This Request for Proposals is a first step toward consolidating funding from multiple federal agencies and the private sector to enable applicants to conceive and develop large-scale, locally led projects that address shared funder priorities spanning public and private lands. In year one of the ATBC approximately $85 million will be awarded in nationwide funding to advance the America the Beautiful Initiative and its goals to connect and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend. Proposals are due July 21, 2022. Learn more 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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