CSO Newsletter

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

Spotlight on Coastal Management: North Carolina Commission Approves Septic Rule Changes, Flood Disclosure

Advocates say would-be homebuyers and current oceanfront property owners in North Carolina have long needed clearer rules and updated information as climate change increases the risks of damage and flooding. Two unrelated, but long-sought actions taken last week by the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission seek to clarify two persistent issues: septic systems on the public beach, and residential flooding.

With two dozen or so septic tanks and their various parts scattered on the beaches of Cape Hatteras National Seashore last year after the collapse of three large beach houses into the ocean in the village of Rodanthe, gaps in regulations and enforcement became glaringly self-evident. Concerns also were renewed that some owners of the damaged or destroyed properties seemed to be uninformed about the risk of beach erosion, storm tides and flood damage.

The commission, which met Thursday in Manteo, voted unanimously to approve an amended septic rule. Although the changes did not address all the complexities of ocean shoreline septic issues, they specify what is allowed in repairing or moving septic systems on an eroding ocean beach, and are the first update since the recent spate of beach house collapses.

According to the updated rule, if a septic system on the oceanfront is battered by storm tide, repairs can be done in place without a permit. Otherwise, the replacement or relocation of any septic system seaward of the vegetation line needs a permit. Read more here.

In the States and Regions

West Coast and Pacific

Oregon Territorial Sea Plan: Rocky Habitat Management Strategy Adopted

The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission has unanimously adopted an amendment to the Rocky Habitat Management Strategy, Part Three of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP). The decision adds six new management areas that reflect the needs of the communities that proposed them. Rocky Habitat Management Areas focus on balancing use and conservation through the enhancement of visitor experiences with education and interpretation to limit wildlife disturbance and habitat degradation. Read more here.

New Rules That Seek To Better Protect Maui’s Coastlines Will Take Effect Soon

Planning officials are paving the way for some big changes with how the local government controls development and construction projects close to and along Maui’s coastlines.The rule changes are the culmination of months of sometimes contentious meetings between Maui County planning officials, volunteers on the Maui Planning Commission and residents ranging from shoreline advocates to scientists to tourism industry representatives who spent hours scouring the proposed rules. Read more here.

East Coast and Caribbean

BOEM Advances Offshore Wind Leasing Process in the Gulf of Maine

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced the publication of its Gulf of Maine Call for Information and Nominations (Call). This Call invites public comment on, and assesses interest in, possible commercial wind energy development in areas offshore Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. 

This represents an early step in the commercial planning and leasing process, and the first required by BOEM regulations. Read more here.

Virginia: Millions for Marine Restoration on Eastern Shore Seaside

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded nearly $2.26 million dollars to continue marine restoration efforts and provide critical habitat for fish, bay scallops, and crabs on the Eastern Shore’s seaside, according to an announcement made Friday. The money will enable the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and its grantee, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, to plant 60 acres of eelgrass and release more than six million bay scallops. The program is a network of state agencies and coastal localities, led by the Virginia DEQ, that administers the state’s coastal laws and policies. These restoration efforts have been a joint effort since 2001. Read more here.

Great Lakes

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on Flood Resiliency Project in Town of Clayton, Jefferson County

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction of a flood resiliency project in the Town of Clayton, Jefferson County. The project was awarded $4 million in grant funding through the State’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative and once complete, will help mitigate the impact of future high-water events and improve resiliency of the shoreline in a popular tourist area. Read more here.

Federal Funds Add to Support for Benton Harbor-Area Ecosystem Restoration

A $975,000 grant from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the latest support announced for a transformational Southwest Michigan ecosystem restoration project whose multiple partners include the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)....The grant will help project planners develop a habitat restoration plan for the Ox Creek corridor and build capacity within the city to provide project management, community outreach and engagement, and coalition-building to achieve the community’s vision to restore and revitalize the creek corridor. The SWMPC will coordinate with the city to hire an administrator to help build a coalition of residents and local organizations, conduct community outreach and engagement, develop a habitat restoration plan that incorporates public input, and implement two pilot habitat restoration projects. Read more here.

Gulf Coast

Thriving Yet Vulnerable Louisiana Estuary Takes Steps to Join Federal System

On April 20, one of Louisiana’s most vibrant and biodiverse natural habitats could move a step closer to gaining protection as a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). Two public meetings—on April 20 and 25—will help shape the proposed reserve, which is in the vast Atchafalaya Basin. The sessions will help inform the NERR’s environmental impact statement, a foundational document that will settle critical details of the site, including its precise boundaries. Read more here.

Apparent Flounder Rebound Has Gulf Coast Encouraged

hether it was regulation changes or better environmental conditions, the apparent rebound in the flounder population has everyone involved with the fishery along the Alabama Gulf Coast encouraged.Scott Bannon, Director of the Marine Resources Division (MRD) of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), said the Division adopted stricter limits several years ago because of a decline in the flounder population. Read more here.

Events & Webinars

May 16, 2023

May 17-18, 2023

May 18, 2023

May 23, 2023

May 31-June 3, 2023

June 1, 2023

June 6-9, 2023

June 22, 2023

June 26-29, 2023

October 6-10, 2023

October 10-13, 2023

October 16-19, 2023

October 23-25, 2023

November 12-16, 2023


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. EPA will host a webinar on the request on Tuesday May 23, 2023. Applications are being accepted through Friday August 11, 2023.

FEMA Publishes Webinar on State and Local Mitigation Policy Guides

The Natural Hazards Center has published a webinar on FEMA's updated State and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guides, which are in effect as of April 2023. The recent policy changes require a more systematic focus on reducing disaster risk among disadvantaged and underserved communities, calling for greater community engagement in the planning process and more robust use of social vulnerability indicators in risk assessments. The webinar provides an overview of the changes to FEMA's mitigation planning policies, a summary of resources on effective risk communication and partnership-building, and preliminary research results regarding the inclusion of social vulnerability and vulnerable populations in State Hazard Mitigation Plans.

Funding for 17 New EPA Technical Assistance Centers Announced

EPA announced the selection of 17 Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy that will receive $177 million to help underserved and overburdened communities across the country access funds from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, including historic investments to advance environmental justice.

EPA Releases Self-Guided Training on Hazard Mitigation and Water Quality

EPA’s Nonpoint Source program, alongside EPA’s Watershed Academy released a web-based training “Creating Co-Benefits Through Hazard Mitigation Planning and Water Resource Management.” This training was developed with review and feedback from partners at FEMA and supports water quality and hazard mitigation professionals in integrating water quality issues, water resource management, and nature-based practices into state or local Hazard Mitigation Plans.

FEMA Releases New Hazard Mitigation Planning Policies to Address Future Risk

FEMA National Mitigation Planning Program's next generation of the State Mitigation Planning Policy Guide and Local Mitigation Planning Policy Guide / Guía de políticas de planificación de mitigación a nivel local went into effect on April 19, 2023. The policies reinforce resilience as a Whole Community effort. The policies position mitigation planning to be integrated with other complementary community actions, such as climate adaptation, resilience and sustainability planning initiatives. These efforts build state and local capabilities and help jurisdictions plan for long-term risk reduction, climate change and more-equitable outcomes.

EPA Launches New Webpage on State Revolving Loan Funds and BIL

The State Revolving Funds (SRFs) have been the successful foundation of water infrastructure investments, with states, Tribes, and territories working to steward more than $200 billion in SRF funds since 1988. That is why the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates most of these water infrastructure dollars—$43 billion—through the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs. Distributing this investment through the SRFs allows states maximum flexibility to be creative and responsive to their communities' specific needs and challenges. To procure Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, each state must publish an Intended Use Plan and then apply for funding. Each state can access five different BIL funding streams: Clean Water SRF General Supplemental funding, Clean Water SRF Emerging Contaminants funding, Drinking Water SRF General Supplemental funding, Drinking Water SRF Emerging Contaminants funding, and Drinking Water SRF Lead Service Line Replacement funding. Because each state manages these funds differently, statuses may vary across states and funding categories. Check out the new webpage to learn more about your state’s funding status.

Call for Abstracts for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop

FEMA is holding their Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop virtually October 16-19, 2023.The annual gathering of hazard mitigation stakeholders is an opportunity to share updates about mitigation grants and floodplain management, build stronger partnerships, and collaborate with FEMA.Topics will focus on building mitigation champions, driving community resiliency, providing technical assistance for grant programs, and supporting overall mitigation. In line with key workshop themes, there is interest in abstracts highlighting efforts to reach or build capacity within disadvantaged communities.The call for abstracts is open until Monday, May 15, 2023.

Coastal Program Announces 2023 New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Grant Request for Applications

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Coastal Program is soliciting 2023 Coastal Resilience Grant (CRG) applications for coastal resilience projects. The CRG funding opportunity supports projects that build capacity, advance planning, and develop designs to increase coastal resilience, with specific focus on community and/or habitat resilience. Applications are due May 26, 2023. Learn more here.

Job Openings

In The States

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

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management - Natural Resources Engineer

South Carolina, Sea Grant Consortium - Coastal GIS Specialist

Texas, General Land Office, Coastal Resources Division - Natural Resource Specialist III (Beach Access & Dune Protection Program)

Texas, General Land Office, Marketing Specialist IV (Coastal Resources)

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

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

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Coastal Zone Management Program Manager

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

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary - AmeriCorps/NOAA Environmental Education & Stewardship Specialist

Lynker, Silver Spring, MD - Program Analyst

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

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

Pacific Coastal Research & Planning - Environmental Planner

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

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,and Medicine, Ocean Studies Board - Research Associate

The Nature Conservancy - Senior Advisory, Legislative Affairs

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System - GIS Innovation Develop

Ocean Conservancy - Indigenous Stewardship Fellow

Ocean Conservancy - Climate Science Coordinator

Ocean Conservancy - Senior Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy

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.

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 | [email protected] | www.coastalstates.org
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram