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:
New FEMA Guide to Expand Coastal Mitigation
FEMA has released the “Guide to Expanding Mitigation: Making the Connection to the Coast.” This guide explores ways to mitigate natural hazard risks that affect coastal communities.

Coastal communities have their own cultures, demographics and economies. They also have unique natural hazards such as tropical systems, winter storms, tsunamis, storm surge and coastal erosion. As coastal communities continue to grow, mitigation efforts must protect the whole community, including human and natural systems. The guide discusses the challenges coastal communities face. It also provides resources and ideas to mitigate that risk. The guide is for emergency managers, community planners, coastal and floodplain managers and other community stakeholders.

View and download the guide here. The release is part of FEMA’s “Guides to Expanding Mitigation” series that highlight innovative and emerging partnerships for mitigation. Visit FEMA.gov and download all the guides 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
A Coastal Road Connects These Patients To Dialysis. Climate Change Could Make That Harder
Elizabeth Kaleo was standing on the side of the road near her house in Hauula when her phone started to chime, the musical ringtone punctuating the quiet Oahu morning. She pressed a green button and an automated voice spoke. “This is the Handi-Van,” the recording said, notifying her that her ride would be arriving promptly in 10 minutes. “Please be waiting at your pickup location.” Kaleo sits in the back of the van during the hourlong drive south along the two-lane Kamehameha Highway. The 63-year-old has only been going to dialysis since the day before Christmas, but already it’s become a familiar routine. The bus snakes along the Windward Coast, gray clouds hovering threateningly overhead as Kaleo checks her phone and watches the coastal landscape go by. The van’s steady pace is punctuated by stops for other passengers, including other dialysis regulars. But while her commute is doable now, that may not always be the case. A gradually rising water table is already eating away at the highway as sea level rises due to climate change, says Chip Fletcher, the interim dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Storm surges with king tides occasionally overflow parts of the coastal road, forcing temporary road closures. Fletcher and other scientists who have analyzed the highway predicted that portions could be inundated as soon as 2050, raising questions about how residents will access essential services like dialysis. Read more

Trash-Snaring Vessel to Clean Newport Beach Waters Gains Coastal Commission Approval
Newport Beach is drifting closer to operating a solar-powered, trash-snaring vessel known as a water wheel to clean up its bay, following recent approval from the California Coastal Commission. The water wheel is expected to look like a snail with a paddle wheel or a conch shell crossed with a steamboat, mirroring its cousins in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where the first of two was installed in 2014. As proposed, two booms would span the width of San Diego Creek and funnel trash toward the stationary barge, which would be mounted with a 17-foot-tall water wheel. Any debris would land on a conveyer belt, then travel into two dumpsters mounted on a fixed rail system. The dumpsters would be conveyed to land, where a garbage truck would access them and dispose of the trash. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
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

$1.45B Lower Manhattan Flood Project Aims to Protect Residents From Another Hurricane Sandy
A 2.4-mile stretch of shoreline along the East River in Lower Manhattan is undergoing a multi-year project to protect the lowest lying neighborhoods on the island from rising sea level and storms the likes of Hurricane Sandy that caused roughly $19 billion damage to New York City in 2012. Tabbed at $1.45 billion the ambitious flood protection initiative by the city integrates a series of cast-in-place concrete floodwalls, 18 steel floodgates, berms and raised parkland to heights of eight-to 10-feet above existing grade. Called the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project, it is the first leg of the proposed “big U” – a 10-mile ribbon of protection extending from midtown on the west side of Manhattan south around the tip of the island and north up to the east side. Read more
Great Lakes
On Lake Superior, A $1 Billion Eco-Disaster Is Swallowing the Coast
Robert Regis was dumbstruck at the damage Lake Superior had wrought on his property. On Oct. 24, 2017, a massive storm struck the upper Midwest. Thanks to a coastline heavily altered by mining waste, huge waves from the largest Great Lake mounted the beach with ease, scouring the foundation of his house and removing several feet of topsoil from atop his septic drainage field, which is more than 100 yards from the water. The lake also left behind a present, of sorts. “It covered my grass with a foot of stamp sands,” said Regis, 66, a retired Northern Michigan University geology professor who owns a cabin on Kuivanen Road near Gay, Mich. “I had to get my tractor in there to remove it all, it was that deep. It was incredible.” The sand deposited on Regis’ yard wasn’t actually sand at all — at least, not the fine-grained silica sand that beachgoers know. “Stamp sand” is pulverized rock leftover from ore processing; dark, coarse, pebbly basalt chunks dug from the Earth during the Second Industrial Revolution, replete with clay, dust and metal leachate that creates a halo in the lake water. It is the enduring legacy of historic mining, a vestige of the Keweenaw Peninsula’s heyday as the world’s greatest source of copper. For more than 100 years, roughly 50 billion pounds dumped in a pile so large it once extended a half mile into the lake, has been slowly, inexorably, eroding south. As they move, the stamp sands swallow the coast and smother the lakebed, transforming miles of shoreline into a lifeless, apocalyptic hellscape that people liken to the surface of the Moon. It is a slow-motion ecological disaster unfolding across a century. Read more

Wind and Wave Buoys Relocated in Apostle Islands
Several buoys that provide real-time wave condition information in the waters of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore to aid with paddler and boater safety have been moved to new locations this summer based on public feedback. The buoys are part of the Water Information for a Safe Coast Watch program. In 2021, seven spotter buoys were deployed throughout the islands, plus Chequamegon Bay near Ashland and Siskiwit Bay near Cornucopia. The buoys monitor wave height, water temperature and wind information. Conditions around the 22 islands vary dramatically due to sheltering effects from the archipelago and rapidly changing winds and fast-moving storms. Paddlers, anglers and boaters can use the data to plan their trips, or plan not to go. The scientific data collected by the buoys is being used by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers to make nearshore wave and current forecast computer models more accurate so that in the future, buoys won’t be needed. Read more
Gulf Coast
EPA to Give $60M to 12 States to Help Curb Water Pollution
The federal government said Friday that it will distribute $60 million among 12 states that have waterways that flow into the Mississippi River to help them control farm runoff and other pollution that contribute to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The money comes from the infrastructure law that President Joe Biden signed in November, the Environmental Protection Agency said. Radhika Fox, EPA assistant administrator for water, made the announcement with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig in Des Moines. “The Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watershed is an iconic ecosystem that millions of Americans depend on for drinking water, agriculture, recreation and economic development and it is essential that we reduce nutrient pollution that harms water quality,” Fox said. Naig is the co-chairman of the 12-member Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force. It was designed to cut the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen that flows from rivers and streams into the Mississippi River and causes the Gulf’s dead zone. Read more

EPA Grants Permit for Ocean Era Aquaculture Demonstration Project Off of Sarasota County
The EPA approved the permit for the Ocean Era aquaculture demonstration project in federal waters off of Sarasota County on June 8 – the same day another federal agency opened its public comment period on nine potential aquaculture sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency had withheld final approval for the Ocean Era project pending clarification of whether discharges of waste generated by the fish would degrade the water. The project, which would see about 20,000 Almaco jack fish raised in a net pen 45 miles offshore from Sarasota County between Venice and Englewood, requires an EPA permit because the water that flows through the net pen is considered to be “define e,” and so the nutrient levels will need to be monitored. Read more
Events & Webinars
NOAA Releases Application Guide for their 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report
NOAA along with other collaborators has released the Application Guide for the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report. The Application Guide is designed to assist coastal decision-makers and coastal professionals with applying and integrating the information in the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report (released February 2022) into local sea level rise planning and adaptation decisions. The guide is one example of taking the science “the last mile” so it can inform decisions such as where to locate new critical infrastructure or where to design nature-based solutions such as restored wetlands. Paired up with online tools such as NOAA’s SLR Viewer that provides the 2022 projections, the guide gives coastal communities a path forward on understanding future risk and on taking action to reduce that risk. Learn more and read the guide here.

Atchafalaya Basin Nominated as Site of Louisiana National Estuarine Research Reserve
Gov. John Bel Edwards officially selected the Atchafalaya Coastal Basin as the preferred site in Louisiana to be added to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System. He also tasked the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to serve as the state’s lead agency, working with continued support from Louisiana State University, for engaging with NOAA to complete the remaining steps to formally designate the Atchafalaya Coastal Basin as Louisiana’s NERR. NOAA’s NERR sites serve as living laboratories for the study of estuaries and the natural and human changes that they experience. They host monitoring, training, and educational activities that connect people to science while helping to build long-term relationships among local communities, state and federal agencies, and other nongovernmental entities. Louisiana is currently the only marine coastal state in the country without a National Estuarine Research Reserve. Learn more here.

ASBPA Announces 2022 Best Restored Beach Award Recipients
ASBPA has announced the 2022 Best Restored Beach Award recipients. The best restored beach award program recognizes community beach restoration projects around the United States which increase a shoreline’s resiliency, the beach’s ability to mitigate storm damage and flooding from severe storms, and naturally allow the beach to adjust to short-term sea level rise while remaining an important part of the nearshore ecosystem. The recipients are Duxbury Beach Dune Restoration Project, MA; Ocean Isle Beach Shoreline Protection Project, NC; Sodus Point Beach Project, NY; and Waikiki Beach Maintenance Project, HI. Learn more about these beaches here.

Marine Biodiversity Data Now More Accessible
The unique collection of global marine biodiversity data in the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) contributed by the U.S. will be safely archived at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information for decades to come through a new collaboration between NOAA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). OBIS is an international network of data providers and data managers that has been integrating and sharing key information on marine species for over 20 years. 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 will be two virtual public scoping meetings on June 23 and August 3, 2022, and an in-person meetings on July 19 and 21, 2022. Learn more about the proposed sanctuary, and public scoping meetings here.

Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund 2020-2021 Season Request for Proposals
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund to support projects to assess, remove, and dispose of marine debris in and around coastal communities impacted hurricanes and other episodic storm events. The Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund will award approximately $3 million in grants to remove damaging marine debris from coastal areas of communities impacted by hurricanes Ida, Laura, Delta and Sally to reduce impacts to communities, industry and prevent further harm to habitats and fish and wildlife populations. Full proposals are due June 29th, 2022. Learn more 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.
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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.

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