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
Revisioning a historic industrial harbor for the future in Illinois
Once a highly contaminated area with a legacy of manufacturing activity, Waukegan Harbor and the nearby waterfront area is experiencing a tremendous period of renewal and growth. Illinois’ Coastal Management Program, using EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding, is working with US Environmental Protection agency to facilitate cleanup and monitor the remediation. The Coastal Program’s partnership with Waukegan goes beyond remediation to create a foundation for transformative revitalization. Illinois’ Coastal Program funded several important planning efforts to identify community priorities and strategies to encourage recreation, resource protection, and redevelopment of the area. These included the Lakefront Active Implementation Plan, Waukegan Port District Master Plan, Sustainable Shoreline Plan, and a Beach and Dune Management Plan. These efforts provide the blueprint for creative opportunities to promote public access and sustainable development.

The City of Waukegan and the Waukegan Port District are now implementing their planned vision for a vibrant and welcoming locale for residents, tourists, and business alike. The Port District has welcomed new regional businesses, attracted local residents for events like the Earth Day Cleanups, and plans to open an ADA accessible canoe and kayak launch as part of the Lake Michigan Water Trail this year. The city has focused on improving the swimming beach and offering a suite of activities, from morning yoga to concerts under the lakefront pavilion.
Food trucks are now part of the summertime scene at the beach because of the City’s investment in parking infrastructure and permitting changes. Stormwater management improvements, designated dune trails and wayfinding, and interpretive signs are also in the works for this year. The Illinois Coastal Management Program investments, via NOAA Coastal Zone Management Act funding, in planning, coordination, and partnership building are reaping dividends in lakefront improvements for the community of Waukegan.
Find more information on the work being done by the State Coastal Zone Management Programs on CSO's Publication page: www.coastalstates.org/csopublications/
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
Commission Adopts Sandbag Rule Changes
With the final adoption of amendments to sandbag rules during the November Coastal Resources Commission meeting, some difficulties should be eased for waterfront property owners and Division of Coastal Management staff.

The CRC proposed changing the rules to comply with a 2015 legislative mandate related to the management of temporary erosion control structures, or sandbags, along oceanfront and estuarine shorelines, as well as include changes recommended by the CRC, Coastal Resources Advisory Council and local and government agencies, according to the fiscal analysis of the changes. Read more.
West Coast and Pacific
A conservation comeback is delivering big returns on the West Coast
Win-win outcomes, delivering results for the economy and the environment, can feel few and far between these days. But you don’t have to look further than the West Coast’s biggest fishery to see a remarkable example of mutually-beneficial progress. An announcement this week that a strong recovery in the fishery would now permit dramatic increases in harvest levels was celebrated by fishermen and conservationists alike, and provided further proof that a healthy ecosystem can go hand-in-hand with a profitable fishing industry and thriving coastal communities. Read more.
Gulf of Mexico
Post-Harvey report outlines steps to prepare Texas for future storms
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast just before 10 pm on August 25, 2017. The storm came ashore just northeast of Corpus Christi and quickly devastated Texas coastal communities with 130 mile-per-hour winds and a six-foot storm surge. From there, the storm moved eastward, leaving a path of destruction that covered an area
of Texas the size of New Jersey. By the time the storm left the state, dozens of Texas counties and millions of Texans had been affected.
Great Lakes
New Investment Speeds Up Soo Lock Project
Efforts to construct a new Soo Lock took a big step forward as Michigan and the USACE’s Detroit District have signed a memorandum of agreement officially committing Michigan’s contribution of up to $52 million for the new lock at the Soo Locks facility in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Read more.
Events & Webinars
Announcements
Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rulemaking: Step Two - Revise
On December 11, 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) proposed a revised definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The agencies’ proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule.” The proposed definition would replace the approach in the 2015 Rule and the pre-2015 regulations.

The public is encouraged to submit written comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov . The agencies will take comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register


 
WOTUS Rulemaking Webcast to be held on a date to be determined- register here .

A public hearing will be held in Kansas City, Kansas on January 23, 2019, to provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or information concerning the proposed rule: Federal Register Notice of Hearing .


The Capitol Beach Podcast
Our friend and colleague, Derek Brockbank, Executive Director of ASBPA is now hosting a semi-regular podcast on coastal and beach federal policy, called “The Capitol Beach” – and his first show just launched with an interview of Environmental & Public Works Ranking Member, Senator Tom Carper from Delaware. They discuss WRDA, climate change, and coastal infrastructure with . Take a listen: https://www.coastalnewstoday.com/podcasts/senator-tom-carper

The Podcast is being done in partnership with Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network (ASPN). The Capitol Beach will feature discussions on federal beach and coastal policy with the people making that policy in Washington, DC.  


Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program
The Coastal Society if organizing its third Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program workshop at Coastal Carolina University (Conway, South Carolina) on February 14pm – 15am, 2019. The workshop has been scheduled to follow the biennial Coastal GeoTools meeting in Charleston earlier that same week. More information on the Margaret A. Davidson program and the CCU workshop is available at https://new.thecoastalsociety.org/?page_id=723



What the Government Shutdown Means for Our Coasts and Ocean
The partial shutdown of the federal government reached its 16th day on Monday with no immediate resolution in sight. With border security politics dominating the headlines, Republican and Democrat lawmakers remained locked in a stalemate while President Trump signaled a willingness to keep the government shut down for months or even years. The upshot is that dozens of federal agencies remain closed or operating at minimum capacity until the gridlock in DC is resolved. Read more.


Digital Coast Training
Incorporating ecosystem services concepts into decision-making can be challenging for coastal managers. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management recently developed an in-person training called  A Framework for Ecosystem Services Projects. The course provides a foundation and practical  skills for applying the ecosystem services framework to projects in progress or those in the early stages of project planning. Participants will learn about the framework elements (biophysical science, human benefits, communication, and stakeholder engagement) and begin the scoping process using a worksheet to help think through key considerations.


USFWS Updates CBRS Maps
The USFWS have prepared proposed digital boundaries for the second batch of Coastal Barrier Resources System units included in the Hurricane Sandy Remapping Project. As part of this effort the USFWS is collecting comments on the revised maps. In addition, they are holding virtual public meetings on the topic. Link to announcement


Surfrider Foundation - State of the Beach Report
Surfrider Foundation has released their State of the Beach report focused on erosion, sediment management, coastal armoring/development, Sea Level Rise and coastal management practices/policies. It compares approaches and effectiveness of all the coastal states in the US. Read the report here.


National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
On November 19th, NFWF announced its sixth round of awards for the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. More than $280 million will go to 21 projects across the five Gulf states. A complete list of the NFWF supported projects can be found on their website .  


North American Conservation Wetlands Act fund (NAWCA)
The 2019 grant cycle deadlines are now available. Information for this program is available on the NAWCA website .


NFWF Five Star Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2019 Request for Proposals
This program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The full proposal deadline is January 31, 2019.


NOAA Research and Development Plan
The NOAA Research Council is developing the research and development plan . Comments are due by February 8, 2019.


Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program 2019 Request for Proposals
Full Proposal Due Date:  Thursday, January 31, 2019 by 11:59 PM Eastern Time
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEx, Southern Company, Shell Oil Company and BNSF Railway are pleased to solicit applications for the 2019 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $1.7 million in grants nationwide. Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes and educational institutions.


Tips and Stories for Coastal Managers, Delivered to Your Inbox
Have the latest technical topics, professional tips, and stories from your peers emailed to you each month. Subscribe to NOAA Office for Coastal Management’s recently redesigned Digital Coast Connections newsletter . Stay in the know about new data, tools, and resources from NOAA’s Digital Coast, as well as announcements from the research reserves, the Coastal Zone Management Program, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. Email the office for more information. 
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.
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