CSO Newsletter

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

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Spotlight on Coastal Management:

National Parks Service Taps Nonprofit Fund to Buy Two Rodanthe Houses

The two houses at the end of East Beacon Road in Rodanthe, N.C., sit precariously at the edge of the pounding surf. Fierce storms and rising tides have clawed away the sand beneath them, pummeled nearby dunes and undermined septic systems. The pair of homes seem destined to one day topple into the Atlantic Ocean, the way a growing number have in recent years along this stretch of the Outer Banks, where the rates of erosion and sea level rise are among the most rapid on the East Coast.

Given that reality, it might seem surprising that 23298 E. Beacon Rd. and 23292 E. Beacon Rd. sold on the same day recently. Perhaps even more surprising was the buyer: the National Park Service. After spending more than $700,000 for the salt-sprayed vacation homes, the federal government plans to promptly tear them down and turn the area into a public beach access. The move marks a unique and possibly groundbreaking chapter in the deepening dilemma of what to do with imperiled coastal homes, which are becoming only more vulnerable amid rising seas, more intense storms and unceasing erosion.

Often, states and localities have little money for buyouts of such places and little political will to pursue the controversial topic of retreating from threatened shorelines. Homeowners face unenviable options of letting their homes become inundated or spending large sums to try to move them, both of which have happened in Rodanthe. “Up until we did this, there didn’t appear to be any tools in the toolbox for us to help mitigate the problems associated with these threatened oceanfront structures,” said David Hallac, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and the man who engineered the purchases.

In the recent case, Hallac tapped funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, established by Congress in 1964 to safeguard important cultural and natural areas, and to expand recreational opportunities for Americans. Funded by earnings on offshore oil and gas leasing, it does not rely on taxpayer dollars. Read more here.

In the States and Territories

Gulf Coast

Here’s Why Salt Water Is Invading the Mississippi and Whether It Will Happen More Often

The drought-driven wedge of salt water creeping up the Mississippi River is deepening a mystery about one of the world's mightiest waterways. How will climate change affect the river? There are relatively few scientific studies on how warming is reshaping the Mississippi, and even fewer on saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico. The void comes as climate change threatens to alter the second-longest river in North America through raging floods, rising seas and prolonged drought, having extraordinary effects on the people who live in more than 100 cities and towns nestled along its banks. Scientists admit that gaps in their understanding about the effects of rising temperatures on the river have left them searching for answers about the saltwater wedge that is slowly moving upriver toward New Orleans, where it could jeopardize freshwater supplies by next month. Read more here.

New Study Projects Sea Level Rise to Drain Florida’s Financial Future

One million Florida properties are projected to become chronically flooded: properties that today fund nearly 30% of local revenues for more than half of the state’s municipalities, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Cornell and Florida State Universities. As sea level rise drowns those properties, the state can expect to lose a combined assessed value of $619 billion this century, the study’s authors write, and that figure’s likely a significant underestimation. The study’s statewide survey also revealed that for the most part, Florida’s local government planners and managers don’t realize how drastically climate change will impact them financially. But the study’s authors write they hope their work can serve as a “wake-up call” for state and local governments. "We’re not forecasting a future; what we’re doing is letting people get ahead of that future, we hope, so that local governments can start to say: ‘hey, wait a minute, we need to be preparing ourselves,’” said co-author William Butler, an associate professor of urban and regional planning at Florida State University. Read more here.

Great Lakes

Lake Superior Research Institute Testing Filter Technology Aimed to Keep Aquatic Invasive Species Out

The University of Wisconsin-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute’s Ballast Water Treatment Testing Facility is researching a filter technology that can be used to help keep invasive aquatic species out of the lake. Ballast water is used to provide stability and maneuverability for ships when the cargo holds are low or empty. However, that practice has been known to bring invasive species into bodies of water. For this research, Abigail Latanich collects samples to see what microorganisms are in Lake Superior. She is a grad student with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Latanich collaborates with the Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) at their Ballast Water Treatment Testing Facility. “We are going to test for about a month of weekly sampling events to see if it is established and what number of the cell introduced," said Latanich. "How much does it take to establish or kind of take off in our Lake Superior water? So, we are trying to kind of emulate the ballast discharge from ships.” Read more here.

U.S. EPA Approves Ohio’s Plan to Reduce Algae in Lake Erie

The EPA approved Ohio’s plan to reduce the amount of phosphorus flowing from the Maumee River into Lake Erie’s western basin. The plan establishes a total maximum daily load for phosphorus for the Maumee River Watershed. This action will help restore water quality in the western basin and support important uses like drinking water and recreation. “Ohio’s plan is but one tool that we are using, and I pledge to you that EPA is using and will expand use of other tools,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “Addressing the problem of algal blooms in the western basin of Lake Erie will take all of us. It will take unflagging commitment and resolve. And it will take time.” Read more here.

West Coast and Pacific

On Oahu’s North Shore, Big Fines Are Proposed for Illegal Erosion Control Measures

At a stretch of Sunset Beach along Ke Nui Road, there would normally be at least 50 yards of beach at the end of summer. But several houses are still on the edge as the winter surf season begins. The sand usually returns in the summer to replenish the shore from Sunset Beach to Rocky Point. “Usually in the summer we got a hundred yards out here. It’s like a football field. Now in the summer it’s gotten a lot shorter,” said longtime Rocky Point resident Todd Dunphy. There’s now about 20 yards of shoreline fronting his home. There’s also a steeper incline on the beach, with waves splashing rocks at Rocky Point that are usually surrounded with sand at this time of year. “It’s gonna be rough, it’s the biggest swell this early in the season, October,” said Dunphy about the expected big surf. “The direction’s bad for this section of the beach.” Dunphy has been fined by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources several times for his efforts to keep his house from being claimed by the waves. But his next-door neighbor could face a $937,000 fine for several alleged unauthorized erosion control measures, including using a conveyor belt to mine sand from the beach to fill sandbags. Read more here.

Group Led by University of Alaska Fairbanks Gets $13.9 Million to Aid Coastal Climate Resilience

The National Science Foundation is funding a $13.9 million program led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks to help multiple communities respond to coastal erosion, flooding, permafrost thaw and other hazards attributed to climate change. The four years of funding is part of the foundation’s Navigating the New Arctic program. The funding supports AC³TION, a project led by the Alaska Coastal Cooperative at UAF in collaboration with the rural coastal communities, Arizona State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Texas El Paso. The group’s acronym stands for Alaska Coastal Cooperative for Co-producing Transformative Ideas and Opportunities in the North. “To effectively respond to a rapidly changing Arctic, this project will develop and implement an innovative approach to resilience action that identifies community priorities, advances applied convergence science and improves communication and synergy across multiple stakeholder groups,” Alaska Coastal Cooperative Director Chris Maio said. Read more here.

East Coast and Caribbean

'Living Shoreline' On Display As New Rules Get Hochul's Signature

NYS Senator Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis took an opportunity to show off firsthand how new legislation they co-sponsored might change the way municipalities and property owners think about managing New York's shoreline. The lawmakers hosted a press conference on Tuesday to celebrate the "Living Shorelines" legislation being signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The new law will require the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to encourage the use of nature-based solutions as the preferred approach for stabilizing tidal shorelines in the oversight and regulatory decisions of the agency. Mayer said that the new law will encourage a coastal flood protection infrastructure that gets stronger over time, as plant life providing natural flood barriers thrives and grows, rather than slowly wearing down like more traditional seawalls and barriers. The legislator explained that a "living shoreline" not only does a superior job of flood mitigation — it has the added benefits of being a perfect habitat for marine life and offers a natural filtration system for pollution from ground runoff. Read more here.

Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut Sign First-Time Agreement for Multi-State Offshore Wind Procurement

Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut announced New England’s first offshore wind multi-state coordination memorandum of understanding (MOU), which creates a pathway for a potential coordinated selection of offshore wind as each state solicits offshore wind energy generation through their respective state procurements. This MOU is the first of its kind in the United States. Through this MOU, the three states will together seek multi-state offshore wind proposals that would expand benefits for the region, capture cost reductions by developing projects at scale, and develop into viable projects. In coordinating, the states will amplify efforts to foster regional economic development, create high-paying, in-demand jobs, and promote environmental justice and equity. Read more here.

Events & Webinars

October 24-25, 2023

November 8, 2023

November 12-16, 2023

November 16-17, 2023

February 12-15, 2024

March 12-14, 2024

May 12-16, 2024

June 23-27, 2024

NOAA Science Seminar Series


[NEW] BIA Calls for Input from Coastal Tribes Facing Relocation Due to Climate Impacts

The Bureau of Indian Affairs' Branch of Tribal Climate Resilience (TCR) has been asked by Congress to provide information on the "estimated unmet need of coastal Tribes in the lower 48 states that are facing relocation due to climate impacts." TCR is collaborating with Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals to produce an associated report due December 2023. For this report, they are considering both protect-in-place and relocation responses and the combination and/or spectrum between those two. In addition, they consider coastal Tribes to include those whose trust lands are on the shores of the Great Lakes. Input can be shared via the input form. You can fill the form out online, or you can email [email protected] to request a form. Learn more about the report here. Input is due Friday November 3, 2023.

[NEW] National Working Waterfronts Network Accepting Proposals for Spring 2024 Graduate Internship Applied Research Projects

The NWWN has partnered with Urban Harbors Institute (UHI), an applied research institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, focused on addressing ocean and coastal issues through research, policy, and planning. They have created an internship program that focuses on applied research to advance the resilience of commercial fishing communities. This internship program will be managed through UHI at UMass Boston and will provide three internships during the winter/spring of 2024. The opportunity to submit a proposal is open to any for-profit, non-profit, academic, association/coalition, NGO or government organization with offices in the United States. Applicants must submit a single-spaced, two-page research project proposal (in size 11 font or larger) by Monday October 23, 2023 to [email protected] with the subject line “NWWN Applied Research”. Learn more here.

[NEW] Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Holds Hearing on Sackett Descion

The US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing this week on the implications of Sackett v. EPA for Clean Water Act protections of wetlands and streams. There was testimony from Dr. Mažeika Patricio Sulliván, Director of Clemson's Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science;  Kourtney Revels a justice organizer from Bayou City Waterkeeper; and Susan Bodine a partner with Earth & Water Law. Watch the hearing and read written testimony here.

[NEW] EPA Provides Toolkit to State and Local Governments on Community Engagement

The “Capacity Building Through Effective Meaningful Engagement Booklet” is a tool intended to help create or expand plans for engaging meaningfully with communities. No two approaches to meaningful engagement will be exactly alike. The EPA hope this tool helps spark ideas on how to build trust within communities through meaningful engagement.

[NEW] Azul Publishes Article on Coastal Justice Lessons

Azul, a Latinx-led and serving grassroots environmental justice organization, has published an article entitled Coastal Justice: Lessons from the Frontlines. Co-authored by Marce Gutierrez-Graudiņš, the article highlights lessons learned from the frontlines of the movement for coastal justice. It provides guidance for federal and state programs to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities and pursue responsible governance that "avoids community erasure, accounts for variance in community formation and racialization, and ensures community ownership over process and systems." It calls for the necessary reversal of "historical injustices that are magnified by ongoing policies and practices," and the need to "re-articulate what it means to integrate environmental justice principles within state and federal policy.” Read the full article here. And learn more about Azul, the only U.S. ocean conservation organization in the nation to focus specifically in working with Latinx communities to protect the ocean and coasts, here

White House Hosts First-Ever Climate Resilience Summit and Releases National Climate Resilience Framework

Last week, the Biden-Harris administration hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities, which included representatives from more than 25 states, territories, and Tribal Nations. In conjunction with the Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration released the National Climate Resilience Framework, a vision for a climate resilient nation designed to guide and align climate resilience investments and activities by the federal government and its partners. The Framework identifies common principles and specific actions to accelerate progress towards six objectives. Federal agencies also announced new actions – including the awarding or availability of more than $500 million in dedicated funding – to build climate resilience. Read more here.

NOAA Announces $12.7 Million in Funding to Advance Climate Smart Communities

The Department of Commerce and NOAA announced $12.7 million in funding to advance the Climate-Smart Communities Initiative. This funding, which is available as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act — the largest climate investment in history — will bring climate adaptation expertise to communities across the U.S. over the next four years. Read more here.

NOAA Fisheries Releases New Interactive Tool Consolidates Data from Climate Vulnerability Assessments

NOAA Fisheries has launched its new Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool. It provides easy access to vulnerability information from all of the current Climate Vulnerability Assessments in one convenient location. Previously, these assessments were only available as individual reports on the NOAA Fisheries website or via scientific journals. As part of its commitment to addressing the impacts of climate change, NOAA Fisheries conducts Climate Vulnerability Assessments on fish stocks, protected species, habitats, and fishing communities. The Climate Vulnerability Assessment Tool provides an easy way for scientists, academia, and decision makers to find vulnerability information on nearly 400 marine-related species and habitats. Read more here.

FEMA Releases New Guide on Making The Economic Case for Coastal Resilience

FEMA developed the Economic Case for Coastal Resilience guide for communities thinking about how to reduce their risks from coastal hazards. It gives background on coastal natural disasters and their effect on communities nationwide. It then explains how to reduce risks. The guide also contains two infographics that you can use in explaining coastal risks and resilience options. They are available as PDFs and JPGs for your use.

Wisconsin Coastal Management Program Opens Annual RFP

WCMP is seeking proposals to enhance, preserve, protect and restore resources within the state’s coastal zone – all counties adjacent to Lakes Superior and Michigan, with their nearly 1000 miles of shoreline. They anticipate awarding up to $1.6 million in grant funding. WCMP Grants are available for coastal wetland protection and habitat restoration, nonpoint source pollution control, coastal resource and community planning, Great Lakes education, public access and historic preservation. The due date is Friday, November 2, 2023. There will be a virtual grant workshop September 19, 2023 (A recorded presentation will be made available and posted at http://coastal.wisconsin.gov.) Application materials are available on the WCMP Grants Program webpage. For more information please contact staff at [email protected].

NOAA Releases FY2024 Federal Opportunity for Effects of Sea Level Rise Program

For this opportunity, the ESLR Program is soliciting proposals to improve adaptation and planning in response to regional and local effects of sea level rise (SLR) and coastal inundation (storm surge, nuisance flooding, and/or wave actions) through targeted research on nature-based solutions (NBS), modeling of physical and biological processes, and testing mitigation strategies for implementation. The overall goal of the ESLR Program is to facilitate informed adaptation planning and coastal management decisions through funding multidisciplinary research that results in integrated models capable of evaluating vulnerability and resilience under multiple SLR, inundation, and management scenarios. The opportunity has two focal areas; General Coastal Resilience and Alaska Regional Coastal Resilience. A more detailed summary of the two focal areas can be found below. A letter of intent is required to submit a full proposal. The letter of intent (LOI) is due by Monday November 13, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET, while full proposals will be due by Wednesday January 24, 2024 at 11:59 PM ET. The LOI is for guidance purposes only, and all teams that submit a LOI may submit a full proposal. Please see the funding announcement for information on the requirements and process for submitting a LOI and full proposal. There will be an informational webinar at 3:00 PM Eastern Time on Friday, October 6. See registration link below. If you are not able to make the webinar, a recording will be available on the ESLR website after the event.

NOAA Marine Debris Program Releases Two New Funding Opportunities

The NOAA Marine Debris Program announced two Fiscal Year 2024 Notices of Funding Opportunity for both Marine Debris Removal and Interception Technologies under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These are two separate funding opportunities, and they have different application requirements. Applicants wishing to compete under both funding opportunities must submit separate letters of intent (LOI) for each. Applicants who submit successful LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal following the LOI review period. The NOAA Marine Debris Program will award up to $28 million across the two funding opportunities. The Marine Debris Removal letters of intent deadline is Friday October 27, 2023, and an applicant webinar will be offered on September 12, 2023 at 3:00 PM ET (registration required). The Marine Debris Interception Technologies letters of intent deadline is Wednesday November 15, 2023, and an applicant webinar will be offered on September 13, 2023 at 3:00 PM ET (registration required).

NOAA Calls for Nominations to the Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee

NOAA is soliciting applications for membership on the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee. The Committee provides advice on the planning, integrated design, operation, maintenance, enhancement, and expansion of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS). U.S. IOOS promotes research to develop, test, and deploy innovations and improvements in coastal and ocean observation technologies and modeling systems, addresses regional and national needs for ocean information, gathers data on key coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes variables and ensures timely and sustained dissemination and availability of these data for societal benefits. Nominations should be submitted by Tuesday January 2, 2024 via email. Read the full call for nominations here.

Job Openings

In The States

[NEW] Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance

- Shoreline Mapping Scientist (Natural Resource Scientist 3)

[NEW] Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands and Environmental Assistance - Applied Coastal Research and Engineering Section Manager

[NEW] Guam Coastal Management Program - Special Projects Coordinator

[NEW] Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy - Offshore Environmental Specialist III

Maine Department of Marine Resources - Maine Coastal Program Policy Specialist

Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship

California Coastal Commission - Multiple Coastal Program Positions

In The Agencies

[NEW] NOAA, National Marine and Fisheries Services, Southeast Fisheries Science Center - Research Fish Biologist

[NEW] NOAA, National Marine and Fisheries Services, Northeast Fisheries Science Center - Supervisory Research Biologist

[NEW] NOAA, Office for Coastal Management, Evaluation & Compliance Program - Program Analyst

[NEW] NOAA, Office for Coastal Management - Program and Policy Analyst

[NEW] NOAA, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory - Research Fish Biologist

[NEW] NOAA, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory - Ecologist

[NEW] 2024 William M. Lapenta Student Internship Program

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

[NEW] Texas Sea Grant - Director

[NEW] New York Sea Grant - Communications Specialist

[NEW] The Nature Conservancy - Northeast Division Director

[NEW] National Marine Sanctuary Foundation - Island Resilience Associate

[NEW] Loggerhead Marinelife Center - Community Engagement Coordinator

Tulane University Institute on Water, Law & Policy - Senior Research Fellow

Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Maryland Coastal Resource Scientist

PEW - Senior Associate Ocean Justice

NEIWPCC - Environmental Analyst – Long Island Sound Regional Coordinator

The Nature Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trusts – Contractor for Supporting Oyster Aquaculture & Restoration (SOAR) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Strategic Plan

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.

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Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | [email protected] | www.coastalstates.org
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