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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Happy National Estuaries Week!

National Estuaries Day began in 1988 to promote the importance of estuaries and the need to protect them. In partnership with the National Estuaries Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, Restore America’s Estuaries, and many other organizations, the festivities have been extended to a whole week. National Estuaries Week is an annual celebration and campaign to increase public awareness of estuaries and to encourage people to become involved in the protection of these important natural resources.

Each year, this week is a celebration of these incredible ecosystems and the benefits estuaries provide, including recreational opportunities, which are especially important to physical and mental health. The 30 national estuarine research reserves are yours to explore. Get outside and go hiking, biking, kayaking, or birding, or find another activity, to see what lies within the waters or trails. Check with your local reserve for details on safety measures and adjusted hours. Below are some additional ways to get involved:

  • Visit Restore America’s Estuaries website to register your National Estuaries Week event or find one to participate in.
  • Join a National Estuarine Research Reserve System friends group. Local friends groups are private nonprofit citizen organizations established to support and enhance environmental education, stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and scientific research of specific research reserves through volunteer initiatives, citizen involvement, and community partnerships. Find a reserve system citizen-support organization near you.
  • Sponsor a local naturalist or historian to provide a guided tour or lecture.
  • Sign up for a monitoring or stewardship program, such as being a sea turtle volunteer or helping with an oyster restoration project or terrapin tally. Check with a reserve near you to see what you can do.
  • Visit our Estuary Education website to find resources for highlighting estuaries in the classroom, including informative videos, lessons, activities, real-life data, and more.
  • Follow #EstuariesWeek on social media to join the conversation and post photos of what you explore as you #WadeIn to an estuary near you.

In the States and Territories

East Coast and Caribbean

New Jersey DEP Launches Online Mapping Tool for Coastal Resilience Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the launch of an online mapping tool that will help the public, stakeholders and government officials advance work that is needed to bolster the resilience of New Jersey’s coastal areas to climate change. The Coastal Ecological Restoration and Adaptation Planning Tool (CERAP Tool), provides the locations of at-risk areas, coastal resource restoration sites, and other data that will greatly assist in the targeting, development and coordination of projects needed to adapt communities to rising sea levels, increased flooding and more severe storms associated with climate change. The tool was developed in partnership with Rutgers University’s Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis. Read more here.

Study of Estuaries Finds Lower Acidification Than in Oceans

A study of the country’s two largest estuaries reveals that inshore coastal waters are not necessarily experiencing what scientists say is a worrisome global trend of increasingly acidic oceans. The recently published paper is the latest in a small collection of studies highlighting the complexities of coastal zones onshore. In this case, researchers looked at trends from data collected more than 20 years within the Neuse River Estuary-Pamlico Sound waters and Chesapeake Bay and found that things like nutrient pollution and algal blooms play a role in how carbon dioxide is dissolved in inland coastal waters. Read more here.

Gulf Coast

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Emergency Permitting Procedures Following Hurricane Idalia

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District announced that it received authority to issue alternative/emergency permitting procedures in response to conditions resulting from Hurricane Idalia. These alternate procedures will be effective for a six-month period, through March 3, 2024. The alternative/emergency procedures are used to authorize actions or work that is considered to be emergency in nature, which may include, but not limited to dredging to restore navigation and relieve flooding; stabilization of eroded shorelines; restoring roads, bridges, utility lines and other infrastructure; repair and replacement of authorized structures including docks and bulkheads; installing water intake structures, and removal and disposal of debris in waters of the U.S. Read more here.

First US Offshore Wind Auction in Gulf of Mexico Attracts Paltry Interest

The Biden administration's first ever auction of offshore wind development rights in the Gulf of Mexico ended with a single $5.6 million winning bid on Tuesday, reflecting meager demand for the clean energy source in a region known for oil and gas production. Germany's RWE (RWEG.DE) won rights to 102,480 acres (41,472 hectares) off Louisiana - the lowest winning bid for a federal offshore wind lease at auction since the Obama administration - while the other two lease areas on offer off Texas received no bids, according to results posted online by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The auction was by far the weakest of the four held since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 pledging to accelerate the industry as part of his climate change agenda. Read more here.

Great Lakes

Ohio Sea Grant, Division of Wildlife Launch ‘Erie PrOH’ Certification for Fishing Guides

Lake Erie anglers who rely on charter guides for fishing will soon have a richer experience out on the water thanks to a new certification program from the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODOW) and Ohio Sea Grant. The program, Erie PrOH, launched last month as a voluntary course that ensures fishing guides and crew members have detailed knowledge of fishery topics and can act as responsible stewards of the lake. A total of 59 guides have enrolled in the course and 47 had completed it throughout August. “The idea is to empower guides to promote their industry and sustainable fishing in Lake Erie,” said Tory Gabriel, extension program leader for Ohio Sea Grant. “We’re helping guides be confident in the information they provide to their anglers while they’re spending a day with them out on the water.” Read more here.

A Great Lakes Wetland Monitoring Program is Aiding Efforts to Clean Up a Polluted Hotspot in Wisconsin

A program to monitor coastal wetlands across the Great Lakes is helping support efforts to clean up one of the most polluted hotspots in the region. The Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program has been monitoring the health of more than 1,000 wetlands in the region since 2011. Crews collect data from around 200 wetlands each year to evaluate water quality and the state of breeding birds, fish and amphibians. More than 400,000 acres of coastal wetland habitats have been assessed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The program and researchers with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay have been working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to develop a strategy for measuring priority populations and habitats for fish and wildlife in lower Green Bay, according to Erin Giese. She’s a principal investigator for the program, and she’s also a senior researcher at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity at UW-Green Bay. The site is part of the Lower Green Bay and Fox River Area of Concern, which is one of the most contaminated sites on the Great Lakes. As part of that, Giese told WPR’s “The Morning Show,” they’re using metrics developed through the program to measure indicators of the health of the ecosystem. Read more here.

West Coast and Pacific

How Oregon Built Its Blue Carbon Greenhouse Gas Inventory

State governments have an important role to play in tackling climate change. By developing strategies and targets to remove climate-warming greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere and curbing new GHG emissions, they can help support their economies and make communities and ecosystems more resilient to rising temperatures. Oregon is addressing this challenge through improved land and resource management—including of “natural and working lands,” such as farms, ranches, forests, grasslands, and wetlands. For example, the state is one of the first to create a plan for evaluating, protecting, and restoring coastal wetlands to support GHG reduction goals. The habitats that dominate these landscapes—seagrass, salt marsh, scrub-shrub wetland, and forested tidal wetland—are among the planet’s most important natural carbon sinks; they capture and store far more carbon in their vegetation and underlying sediments than they naturally release. This sequestered carbon is known as “blue carbon.” 

Restored CA Delta Tidal Marsh Fights Climate Change and Attracts Wildlife, Native Species

Once eyed for thousands of homes, the recently restored Dutch Slough tidal marsh in east Contra Costa County is already flourishing as a new habitat for fish and wildlife, a living laboratory for scientists and one of the world’s strongest sinks for absorbing and storing carbon long-term. Led by the state Department of Water Resources, the ambitious $73 million project to restore 1,187 acres of freshwater Delta tidal wetlands near Oakley – one of the largest such projects in the state – is a little more than half finished. When it is completed, the scientists are hoping it will become a model for future restoration projects, climate change defenses and scientific research. Read more here.

Events & Webinars

September 16-23, 2023

September 19th, 2023

October 10-13, 2023

October 11, 2023

October 16-19, 2023

October 17, 2023

October 24-25, 2023

November 12-16, 2023

February 12-15, 2024

NOAA Science Seminar Series


[NEW] Biden-Harris Administration Launches American Climate Corps

The Climate Corps is a workforce training and service initiative that will ensure more young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy. The American Climate Corps will mobilize a new, diverse generation of more than 20,000 Americans – putting them to work conserving and restoring our lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, deploying clean energy, implementing energy efficient technologies, and advancing environmental justice, all while creating pathways to high-quality, good-paying clean energy and climate resilience jobs in the public and private sectors after they complete their paid training program. Learn more here.

[NEW] FEMA Selects First Recipients to Administer Resilience Revolving Loan Fund

FEMA is announcing that seven states and the District of Columbia will receive a combined $50 million in capitalization grants to help communities reduce vulnerability to natural hazards and disasters. These capitalization grants, provided through the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program, and made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, will enable states, territories, tribes and the District of Columbia to administer revolving loan funds that will help local governments carry out hazard mitigation projects that build community climate resilience. Local governments may use capitalization grant funding to make structures more resilient to natural hazards. This includes improving flood control, implementing changes in zoning and land-use planning needed to adapt to a changing climate and enforcing adoption of resilient building codes. Local governments may also apply the funding to satisfy their cost-share requirement for FEMA hazard mitigation assistance grants, lessening their financial burden to implement climate resilience activities. Read more here.

[NEW] EPA Celebrates Eleventh Annual SepticSmart Week

the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is joining state and local partners to launch SepticSmart Week 2023, a week-long annual campaign to educate homeowners and renters on how to properly maintain their septic systems. When septic systems are well-functioning, the health of the nation’s communities and ecosystems is better protected. By being SepticSmart, homeowners can also avoid thousands of dollars in unnecessary repairs. “Everyone plays a role in protecting themselves, their neighbors, and the environment from wastewater contamination,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox. “During the eleventh annual SepticSmart week, I encourage homeowners to learn about EPA’s simple strategies to save money and safeguard communities.” Learn more here.

[NEW] HHS Launches Environmental Justice Community Innovator Challenge

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) are seeking community-led strategies and tools to address health disparities in communities disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and hazards including those related to climate change, and the cumulative impacts of other stressors. The Challenge mechanism provides an opportunity for community voices to participate in developing novel innovative approaches to addressing the adverse health impacts of environmental conditions and increase community resilience within their local, disproportionately impacted communities. Learn more here.

[NEW] NOAA Announces Members of Inaugural Marine and Coastal Area-Based Management Advisory Committee

NOAA has announced the members of a new Marine and Coastal Area-based Management Advisory Committee, which will advise NOAA on science-based approaches to area-based protection, conservation, restoration, and management in marine and coastal areas, including the Great Lakes. With this new Advisory Committee, NOAA has convened a group of ocean and Great Lakes experts and stakeholders who represent diverse perspectives on resource management, commercial and recreational fishing, ocean industry, recreation and tourism, conservation, tribal and indigenous communities, youth serving organizations, environmental justice, and individuals with natural and social science expertise. Learn more here.

[NEW] FEMA Designates First Communities to Receive Targeted Assistance for Hazards Resilience

FEMA is announcing the initial designation of 483 census tracts that will be eligible for increased federal support to become more resilient to natural hazards and extreme weather worsened by the climate crisis. Congress directed FEMA to make these designations in the Community Disaster Resilience Zones Act of 2022 and implement this bipartisan legislation to help build resilience to natural hazards in communities most at-risk due to climate change. FEMA will use Community Disaster Resilience Zones designations to direct and manage financial and technical assistance for resilience projects. This initial set of designations covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These designations can be explored on an interactive map on FEMA’s website. Additional information on the designation methodology and criteria is available. More Community Disaster Resilience Zone designations, including tribal lands and territories, are expected to be announced in the fall of 2023. Read more here.

[NEW] Registration Now Open for FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Partners Workshop

The 2023 Hazard Mitigation Partners Virtual Workshop will bring together over 800 federal, states, local communities, tribes and territories, as well as private sector entities, private non-profit organizations, and individuals who work in emergency management, floodplain management and hazard mitigation positions. This year, the focus of the workshop is All Together for Climate Resilient Communities. The conversations throughout the workshop will focus on building mitigation champions, driving community resilience, providing technical assistance for grant programs, and supporting community resilience and hazard mitigation. Register here.

[NEW] Applications Open for FEMA Heritage Emergency and Response Training (HEART)

The Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership between FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution, HEART trains emergency managers and cultural stewards to gain the skills and hands-on experience needed to protect, evacuate, and salvage the irreplaceable objects that bring meaning and understanding to their community. The deadline to apply is Thursday September 28, 2023. Learn more here.

FEMA Announces FY22 BRIC and FMA Selections

On August 28, 2023, FEMA announced the selection of 124 projects for this year’s BRIC National Competition. In addition, this is a follow-up from May 19, when FEMA announced the BRIC initial selections for the Tribal Set-Aside and the State and Territory Allocation. FEMA made $2.295 billion available for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program in fiscal year 2022. BRIC received 803 subapplications totaling more than $4.6 billion from 55 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. The agency also received requests from 37 tribal governments totaling more than $56.2 million in the Tribal Set-Aside funds. Learn about the application process here and see the selected projects here.

TNC and PEW Release RFP for Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund

The Nature Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Supporting Oyster Aquaculture & Restoration (SOAR) Program has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund (Fund). The Fund aims to pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable U.S. shellfish industry that benefits the ocean and the communities which rely upon it. Funding will be open to applicants in the United States and U.S. Territories. The award will fund projects up to $20,000 for one-to-two-year projects and will target shellfish growers, shellfish aquaculture industry associations, and closely linked supply chain companies supporting aquaculture. The application deadline for the RFP is Friday October 6, 2023. To learn more about the Fund and the application process, visit the SOAR website: https://www.nature.org/soar. If you have questions about the Resiliency Fund, please contact Rebekah Borgert [email protected].

Request for Proposals on Including Indigenous Ways of Knowing in Decision-Making for Ocean and Coastal Management

The Lenfest Ocean Program released an RFP for projects that elevate Indigenous Peoples in sharing their traditions, culture, knowledge, and wisdom to improve evidence-based decision-making for the management, conservation, and restoration of coastal marine species, habitats, and ecosystems. The RFP is intended to support identification, analysis, and/or communication of Indigenous Knowledge and wisdom (where it is culturally appropriate); and engagement approaches that facilitate the inclusion of this knowledge into ocean and coastal management decisions. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 16, 2023.

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 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).

Job Openings


Grants Administrator

In The States

[NEW] Wisconsin Division of Intergovernmental Relations - Coastal Program Manager (Program and Policy Supervisor)

[NEW] Maine Department of Marine Resources - Coastal Habitat Restoration Specialist

[NEW] Maine Department of Marine Resources - Maine Coastal Program Policy Specialist

[NEW] Maine Department of Marine Resources - Coastal Resiliency Specialist

[NEW] New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Management Program - Program Specialist 1

[NEW] New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Management Program - Grants Manager

[NEW] New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Management Program - Restoration Project Coordinator

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

South Carolina, Sea Grant Consortium - Coastal GIS Specialist

Washington Department of Ecology - Senior Shoreline Scientist (Environmental Specialist 5)

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

Washington Department of Ecology - Resilience Project Coordinator

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

Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship

California Coastal Commission - Multiple Coastal Program Positions

In The Agencies

EPA, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds - Deputy Director

USACE Jacksonville District, Engineering Division, Coastal Design Section - Civil Engineer

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

[NEW] National Marine Sanctuary Foundation - Communications Coordinator

[NEW] National Marine Sanctuary Foundation - Restoration Program Manager

[NEW] Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Maryland Coastal Resource Scientist

PEW - Senior Associate Ocean Justice

NEIWPCC - Environmental Analyst – Long Island Sound Regional Coordinator

The Center for Coastal Studies - Senior Scientist, Right Whale Ecology Program

Wetlands Watch - Flood Risk Project Staff

National Academies, Gulf Research Program - Early-Career Research Fellowship

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

Environmental Law Institute - Senior Attorney

Environmental Law Institute - Staff Attorney

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Manager, Coastal Resilience

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

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

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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