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:
Podcasts on the CSO-ASBPA Joint Policy on Beach and Inlet Management
The Capitol Beach Podcast is highlighting the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) and CSO Joint Policy on Beach and Inlet Management in a five part mini-series. Derek Brockbank hosts and is joined by Rachel Keylon, CSO Federal Affairs Director, and Tony Pratt, ASBPA President. There are four episodes available on sediment management, permitting, funding, and development and the fifth of the series on research will be coming out next week! Together the series provides a comprehensive review of what Congress and the Administration need to do to improve resilience for coastal beaches and inlets.

Listen to the podcasts here or subscribe to “American Shoreline Podcast Network” wherever you listen to podcasts.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Cliffside Homes On Oregon Coast Threatened By Seawall Collapse
Early Saturday morning, several Lincoln Beach residents awoke to find a seawall on Lincoln Avenue had collapsed from erosion, dozens of its 35-foot tall concrete pilings breaking free and tumbling onto the beach below by Monday afternoon.
Richard Grant owns the property where the wall was installed, and his house there was most affected — the collapse leaving the living room dangling slightly off the side of the cliff. Houses on either side are also endangered, with precious few feet between them and the newly eroded cliffside. Read more

Wiyot Tribe Secures $250K Grant To Plan For Sea-Level Rise Resiliency
The Wiyot Tribe recently received a $250,000 grant from the Ocean Protection Council to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Humboldt Bay. The Wiyot Tribe is one of 15 grant recipients striving to improve resilience to sea-level rise along the coast. In the first phase of the project, the Tribe will begin the process of identifying cultural and natural resources that are vulnerable to sea-level rise and climate change, according to natural resources specialist and grant writer Adam Canter. In phase two, the Tribe will draft its Climate Change Adaptation Plan and do its best to mitigate impacts of sea-level rise, Canter said. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Pace's Historic Floridatown Park Is Getting A 'Living Shoreline' Upgrade
One of Santa Rosa County’s oldest and most historic parks is getting a major environmentally friendly upgrade. Floridatown Park, located in Pace on the Escambia Bay, is the recipient of a $175,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Coastal Resilience Grant Program to create a living shoreline along the beach area of the park. The living shoreline will use natural vegetation and other elements of nature already existing in the ecological area to create a seawall of sorts that protects the park and surrounding land from erosion. Read more

NJ Eyes Doubling Beach Restoration Budget To $50M A Year
With a string of February storms having taken big chunks out of many Jersey Shore beaches — and the federal government refusing to authorize emergency repairs — New Jersey is considering doubling the amount of money it allocates to shore protection projects each year to $50 million. The bill actually was introduced over a year ago, long before the storm damage and a decision last month by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the damage was not sufficient to qualify for emergency repairs. It had been languishing in the state Legislature before being advanced Thursday by a state Senate committee. But three storms last month that caused serious to severe erosion in numerous parts of the Jersey Shore has given the measure new relevance. Read more
Great Lakes
USACE Chicago District Started, Completed 20 Restoration Projects To Date With Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is one of 16 federal agencies participating in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Started in 2010, it has already made major strides in cleaning up EPA-designated areas of concern, stopping the spread of invasive species, and restoring fish and wildlife habitat throughout the Great Lakes watershed. USACE does not provide grants with GLRI funds, but uses them to plan, design, and construct restoration projects in collaboration with states and other nonfederal partners. With the first three years of GLRI funds, USACE has started or completed construction of 20 restoration projects. USACE Chicago District is currently implementing a variety of GLRI restoration projects within the Lakes Michigan watershed. Read more

High water levels on Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair prompt flood concerns
The Chatham area conservation authority is warning that water levels on Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair are again well above average, raising the spectre of flooding and damage along a shoreline that’s typically hit every year. While the lake’s levels are down from last March’s peak, they’re similar to where they were at this time in 2018 and 2019, Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority officials warned in a release. “Given the significant flooding issues seen in 2018 and 2019, flooding remains a concern.” Lake Erie has lost its protective ice cover in recent weeks. Lake St. Clair’s ice cover is also disappearing and isn’t expected to remain on the Canadian side much longer. Once that ice disappears, there’s a heightened risk of flooding and damage along the shoreline of both lakes, the news release said. There’s also a risk of erosion and damage to shoreline protection works, including erosion along the high bluffs. Read more
Gulf Coast
Big Step Forward for $50 Billion Plan to Save Louisiana Coast
The next phase of a $50 billion plan to protect the Louisiana coast from erosion and rising sea levels has cleared an important hurdle, with the Army Corps of Engineers delivering a long-awaited environmental impact statement for a key part of the project. The report, issued Thursday evening, looked at a proposal to punch a hole in the Mississippi River levee. The corps said the move would largely benefit coastal areas in the state, though it might also affect some marine life, especially bottlenose dolphins, and could cause problems for those who make their living from raising and catching seafood in the area. “This is what climate adaptation looks like at scale,” said Chip Kline, chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Board. “This project, in our mind, is the lifeline for our coast.” Read more

DISL And Partners Work To Install Living Shorelines To Reduce Coastal Erosion Naturally
Coastal erosion is an environmental issue that we have been dealing with for several hundred years. Researchers at Dauphin Island Sea Lab have partnered with several agencies including TNC, UAB, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Moffatt Nichol, and the State of Alabama to combat this problem. Living shorelines are basically breakwaters or sea walls made out of mostly natural materials that not only work to reduce wave activity and coastal erosion, but also create a natural habitat for marine organisms. Dr. Ken Heck, Marine Scientist, and Researcher at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, explains, “The benefit of doing these living shoreline projects as opposed to putting something up like a bulkhead is that you also get habitat that is available for utilization by fishes and crabs.” Read more
Events & Webinars
NOAA Announces 30-Day Comment Period to Collect Information on More Resilient Fisheries and Protected Resources Due to Climate Change
NOAA is seeking initial public input in response to Section 216(c) of the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (EO 14008) issued on January 27, 2021. Section 216(c) of EO 14008 directs NOAA to collect recommendations on how to make fisheries, including aquaculture, and protected resources more resilient to climate change, including changes in management and conservation measures, and improvements in science, monitoring, and cooperative research. NOAA requests written input from interested parties on how best to achieve the objectives described Section 216(c) of EO 14008. The announcement, supporting materials, and links to the Request for Information (RFI) are all available here. Interested persons are invited to submit comments by email within 30 days to OceanResources.Climate@noaa.gov.

Beyond this 30-day public comment period, NOAA will continue to gather input on this topic throughout 2021 through scheduled meetings, public listening sessions, and other means. Information gathered on Section 216(c) after this initial deadline for comments will still be collected and considered. NOAA is assembling a list of meetings and listening sessions where supplemental discussions can happen, which will be posted on the website on a rolling basis.

The input provided in response to this RFI and related meetings will inform NOAA’s implementation of their relevant authorities and their work with federal agencies, state and tribal governments, and relevant stakeholders and constituents to ensure more resilient fisheries and protected resources due to climate change. For any questions about the RFI or related meetings, please contact Heather Sagar.

Water Resources Development Act of 2020 Comment Period and Stakeholder Sessions
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)) is issuing this notice for a comment period for stakeholders and other interested parties to provide input and recommendations to the ASA(CW) on any provisions in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020. The Office of the ASA(CW) will consider all comments received before any implementation guidance is issued. Five stakeholder sessions will be held via webinar on the following dates to allow the public to provide input on any provisions in WRDA 2020:
  • March 16, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Navigation (Inland and Coastal) provisions;
  • March 23, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Flood Risk and Coastal Risk Storm Damage provisions;
  • March 30, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Ecosystem Restoration and Nuisance Species provisions;
  • April 6, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Water Supply and Hydropower provisions; and
  • April 13, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on any WRDA 2020 provisions.
The public comment period will end on May 7, 2021. Learn more here.

EPA Announces Availability of Up to $6 Million in Annual Environmental Justice Grants
The EPA has announced the availability of up to $6 million in grant funding under The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. EPA will be giving special consideration to the following focus areas:
  • Addressing COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income communities and communities of color
  • Climate Change and Natural Disaster Resiliency outreach and planning
  • New applicants to either opportunity
  • Ports Initiative to assist people living and working near ports across the country
  • Small non-profits

Applicants interested in either opportunity must submit proposal packages on or before May 7, 2021. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2021.Learn more about EJCPS pre-application assistance calls and how to apply for funding here. Learn more about EJSG pre-application assistance calls and how to apply for funding here.

NFWF Fishing For Energy RFP
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a partner of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced the 2021 Request for Proposals for the Fishing for Energy Partnership. The Fishing for Energy 2021 Request for Proposals will prioritize projects that:
  1. Maintain an existing port in the program or establish a new port opportunity for fishers to dispose of old, derelict, or unusable fishing gear, including event bins; and
  2. Develop capacity for comprehensive logistics for port communities interested in implementing a long-term bin program in the future, including exploring opportunities for gear recycling, upcycling, or other alternative disposal options. 

The full announcement can be found on here, and the deadline for full proposals is Tuesday, March 30, 2021. An applicant webinar for more information will be held Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 3:30-4:30PM Eastern Time. If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact Kaity Goldsmith

Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) today announced it is seeking applicants for the FY 2021 round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program to fund transportation projects of national and regional significance that are in line with the Biden Administration’s principles for national infrastructure projects that result in good-paying jobs, improve safety, apply transformative technology, and explicitly address climate change and racial equity. The funding available for this year’s grants totals approximately $889 million. For the first time, the USDOT seeks INFRA projects that address climate change and environmental justice. The NOFO will remain open through Friday, March 19, 2021. More information on the NOFO and informational webinars is available here.

NOAA Sea Grant & Ocean Acidification Program Funding Opportunity: Shellfish Aquaculture Partnerships
The National Sea Grant Office and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Total funding for this competition includes up to $2,000,000 in federal funds to support 2-6 projects. Each project will be funded at the approximate level of $100,000 - $300,000 per year for 1-3 years. Applications are due March 16, 2021. Learn more here.

Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation Scientific Awards Nominations
Help CERF recognize excellence among colleagues, mentors, and former students and nominate them for a CERF Scientific Award. The nomination deadline is April 7, 2021. Learn more and submit nominations here.
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: rkeylon@coastalstates.org with a subject line: "Newsletter Content". Please include the information to be considered in the body of the email.
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