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:
National Water Quality Month
August is National Water Quality Month! This month-long spotlight is an opportunity for us to explore how our everyday actions affect water quality, both for people and for wildlife.
It is also a time to learn about how to preserve water resources and protect the waterways in and around our coastal communities.

This month, CSO is highlighting innovative efforts coastal states are taking to address nonpoint source pollution. Coastal states have implemented Nonpoint Source Pollution Programs to implement management measures for controlling runoff from five main sources: agriculture, forestry, urban areas, marinas, and hydromodification (shoreline and stream channel modification) as well as to manage wetlands, riparian, and vegetated treatment systems.

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more about what coastal states are doing!
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Coastal Commission OKs World’s Longest Fiber Optic Line that Will Start in Eureka
The California Coastal Commission approved RTI Solutions’ application and consistency certification to construct the world’s longest subsea fiber optic cable. Stretching from Eureka to Singapore, the 10,000-mile-long cable will bring enhanced broadband connectivity to Humboldt County and beyond as soon as 2023. RTI plans to install four steel pipes extending from a landing site in Samoa approximately 3,600 feet offshore to serve as conduits for two submarine fiber optic cables. The cables will span the Pacific Ocean and ultimately terminate in Singapore and Taiwan. Additional cables may extend to Australia and Japan as well. Read more

Hawai'i Joins Silver Jackets Program
The State of Hawaiʻi has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a Hawaiʻi Silver Jackets Interagency Collaboration Team under the State’s Hawaiʻi Ocean Resources Management Plan (ORMP). The State Office of Planning and Sustainable Development’s Coastal Zone Management Program will serve as the lead coordinating agency for the State. The Silver Jackets is a nation-wide program focused on reducing coastal flood risks. Now that the state team is formally recognized, Hawaiʻi is now eligible for support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via technical advisory and annual funding opportunities. “From a national perspective, this marks a major milestone for the Silver Jackets vision, with Hawaiʻi becoming the 50th state to form a Silver Jackets team,” says Ellen Berggren, National Silver Jackets program manager. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers affirms our commitment to support Hawaiʻi, bringing our expertise and resources and a collaborative spirit to work together to identify and implement solutions to address flood and coastal hazards in the Pacific.” Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
No Easy Fix for Flooding in NJ’s Back Bays
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the Army Corps of Engineers has been studying New Jersey’s 3,400 miles of back-bay shoreline to determine flood risk and look for possible structural options to mitigate the coming damage from rising sea levels.
On Thursday, the Corps published an update to its “New Jersey Back Bays Study,” this time focusing on the feasibility and environmental impact of a tentative plan for structural solutions. New Jersey’s back bays are already one of the nation’s most flood-prone regions. And Thursday’s report noted that the possible cost of doing nothing to minimize the increased risk of flooding now stands at an average of $1.8 billion in annual damages over a 50-year period. Read more

Baker-Polito Administration Invests $4 Million in Coastal Resilience Projects
To help Massachusetts’ coastal communities prepare for severe weather events and the impacts of climate change, including storm surge, flooding, erosion and sea level rise, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the award of $4 million in grants to support local planning and management efforts. The funding, awarded by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Coastal Resilience Grant Program, will support projects in Braintree, Chatham, Dartmouth, Edgartown, Falmouth, Gosnold, Hingham, Hull, Ipswich, Marblehead, Marion, Mattapoisett, Orleans, Salem, Tisbury, Wareham, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Climate change presents challenges for Massachusetts coastal communities, which face increasing storm damage and flooding risks during high tides and coastal storms,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration remains committed to providing necessary financial and technical support to proactively protect coastal infrastructure from these increasing threats, which is why we have proposed nearly $1 billion in funding for critical environmental initiatives like climate resilient infrastructure through our federal ARPA spending plan.” Read more
Great Lakes
Cuyahoga County Lakefront Is Now Officially The Lake Erie Water Trail
Cuyahoga County’s lakefront is now a water trail, as designated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in a ceremony Friday. The trail stretches from Huntington Beach in Bay Village to Sims Park in Euclid. The Lake Erie Water Trail features more than a dozen official access points to the water with a variety of amenities, as well as safety information and difficulty levels for a variety of routes. The goal, said ODNR Director Mary Mertz, is to get people out onto the water while helping them remain safe. Read more

Climate Change on the Great Lakes Has Coastal Communities Bracing for Higher Water
Great Lakes coastal communities are wondering if their shoreline infrastructure will survive another round of record high water. The warning signs have been flashing for some time. In 2017, Lake Ontario rose so high that it overwhelmed the sewer system of Sodus Point, New York. Two years later, winds whipped an already swollen Lake Erie into a surge that nearly breached the water intake station at Conneaut in the extreme northeast corner of Ohio. And in early 2020, the Port of Milwaukee sustained substantial damage after a storm brought an already elevated Lake Michigan crashing over the breakwall and onto the docks. While water levels have receded since the record highs in 2019, when Lake Erie peaked at more than two and a half feet above the long-term average, they are still well above normal. And what hasn’t subsided is a growing fear that climate change will bring more extreme conditions to the Great Lakes – beyond simply eroding the shoreline in places – and create serious havoc. Read more
Gulf Coast
Louisiana to Have 1st Delta-Dominated Site in Estuary System
Louisiana is considering which of three areas will become the first site dominated by a river delta in a federally sponsored network to protect, study and teach about estuaries.
Nine virtual town hall meetings –- three each about the Atchafalaya,Barataria and Pontchartrain basins -– have been scheduled in September to tell people statewide about the program and hear their thoughts. Louisiana is among seven coastal states that are not part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System guided and largely paid for by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's the only Gulf Coast state without such a reserve, though variety is more important than state-by-state inclusion. And Louisiana's will be unique, said Joelle Gore, stewardship division chief of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. Read more

Alabama's Unparalleled Artificial Reef Zones Expanded
Already the largest in the nation if not the world, Alabama’s artificial reef zones recently got even larger with the addition of 110 square miles of Gulf of Mexico bottom. As part of an overall $8.135 million expansion of the Alabama Artificial Reef Program, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (MRD) recently received authorization of two additional permit areas from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Craig Newton, MRD’s Artificial Reef Coordinator, said the grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, established with criminal fines after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, will also allow MRD to deploy artificial reefs in both nearshore and offshore reef zones. Read more
Events & Webinars
Social Coast Forum 2022 Call for Abstracts
The Call for Abstracts for the Social Coast Forum is now open! Presentations and discussions at the Social Coast Forum 2022 will focus on applying social science data, tools, and practices to address climate change in coastal communities. Submit an abstract today, of 300 words or less, to present in person at the event in Charleston, February 1-3, 2022. Abstracts are due September 27, 2021. Learn more and submit your abstract here.

National Estuarine Research Reserve Science Collaborative FY21 Awards Announced 
The University of Michigan, in partnership with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, is pleased to announce their recommendations for funding for 12 projects involving 15 reserve sites across the nation. The funding totals more than $4 million over three years supporting projects that will tackle a range of practical, pressing coastal issues, including understanding coastal ecosystem services, flood resilience planning, biofeedback monitoring, and enhancing science literacy, among others. See a list, map, and details of the new projects here.

Estuaries Week Photo Contest
Submit up to 10 photos of any of the national estuarine research reserves to the Estuaries Week photo contest hosted by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. Visit the photo contest web page for guidance and submit photos by August 31, 2021 to OCM.NERRS.PhotoContest@noaa.gov.

FEMA Seeks Public Feedback on Community Rating System
FEMA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System. Public comment will be accepted through September 22, 2021 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket ID: FEMA-2021-0021. This notice is to better align understanding of flood risk and flood risk approaches and to incentivize communities to manage and lower their flood risk. FEMA is seeking public comment about ways the agency could consider modifying, streamlining and innovating to improve the Community Rating System. These efforts aim to help FEMA ensure that the program includes necessary, properly tailored and up-to-date requirements that effectively achieve the goals of reducing and avoiding flood damage to property, supporting the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program, and encouraging a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. The Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements in the National Flood Insurance Program. The agency is evaluating the Community Rating System’s potential to ongoing support of, state, local, tribal and territorial community goals and needs around floodplain management.

FEMA will host a series of virtual public meetings to explain the process and how to provide information for public comment. Register for the public meetings here. Learn more about the Community Rating System and how to submit comments here.

Seminar Series: Perspectives On Urban Flood Resilience
Urban flooding is of particular concern as human populations concentrate in urban areas, which are often located in coastal or flood prone areas. CUAHSI is hosting a seminar series which brings together scholars from a variety of perspectives and fields to share their research on urban flooding, recommendations for how to lessen future impacts or approach challenges, and highlight areas of needed research and collaboration. This series seeks to reach scientists at all stages of their careers, policy makers, and urban flood practitioners to establish connections between members of different fields, shed light on interdisciplinary research and methodologies, and to define calls to action for both research and practice. Join the series Wednesdays this fall from September 8th - October 13th at 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. ET. Learn more here.

2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest
The 2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest runs from May 29th to September 6th, 2021. The contest has four themes: Sanctuary Views, Sanctuary Life, Sanctuary Recreation, and Sanctuaries at Home. Learn more and submit your photos here.

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship
It’s an exciting two-year fellowship program that will place one graduate student at each of the 29 national estuarine research reserves. Through a research project, fellows address a key reserve management need to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies. The research reserves represent the apex of estuary science. At these coastal sites, fieldwork, research, and community engagement come together to create the scientific advances that change our communities and our world. Applications are due December 10, 2021. Learn more and apply here.
Job Openings
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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.

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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