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:
Coastal Programs Receive National Coastal Resilience Fund Grants
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and NOAA announced $39.5 million in new grants from the National Coastal Resilience Fund that will support coastal resilience projects in 28 states and U.S. territories. The 49 grants will generate more than $58.3 million in matching contributions for a total conservation impact of nearly $97.8 million.

Two of these projects are going to state coastal management efforts -

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality received a grant for expanding its Resilient Coastal Communities Program, The grant will support program expansion and building local capacity through risk and vulnerability assessments, community engagement, project identification and prioritization, and the inclusion of 13 more communities within the state’s coastal zone into the program. Additionally, the project will build a resilience strategy for each community, including a vision, map of critical assets and natural infrastructure, risk and vulnerability assessment, and portfolio of prioritized projects.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services received a grant for building capacity for coastal resilience analysis to protect communities and tidal wetlands. The project will build upon the state guidance to develop a dynamic sea-level rise and storm surge model for coastal New Hampshire. The state will use the model to test the effectiveness of community-driven conceptual adaptation alternatives for eight transportation and local land use pilot projects, as well as publish best practices for conducting alternatives analyses that consider future flood conditions, social vulnerability, and nature-based designs that protect tidal wetlands.

State coastal zone management programs are also key partners in several of the other selected projects.

Learn more about these and the other selected projects here.
In the States and Regions
Gulf Coast
Without Federal Recognition, Coastal Tribes Struggle to Access FEMA Aid After Ida
Without federal recognition, many of Louisiana’s coastal tribes are left navigating a complex bureaucracy in a moment of crisis. Tribal leaders said that since Ida — one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the state in recorded history — they have had to bounce among parish, state and federal agencies in attempts to get crucial recovery resources. They described issues accessing both major types of FEMA aid: Individual assistance for tribal members, which provides money to households for rebuilding and personal property loss. Public assistance that reimburses tribes for services such as debris removal and infrastructure repair. According to a June 2020 FEMA policy, state-recognized tribes should be treated as local governments rather than tribal governments, with a nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government. Coastal Louisiana tribal leaders are calling for that to change. Read more

Advocates Urge Pensacola Officials to Study Flooding Problem Areas FEMA Maps Miss
The city of Pensacola is in the early stages of investigating whether it could produce maps of flood-prone areas through a program similar to one in Santa Rosa County that has been successful for years. Healthy Gulf, an organization that advocates for protecting natural resources, is advocating for local governments to take actionable steps to increase resiliency using data collected in the year since Hurricane Sally struck in September 2020. Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps — which are in the process of being revised in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties — give properties classifications based on their flood risk, but officials say they don't always tell the full story and are not updated often enough to be relied upon solely. Some streets or neighborhoods, for example, often experience flooding during strong storms but they aren't classified as a FEMA flood zone. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Building Resilience for Low-Income New Yorkers Post-Disaster
In this installment of the CIVIC Stage 2 Innovation of the Month series, we highlight a project called “Inclusive Insurance: Improving the Post-Flood Financial Resiliency of Low- and Moderate-Income Households” from New York City. The project seeks to improve the ability of low- and moderate-income households to recover after a flood through innovative insurance pilots and capacity building within the city, and civic partners to harness risk-transfer markets for social goals. Read more

Army Corps Completes Reservoir for Everglades Restoration
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed work on a $339 million Everglades restoration project aimed at cleansing water runoff before it flows into a troubled Florida river. The reservoir will capture, store and clean fertilizer-laden runoff from farms and development before it is routed into the St. Lucie River and ultimately the Indian River Lagoon. Both have been plagued by harmful algae blooms and other long-term problems associated with water pollution that threatens wildlife and human health. Read more
Great Lakes
Beach In Porter At the Heart Of Conflict Over Private and Public Rights
The stretch of sandy beachfront just west of Porter Beach is at the center of a Constitutional battle and debate over private versus public ownership rights. Raymond Cahnman, a Chicago resident and businessman, has owned two houses and 10 lots in Porter that offer an unobstructed view of Lake Michigan since 2006. He has long enjoyed the place as a weekend retreat for friends and family. There is a sign on his beach frontage that states: “Private Beach Walk Thru Only.” “When I bought it in 2006, there was no doubt it was private property,” Cahnman said. “Right now I can’t enforce anything.” That’s due, Cahnman says, to an Indiana Supreme Court ruling in February 2018 that found that the State of Indiana holds exclusive title to the shore of Lake Michigan up to the ordinary high-water mark. In effect, the decision declared that the public had access to Indiana beaches. The Indiana state legislature with House Enrolled Act 1385 in 2020 codified the Indiana Supreme Court ruling, finding that the public has the right to walk, fish, swim, boat and recreate on Lake Michigan beach land. Read more

Cleveland's East Side Shoreline Expansion Project Awarded Nearly $1 Million
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's National Coastal Resilience Fund awarded $985,000 for the continued design and engineering of the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study, or CHEERS project, located on Cleveland's East Side.
The funds are part of a total of $1.97 million in design and engineering funds dedicated to the first phase of the transformative shoreline project intended to create a more naturalized shoreline of parks and habitat while also mitigating erosion and creating a sheltered embayment allowing visitors to safely access Lake Erie. Matching funds and design input for the project come from six partners including the Metroparks, the city of Cleveland, the Port of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Black Environmental Leaders Association. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
University of California Team’s Research Suggests More Than 400 Hazardous Sites in California Face Flooding
Unless climate change is slowed significantly, more than three feet of sea level rise (SLR) is expected in California by the end of the century, potentially flooding communities that are currently home to more than 145,000 residents. In addition to the threat to residential neighborhoods, new research suggests sea level rise will expose over 400 industrial facilities and contaminated sites in California, including power plants, refineries, and hazardous waste sites, to increased risk of flooding. Increased flooding can come with risks of contamination releases into nearby communities. “There is a perception that coastal areas in California are wealthy and will be protected against sea level rise, but many of the areas that face the greatest threats are older, industrial communities, generally working class, and with many residents who are of people of color – who do not get a lot of attention when it comes to climate resilience strategies,” said Dr. Lara Cushing, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Jonathan and Karin Fielding Presidential Chair in Health Equity and an assistant professor of environmental health sciences. Disadvantaged communities in California are more than five times more likely to live less than one kilometer from one or more facilities at risk of flooding in 2050, and six times more likely in 2100. Read more

United States Announces $9M In Funding For Local2030 Island Network And Islands Launch New Communities Of Practice To Address Climate Change
The United States announced $9 million in financial support for the Local2030 Islands Network as part of the President's Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) at the Partnerships for Island Resilience: Sharing Solutions in the Great Ocean States event hosted by the U.S. Center during the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).1 This commitment builds on initial support from Ireland as well as from Global Island Partnership members and the Hawaii Local2030 Hub to build capacity for islands to measure and advance progress on local climate goals. "I am very excited to announce that as part of our PREPARE commitments we will be providing an initial $9 million to support the Local2030 Islands Network," said Assistant Secretary Monica Medina for the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs with the U.S. Department of State. "The Local2030 Islands Network is an innovative island-led coalition of partners committed to achieving net-zero emissions and adapting to climate change." Read more
Events & Webinars
Active 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Ends
The active 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially concluded on November 30, 2021 having produced 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), including seven hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater) of which four were major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This year was the third most active year on record in terms of named storms, it marks the sixth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, and this was the first time on record that two consecutive hurricane seasons exhausted the list of 21 storm names. Learn more about this hurricane season and how to prepare for next year here.

2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund RFP Now Open
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announces the 2021 Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund (ECRF) to support projects that increase the resilience of coastal communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2020 and 2021. The fund supports conservation projects that create and restore natural systems to help protect coastal communities from the impacts of coastal storms, floods, sea-level rise, inundation, coastal erosion, wildfires and associated landslides/debris flows, and enable communities to recover more quickly from these events, all while improving habitats for fish and wildlife species. The ECRF seeks to fund shovel-ready projects to improve wildlife habitat that also improves community resilience and recovery both in and around impacted areas. An Informational webinar will be held December 7, 2021 3-4 p.m., register here. Proposals are due February 3, 2022. Learn more and apply here.

Upcoming NOAA Office for Coastal Management Trainings
NOAA's Office for Coastal Management regularly offers on demand and instructor-led trainings through the Digital Coast Academy. Upcoming trainings include:
  • Virtual - Facilitation Basics for Coastal Managers, December 8-9, 2021, 2 to 5 p.m. Eastern. Email Jan Kucklick.
  • Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication, December 9, 2021, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here
  • Fostering Behavior Change in Coastal Communities, January 6, 2022, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern. Register here
  • Economic Guidance for Coastal Management Professionals, January 12, 2022, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here
  • Virtual - Facilitation Basics for Coastal Managers, January 12-13, 2022, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Email Jan Kucklick.

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.

Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowship
Any U.S. citizen who will complete a master’s or other advanced degree at an accredited U.S. university between August 1, 2020, and July 31, 2022, is eligible to apply for the Coastal Management and Digital Coast Fellowships. A variety of degrees are applicable to the fellowship because the projects are new and different each year. Previous fellows have had degrees in environmental studies, natural resource management, marine affairs, marine science, geology, public affairs, communications, social sciences, and regional land management. The most important prerequisite is an interest in coastal issues. Application packages must be submitted to the Sea Grant program office in the state where you earned your degree by January 21, 2022. Learn more about the Fellowships and how to apply here.

NOAA Office of Education 2022 Undergraduate Scholarship Applications Now Open
The Hollings Scholarship Program and the EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program are accepting applications until Monday, January 31, 2022. The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer. The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship provides funds for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that directly support NOAA's mission. Participants conduct research at a NOAA facility during two paid summer internships. Since 2001, 219 students have completed the program and over 75% go on to graduate school.
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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.

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