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: Biden-Harris Administration Announces $575 Million for Coastal and Great Lakes Climate Resilience through Investing in America Agenda

This week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its first-ever Climate Resilience Regional Challenge, which will provide $575 million in funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help coastal and Great Lakes communities, including Tribal communities in those regions, become more resilient to extreme weather and other impacts of the climate crisis. The Challenge is the first and largest funding opportunity released under the $2.6 billion Inflation Reduction Act climate resilience framework that the Department unveiled earlier this month. The announcement follows President Biden’s recent trip to East Palo Alto, California, where he saw firsthand the impacts of climate change and highlighted historic funding to strengthen climate resilience in communities across the country.

“Through this first-ever regional approach to strengthening climate resilience, the Biden-Harris Administration is ensuring that communities across the country, especially underserved communities, have the resources they need to prepare for the growing impacts of the climate crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “As part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda, the Climate Resilience Regional Challenge will help communities that share common challenges work together to develop innovative solutions while equipping them with essential resources to build a climate-ready future.”

This competitive grant program has two distinct tracks for investing in holistic, collaborative approaches to coastal resilience at a regional level. Track One will support Regional Collaborative Building and Strategy Development ($25 million), with a focus on laying the groundwork for future resilience efforts. Track Two will support the Implementation of Resilience and Adaptation Actions ($550 million), with a focus on implementing transformational climate adaptation actions. Read more here.

Podcast: Unveiling the Ocean Climate Action Plan: Exploring the Biden Administration's Blueprint for Change

The Capitol Beach explores the Biden Administration’s recently released Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP). Host Derek Brockbank is joined by Scott Doney with the Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Libby Jewett with NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, who were instrumental in drafting the plan and will be key agency leaders in the plan’s implementation. Building off existing Administration policies together with new proposals, the OCAP sets forth a comprehensive set of actions for how the ocean and coasts can mitigate and adapt to climate change. Listen here.

In the States and Territories

Great Lakes

Bridging Indigenous knowledge systems and western science to protect the Great Lakes

Learning to see as another sees isn’t just a nice idea, it’s a requirement for meaningful relationships aimed at supporting the current and future health of the Great Lakes. In recognition of this fact, the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) has been bringing together Indigenous and western scientists to co-determine how best to work with one another for the good of the lakes and those who rely on them.“ Although Indigenous and western approaches to science have long been suspicious of each other, recent work is discovering that Traditional Ecological Knowledge and scientific knowledge are not mutually exclusive, but mutually reinforcing,” notes Henry Lickers, a Haudenosaunee citizen of the Seneca Nation, Turtle Clan and Canadian commissioner of the International Joint Commission. “Opportunities to share knowledge, build mutual respect, and work in harmony are fundamental to the health of our shared waters.” Read more here.

NY Sea Grant Publishes New Erosion Guide

The New York Sea Grant is offering new assistance to bluff and coastline erosion. Sandy beaches and gentle shorelines are not the typical landscape for Great Lakes shores. Instead, rocky terrains and bluffs line the lake. For Roy Widrig, a Great Lakes Coastal Processes and Hazard Specialist for New York Sea Grant, these bluffs represent a larger historical process — erosion. “These bluffs have been continually eroding for a very long time, I mean we are talking thousands of years here,” Widrig said. Read more here.

West Coast and Pacific

Yaquina Bay Estuary Management Gets First Update Since 1982

The management plan for a coastal Oregon estuary is getting its first update in four decades. The public can comment on the draft of the Yaquina Bay Estuary Management Plan released this week. Lisa Phipps, Oregon Coastal Program manager with the Ocean/Coastal Services Division of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, said the bay is a natural extension of the community. "It's just a really special place and it brings a lot to the community - from an economic perspective, from a recreational perspective, from an aesthetic perspective," she said. Read more here.

California Coastal Commission penalizes Malibu homeowners for obscuring access to ‘hidden’ beach

The public will have better access to a beach in Southern California that’s noted for secrecy following a 40-year effort from state agencies to untangle a labyrinthine legal history created by wealthy homeowners to block beach access. The California Coastal Commission and California State Coastal Conservancy collaborated to open access to Escondido Beach in Malibu — coincidentally Spanish for “hidden” beach. The beach is located in a highly popular area near the famous Paradise Cove and Point Dume.Read more here.

East Coast and Caribbean

Manchester Gets Nearly $1.6M Grant for Coastal Habitat Projects

In an effort to protect coastal habitat restoration projects in Manchester-by-the-Sea, the federal government is awarding $1,561,511 for the Central Street Bridge Replacement and Sawmill Brook Restoration Project. The award was announced Thursday during an outdoor ceremony in the parking lot behind Manchester’s Town Hall. The project will reconstruct the bridge with a widened span and remove a tide gate — in an effort to improve tidal flow and enhance fish passage for the threatened rainbow smelt and other species. The appropriation is part of a $3,745,290 award through the Coastal Zone Management Habitat Protection and Restoration Awards for both Manchester and Truro. The program was established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Read more here.

VIMS to Expand Restoration of Seagrass, Bay scallops on Eastern Shore

A team led by researchers at William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science will use a $2.25 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to expand their already successful efforts to restore seagrass and scallops to the seaside bays of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. During the four-year project, led by Christopher Patrick and Richard Snyder of VIMS, scientists from the institute and its Eastern Shore Lab will join with staff and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy to plant at least 60 acres of eelgrass and release more than 6 million bay scallops into the shallow waters of Burtons Bay, a large coastal embayment about midway up Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Project funding comes from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act and will be administered by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management program. Read more here.

Gulf Coast

On Mississippi's Gulf Coast, a Local Advocate Works to Protect Underserved Communities and Wetlands

For more than 40 years, Gulfport, Mississippi, native Katherine Egland has been active on social justice and civil rights issues. And for the past 20 years, she has been on the front lines of environmental justice battles to keep the region’s historically Black neighborhoods safe from the twin threats of flooding and rapid development—including co-founding the Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate, and Health Organization (EEECHO) after Hurricane Katrina. Egland’s mission is to engage community members on climate and environmental justice issues, inspire residents to prevent environmentally hazardous developments, and advocate to city, state, and federal agencies. Read more here.

DeSantis Signs Legislation to Bolster Coastal Construction Regulations

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 111 into law on Tuesday night, which builds upon previous legislation to strengthen the requirements for public entities engaging in coastal construction projects. The legislation broadens the requirement for a sea level impact projection (SLIP) study for all construction projects, which was previously limited to state-funded coastal structures, to include structures located in areas at threat of sea level rise that extend beyond the coastal building zone. The SLIP study’s standard risk assessment evaluates the probability of significant flood damage to the structure or infrastructure and proposes suitable flood mitigation strategies. The aim of this assessment requirement is to minimize the potential impact of floods, erosion, inundation, or wave action resulting from natural hazard events, according to a House legislative analysis. Read more here.

Events & Webinars

June 26-29, 2023

June 28, 2023

July 19, 2023

July 26, 2023

August 8, 2023

October 10-13, 2023

October 16-19, 2023

October 17, 2023

October 23-25, 2023

November 12-16, 2023


Happy Pride!

LGBTQ+ Ocean Career Panel Webinar

NOAA Marine Sanctuaries hosted the Pride in the Ocean Career Panel as part of the Pride in the Ocean Campaign which is an annual celebration of Ocean Month and LGBT Pride Month. Their goal is to raise the visibility of LGBTQ+ ocean scientists, athletes, appreciators, and more. Our ocean is for everyone, no matter who you love, and we want to know how you take pride in this blue planet. Watch the webinar recording here.

APA Webinar on LGBTQ+ Inclusion and Representation in Planning

The webinar was co-hosted by APA Florida’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and APA’s LGBTQ and Planning Division. Planning strives to identify, assess, and address the needs of all members of communities. The profession recognizes residents' shared commonalities, while also acknowledging certain needs and challenges that may be specific to certain groups. Absent visibility, inclusion, and representation, the voices of LGBTQ+ residents, communities, and planners may not be heard. This webinar will discuss best practices to achieve inclusion and representation. Watch the recording here.


NOAA OCM Launches Federal Consistency Learning Module

The Office for Coastal Management has released a new learning module in the CZMA 101 series: Federal Consistency BasicsThis module provides an introduction to the Coastal Zone Management Act federal consistency provision. It is designed to help the user build a basic understanding of core federal consistency concepts and what happens in the workflow of implementing federal consistency. The new module includes: definitions, examples, and considerations for core concepts, flowcharts for subpart C: Consistency for Federal Agency Activities (subparts D and E coming in the fall), and links to guidance and quick references.

NOAA Launches Self-Guided Risk Communication Training

The new self-guided training, Preparing for Effective Risk Communication, provides the steps to develop a risk communication strategy focused on, and designed to meet the needs of, a specific audience. The training includes information on how to listen more effectively, share information appropriately, and build relationships for improved conversations about hazards. Tips are also provided for those moments when you are put on the spot with a difficult question.

USACE Developing Coastal Engineering Index

The Corps' Engineer Research and Development Center is developing the Coastal Engineering Resilience Index (CERI). CERI computes using a custom GIS toolbox that uses lidar data from the USACE National Coastal Mapping Program to extract parameters that describe the beach and dune system — measurements like the dune’s height and the beach’s slope and width. Using the data from USACE and NOAA models to extract wave and storm surge information, CERI then computes the index along the beach to estimate maximum shoreline recession and beach overtopping for specified storm events. The index has been computed for pilot sites located on the northern Gulf of Mexico and North Carolina’s Outer Banks, as well as the USACE New York District’s area of responsibility in New Jersey and on Long Island. There are plans to compute CERI for most of the remaining U.S. sandy shorelines later this year. Read more here.

NOAA Announces $2.6 Billion in IRA Funding

The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a $2.6 billion framework to invest in coastal resilience through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). As part of the President’s Investing in America Agenda this initiative will support communities and people on the frontlines of climate change, dedicating nearly $400 million specifically for Tribal priorities and benefiting coastal and Great Lakes communities nationwide with an emphasis on environmental justice. Additional investments from the IRA will improve weather and climate data and services, support the Biden-Harris Administration’s America the Beautiful conservation initiative and strengthen NOAA’s fleet of research airplanes and ships that are used to study and collect data about the ocean and atmosphere. Read more here.

Justice40 Accelerator Applications Open for Community-Based Organizations

The Justice40 Accelerator will support community-based and community-led groups/organizations working at the frontlines of environmental crises and advancing community-driven climate solutions. Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status, fiscally sponsored projects, and cooperatives based in the U.S., including sovereign lands located within the U.S. and its territories, are eligible to apply. An informational webinar will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2023. The application closes on Monday July 31, 2023. Learn more here.

President Biden Proclaims June 2023 National Ocean Month

"The ocean makes life on Earth possible -- feeding us, sustaining livelihoods, and connecting economies across the globe. It bonds us as a source of recreation and rejuvenation for our spirits and links us to our heritage through Indigenous communities who have stewarded our marine habitats since time immemorial. Through its rich ecosystems of diverse plants, animals, and other species, it is also central to our fight against the climate crisis and to creating a cleaner, safer, and healthier future. During National Ocean Month, we recommit to protecting and conserving our precious ocean and to harnessing its power to shape a more sustainable planet." Read the rest here.

Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission Releases Waterfront Toolkit

The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission has launched the Waterfront Planning Toolkit, a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program funded project designed to provide assistance and resources to communities interested in planning for the unique obstacles and opportunities that come with development on the waterfront. It strives to articulate the value of waterfront plans and help communities shape the long-term resilience and sustainability of their waterfronts by establishing a set of tools and best practices to promote successful planning efforts.

NWF Launches Student Memo Competition

National Wildlife Federation is excited to offer awards that recognize undergraduate or graduate students over the age of 18 who develop innovative recommendations for state and local policies that can help improve water quality and/or the resilience of communities to flooding through nature-based approaches. Nature-based solutions include conserving and restoring natural ecosystems, such as healthy wetlands, floodplains, and forests, as well as employing engineered systems designed to mimic natural system functions. The area of geographic interest is the Mississippi River mainstem states including overlapping Tribal and Indigenous lands and waters (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana). Submit entries by Friday, June 30, 2023 to [email protected]. Read more here and here.

DOI Releases Summer Issue of NEWSWAVE

The Summer 2023 edition of NEWSWAVE demonstrates the many ways the Department of the Interior (DOI) is working to to fulfill their ocean stewardship commitments, through advancing renewable offshore energy, restoring coastal wetlands, investing in nature-based solutions and conducting the science to understand and guide management decisions in the face of climate change. Secretary Haaland’s NEWSWAVE 5 highlights a broad range of examples that show how DOI bring their collective missions together to support our blue portfolio, such as hosting the White House 2023 Conservation Summit at the Main Interior Building, where key actions, including the first ever Ocean Climate Action Plan, were announced. 

EPA Announces New Funding for Underserved Communities

EPA announced the availability of $30 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for restoration projects that advance environmental justice in underserved and overburdened communities across the Great Lakes. EPA has published a request for applications for the newly created Great Lakes Environmental Justice Grant Program that will fund implementation of environmental protection and restoration projects that will further the goals of GLRI in communities with environmental justice concerns. EPA will host a webinar on the request on Tuesday May 23, 2023. Applications are being accepted through Friday August 11, 2023.

Job Openings

In The States

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

Georgia State Sea Grant - State Fellowship

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Program Specialist 3

South Carolina, Sea Grant Consortium - Coastal GIS Specialist

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

California Coastal Commission - Multiple Coastal Program Positions

In The Agencies

USACE Savannah District, Engineering Division, Hydrology and Hydraulics - Civil Engineer (Hydraulics)

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

Lynker, Silver Spring, MD - Program Analyst

Lynker - Pacific Islands Regional Marine Debris Communication and Outreach Coordinator

Cardinal Point Captains Inc. - Restoration Specialist / Resource Protection Specialist

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

Environmental Law Institute - Senior Attorney

Environmental Law Institute - Staff Attorney

UC Santa Cruz, Institute of Marine Sciences - CCCR and ORRAA Coastal Resilience Postdoctoral Fellow

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Program Director, Coastal Resilience

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Manager, Coastal Resilience

National Fish and Wildlife Federation - Staff Scientist, Coastal Resilience

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

Pacific Coastal Research & Planning - Environmental Planner

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

The Nature Conservancy - Senior Advisory, Legislative Affairs

Ocean Conservancy - Indigenous Stewardship Fellow

Deborah Brosnan & Associates - Projects Manager: Environment, Sustainability, Climate-Change

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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