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:
Safeguarding Public Coastal Access
In 1972 the U.S. Congress—alerted by widespread public concern over shrinking coastal resources and access—passed the Coastal Zone Management Act to preserve, restore, and enhance coastal zone resources and safeguarding recreational access to coastal lands and waters has been a key element of the coastal management ever since then.

Over the past decade, the state-federal Coastal Zone Management partnership has created nearly 1,000 new public access sites and enhanced over 2,800 additional access sites to improve the visitor experience. Additionally, more than 69,000 acres of habitat have been enriched for outdoor enjoyment by and an additional 64,000 acres were restored. All of these efforts have added up to big benefits for coastal communities.

Learn more about what the national, state, and territory Coastal Zone Management Programs are doing to increase public access across the country here.
In the States and Regions
Gulf Coast
McFaddin Beach and Dune Restoration Awarded $15.8 Million Grant
A plan to restore the McFaddin Beach and Dune along Jefferson County's Gulf coast after the 2010 oil spill was formally adopted Wednesday, awarding a $15.8 million grant to place sand along about 17 miles of shoreline. The project will fund about a third of the estimated $45 million total project cost. Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said the grant is another milestone to completing the Salt Bayou Watershed Restoration Project, calling it the county's number one priority for Deepwater Horizon restoration. The county’s coastal marshes are part of the Chenier Plain ecosystem that provides critical wintering habitat in North America’s largest migratory waterfowl flyway that includes Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion Parish in Louisiana. Read more

‘There’s Going to Be No Fishing.’ Can Mississippi Marshes Be Saved from Sea Level Rise?
On average, the Mississippi coast has been losing more than 200 acres a year of salt marsh and other coastal habitats since the 1850s, according to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. The state lost 10,000 acres of wetlands in the 60 years from 1947-2007, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality calculated. Development over the past century, rerouting of rivers that built tidal marshes, hurricanes, dredging of navigation channels, and compacting and sinking of marsh foundations have all contributed to Mississippi’s loss. Unless carbon emissions decrease, sea level rise will cause northern Gulf marshes in Mississippi and offshore barrier islands to collapse into open water as early as 2070, said Patrick Biber, who has studied marshes extensively and works as an associate professor at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab. With high carbon emissions, sea levels will be 1.5-2 feet higher by 2060. “That is about the elevation we expect to see our marshes flooded,” he said. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Carolina Long Bay Offshore Wind Lease Sale Announced
The Interior Department announced a proposed lease sale for offshore wind development off North Carolina and South Carolina. The proposed Carolina Long Bay lease area consists of about 128,000 acres and includes most of the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area, which officials said has the potential to generate enough electricity to power more than 500,000 homes. The Bureau of Offshore Energy Management seeks public input on potentially dividing the proposed lease area into as many as three lease areas. Read more

USACE Presents South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACS)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently released the Draft South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACS) Main Report which provides a strategic framework of potential options (recommendations) to address problems within the SACS area.
The SACS is a comprehensive study that applies watershed planning concepts to identify actions for advancing coastal resilience along the 65,000 miles of tidally influenced shoreline across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more
Great Lakes
'The Water Always Wins': Calls to Protect Shorelines as Volatile Lake Michigan Inflicts Heavy Toll
Unlike the oceans, whose waters are rising as Earth’s steady warming melts glaciers, Great Lakes water levels largely depend on weather and are harder to predict. Lake Michigan’s levels have tended to fluctuate in cycles throughout its recorded history, swinging up or down roughly every three to 10 years. Contractors, ferry boat captains, climate scientists and home owners call those ebbs and flows part of life along the Great Lake’s shoreline. But they are now living through the most dramatic shifts in their lifetimes. Between record low waters in January 2013 and a record high in July 2020, Lakes Michigan and Huron collectively swung more than 6 feet, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The lakes have since dipped about a foot and a half, but remain above their long-term average. Climate scientists attribute the volatility to the interplay of the region’s rising temperatures and precipitation from more frequent and intense storms. Read more

Crane Creek Project Allowing Lake Erie ‘To Breathe Again’
State and federal officials gathered last week on the shores of Western Lake Erie to dedicate the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Reconnection project, an H2Ohio initiative that has reconnected three wetland habitat units to Lake Erie through the Crane Creek Estuary. The 580-acre project area is a critical link between the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Ottawa County and the Howard Marsh to the west in Lucas Country. The design will reduce nutrients flowing to Lake Erie by diverting excess water from farmlands through a rugged aluminum water control structure. The agency with boots on the ground in creating the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Wetland Reconnection project has been Ottawa County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, based in Oak Harbor. “We’ve already received $1.2 million in H2Ohio funding for the project, as well working on six other sites,” said SWCD Administrator Mike Libben. “We have a lot of experience managing public and private wetlands, and this is right up our alley.” Read more
West Coast and Pacific
Hawaii's Beaches Are Disappearing Due to Climate Change
Rising sea levels paired with recent storm surges have been causing faster than usual erosion on Hawaii’s beaches and shorelines. According to a recent ProPublica report, three of Hawaii's major islands have lost roughly one-quarter of their beaches. Sea levels are also rising about one inch every four years, threatening 70% of Hawaii’s coastline, according to Hawaii’s state website. Read more

San Diego Launches Comprehensive Resiliency Plan to Tackle Climate Change Hazards
The City of San Diego is asking for public feedback on its recently released draft Climate Resilient SD plan. Climate Resilient SD implements key strategies of the City’s climate action plan and fulfils legislative requirements to integrate climate adaptation into the City’s general plan. Each of the plan’s adaptation strategies focuses on core benefits that can be achieved, such as social equity, recreation, and improved air quality. “Climate change hazards present a risk to San Diego’s natural environment, public health and safety, and economic prosperity,” said Mike Hansen, city planning director. “By taking action now, we ensure our city is not only prepared to respond to the impacts of climate change but is actually able to thrive.” Read more
Events & Webinars
November 4, 2021

November 8, 2021

November 9-10, 2021

November 10, 2021

November 18, 2021

November 17, 2021

November 30-December 2, 2021

December 1, 2021

December 8-9, 2021

December 9, 2021

December 13-17, 2021

January 12, 2022

February 1-2, 2022

February 1-3, 2022

February 17, 2022

April 25-28, 2022

May 15-19, 2022
NOAA Seeking Input on Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful
NOAA announced an opportunity for the public to share input on ways NOAA can advance the goals and recommendations in the report on “Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful through a Federal Register Notice. The public comment period will be open for 60 days, through December 28, 2021. NOAA will be holding two public listening sessions on Monday, November 8 and Tuesday, November 16. More information on how to comment and registration information for the listening sessions is available here.

As world leaders, climate activists, and concerned citizens gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad offers his perspectives on COP26 as he travels to this important climate summit of world leaders. NOAA also has a COP26 webpage with a host of information about NOAA activities at the conference and commitments NOAA has made in line with COP26 goals. Follow along on social media at @NOAA and @noaaclimate.

FEMA Webinar on Incorporating Future Conditions in Mitigation Plans
FEMA released a training webinar “Investing in Our Future, Planning Now: Addressing Future Climate, Population and Land Use in Mitigation Planning" which provides ideas, resources and examples of how to integrate future conditions information into the hazard mitigation planning process to increase overall resilience. The intended audience for this training is state, local, tribal and territorial governments and other private sector and non-government partners involved in developing hazard mitigation plans. Watch the training here.

Updated Economic Value of Estuaries in America Report
Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) has released an updated Economic Value of Estuaries in America report. This report builds on RAE's previous reportThe Economic and Market Value of America's Coasts and Estuaries: What's at Stake? and provides an update to some of the key national economic indicators that report assessed. The report also assesses the values of natural coastal infrastructure and coastal blue carbon storage - which provice coastal resilience benefits and opportunities to mitigate the impacts of climate change - through a series of case studies. Read the report 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:
  • Coastal Adaptation Planning Essentials, November 30-December 2, 2021, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Register here.
  • Virtual - Facilitation Basics for Coastal Managers, December 8-9, 2021, 2 to 5 p.m. Eastern. Email Jan Kucklick
  • Economic Guidance for Coastal Management Professionals, January 12, 2022, 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern. Register here

Call for Abstracts: Gulf of Mexico Conference
The Gulf of Mexico Conference (GOMCON) seeks to promote the integration of science and management into decision making. To support that goal, the Executive Committee invites abstracts for presentations across a variety of topics and geographies from within the Gulf region. The deadline for submission is November 12, 2021. Learn more and submit here.

Climate Change in the West: Submit Your Photos
Calling all students in 5th through 12th grade! Send in your photos showing how climate change has impacted you or your community in the West before November 15, 2021. Winning submissions will be shared with NOAA climate experts who will develop a written response about the climate impact or change captured in the photo, and both the photos and responses will be shared on the NOAA Western Region website. Applicants from across the U.S. are eligible, but photos must be taken in one of these western states: Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. 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.

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.
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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