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 Resilience Investments in Bi-Partisan
Infrastructure Bill
CSO applauds the Senate passage of the bi-partisan infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684 as amended). The infrastructure bill contains robust investments in our nation’s coastal infrastructure which are critical for addressing coastal hazards. Over half of the nation’s population lives in a coastal county and are facing sea level rise, flooding, erosion, tsunamis, and increased coastal storm intensity and storm surge. The infrastructure bill provides overdue investment to strengthen critical coastal infrastructure, build and restore natural infrastructure in coastal areas with growing populations, and help coastal communities adapt to impacts of climate change.

Learn more about the coastal provisions in the bill here.
Podcast on Regional Ocean Partnerships
On The Capitol Beach, Derek Brockbank speaks with representatives of the four Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) which are the coordinating and planning bodies that address regional offshore and nearshore issues, including ocean planning, hosting data portals, and relationship management across the myriad of agencies with coastal and ocean jurisdiction.
While similar in purpose, each ROP has a regional flavor and structure – GOMA is a gumbo of diverse stakeholders; WCOA works with 100+ tribal nations; NROC coordinates planning and response to the nation’s first offshore wind projects; MARCO provides data for climate adaptation planning. While ROPs have been around at some level for 15 years, Congress is currently considering an ROP Act that would officially authorize and fund these ROPs and pave the way for others in the Great Lakes and South Atlantic, so get a taste of the ROPs on The Capitol Beach, and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage on future ASPN podcasts. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
This Tribe Has Lived On the Coast of Washington for Thousands of Years. Now Climate Change Is Forcing It Uphill
Within minutes last winter, the ocean overcame this village’s seawall and flooded the courthouse, community center, store, post office and dozens of homes, forcing evacuations. Now the tribe, which lived at sea level for thousands of years, is moving its village up the hill as the effects of climate change take hold. The village provided a somber backdrop Monday during a historic visit from Deb Haaland, the secretary of interior — and the nation’s first Native American Cabinet secretary. While meeting with tribal leaders, she promised hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to tribal nations to combat the threat of a warming planet. Read more

Oceanside On Verge Of Approving Groins To Save Beach Sand
After years of increased shoreline erosion and investigating numerous methods to resolve the loss of sand, the Oceanside City Council will meet tomorrow to consider approving the Beach Sand Feasibility Study Report. The staff report by Kiel Koger, Public Works Director of the City of Oceanside recommends that the City Council approve the Beach Sand Feasibility Study Report and direct staff to move to the next phase of the project to include design, permitting, and environmental work for a groin and bypass system pilot project. Oceanside has a 79-year history of beach erosion resulting from the Camp Pendleton Harbor construction in 1942. The federal government first identified the erosion problem and acknowledged sole responsibility for this issue in 1953. Numerous reports and studies have been conducted over the years by the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). SANDAG, and coastal engineering firms to study the problem. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
If Severe Weather Persists, Outer Banks' N.C. 12 May Become A Road To Nowhere
Since 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has spent nearly half a billion dollars on N.C. 12. Much of that — $420.8 million — has gone toward the construction of a trio of bridges, including the $252 million Basnight Bridge. NCDOT spent $61.9 million repairing and maintaining vulnerable sections of N.C. 12 on Hatteras and Pea islands, and another $15.9 million maintaining the 13 miles of road on Ocracoke that is linked to Hatteras via ferry. The department is tasked not only with keeping the road open now against encroaching sand and sea, but also with envisioning its future on ever-shifting barrier islands pinched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. Climate change makes both of those tasks more difficult, particularly on the Outer Banks where sea levels are rising more rapidly than in other parts of North Carolina. Read more

Here It Comes Again – Sargassum Stretches Across the V.I. Shoreline
Between the pandemic and predictions of an active hurricane season, island residents may find little energy left to worry about another problem that has been mounting over the past summer: what to do with the masses of sargassum washing onto some shorelines and decomposing there, releasing a sulfurous stench. It’s hard even to understand the magnitude of the issue. Things are not as bad on St. Croix. Charmin Springer, Waste Management spokeswoman, said that island has contributed 800 cubic yards of sargassum to the Anguilla landfill this year. Read more
Great Lakes
The First Real Snapshot Of Algal Bloom Toxins In Lake Erie
Remote-sensing technology produces detailed images of the size and density of the harmful algal bloom (HAB) in Lake Erie’s western basin each year, but determining the bloom’s toxicity relies on research that – literally – tests the waters. An initiative called the “HABS Grab,” conducted by an international team of researchers, has provided the most accurate estimates to date of where and how much of the liver toxin microcystin might be present during a seasonal bloom. The 100 and 172 water samples “grabbed” in one-day outings a year apart suggested there were about 12 tons of microcystins – the toxins that can be produced by cyanobacteria– in the lake on a single day in 2018, and over 30 tons in the western basin on one day in 2019. Read more

Sleeping Bear Dunes Marks Record Breeding Season for Piping Plovers
The federally endangered shorebirds had their best-ever breeding season since plover recovery work began at the park, according to officials. Eighty-one chicks successfully have fledged so far this year; the previous record stood at 72 chicks during the 2018 season. The successful breeding season is largely owed to the reduction of Lake Michigan’s water levels, which, during the past few years, had been so unusually high that they pummeled the birds’ beachfront nesting grounds. Conservation efforts have been helping piping plovers make a slow comeback since their numbers dipped to an all-time low of about a dozen breeding pairs in 1990. In recent years, the Great Lakes piping plover population has held steady between 65 to 75 nesting pairs, with Sleeping Bear Dunes providing habitat for anywhere from one-third to half of those birds. Read more
Gulf Coast
Ground Broken for $760M River Parishes Levee Project
Work has formally begun in Louisiana on a $760 million, three-parish levee project that was first proposed a half-century ago. State officials said 17.5 miles of levee and a mile of T-wall will protect 60,000 residents of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes. Gov. John Bel Edwards led a groundbreaking ceremony at the Reserve Relief Canal boat launch for the project, which will run from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi River Levee near Garyville. Authorities say the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection system will protect communities against storm surges from Lake Pontchartrain. Read more

New Sand Arrives Onto Babe’s Beach in Galveston
Work is underway at Babe’s Beach in Galveston, TX, to place up to 950,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand on this section of the beachfront. State and local funding have provided $12 million to nourish and extend Babe’s Beach at no additional cost to residents. Read more
Events & Webinars
FEMA Announces Nearly $5 Billion in Community Resilience Funding
FEMA announced nearly $5 billion for three pre-disaster funding opportunities to help states and communities prepare for major disasters that are costing lives and livelihoods and devastating local communities and businesses. These programs will allow communities to increase their preparedness in advance of climate-related extreme weather events and other disasters, and improve their ability to recover after these events. Specifically FEMA announced:
  • $1 billion in funding for its Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for Fiscal Year 2021. The application period to apply for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) FMA funding will open on Sept. 30, 2021, and close at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 28, 2022.
  • $3.46 billion in funding for its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). The 59 states, tribes, and territories that received a major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive 4% of the disaster costs related to their declaration to invest in mitigation projects that will help better prepare and protect communities from natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.
  • $160 million in funding for its Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program for Fiscal Year 2021 to reduce or eliminate the risks of repetitive flood damage to homes and buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program. The application period to apply for fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) FMA funding will open on Sept. 30, 2021, and close at 3 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2022.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Releases 6th Report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its 6th Assessment Report. The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options. Through its assessments, the IPCC determines the state of knowledge on climate change. It identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community on topics related to climate change, and where further research is needed. Learn more and read the report here.

NOAA Office for Coastal Management Trainings
NOAA's Office for Coastal Management offers numerous trainings throughout the year. Some of the upcoming trainings include:
  • Social Science Basics: Using Social Science for Stakeholder Engagement, August 16, 2021, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET. Register here.
  • Social Science Basics: Writing Effective Survey Questions, August 18, 2021, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET. Register here.
  • Seven Best Practices for Risk Communication, August 18, 2021, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. ET. Register here.
  • Coastal Adaptation Planning Essentials, August 31 - September 2, 2021, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET. Register 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 at12:00pm - 1:00pm 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.
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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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