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:
New Fact sheets on FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs
CSO is working to further connect coastal management programs with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources to enhance resilience in the coastal zone. As part of that effort, CSO has developed new FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program fact sheets. The goal of these fact sheets is to provide easy to understand information on how to access the four FEMA hazard mitigation grant programs, specifically for coastal management programs and coastal communities.

There are five new fact sheets on:
  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs Crosswalk
  • Public Assistance Mitigation Grant Program
  • Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Grant Program
  • Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program

Check out the new factsheets and a crosswalk of the programs here.
In Case You Missed It
New CSO Executive Director
CSO has hired Derek Brockbank to be its new Executive Director. Brockbank brings two decades of experience in coastal adaptation policy and organizational development, most recently serving as Executive Director of American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA). Derek begins Feb. 8th.

Read the full press release here.
CSO and ASBPA Joint Beach and Inlet Management Policy
CSO and ASBPA released a joint policy calling for policies, funding, and science to address the unprecedented challenges facing our nation’s coasts. CSO and ASBPA call for action to improve sediment management, permitting of coastal projects, funding for project planning, design, and implementation, responsible coastal development, and critical science and research. 

Read a summary and the full policy here.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Our Newest Public Space: Samoa Dunes and Wetlands Conservation Area 
The parcels immediately to the west of Samoa Bridge are now officially the Samoa Dunes and Wetlands Conservation Area. "We're looking to re-introduce this place to our community," says Mike Cipra, who heads up Friends of the Dunes, the new titleholder of the 357 acres. "This property is a fantastic jewel for our local community and we want to emphasize just how special it is with the name." The recently concluded sale saw three agencies — the California Coastal Conservancy, the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Wildlife Conservation Board — joining forces to fund the purchase of 12 coastal dune and waterfront parcels from Security National for approximately $2 million. "One condition of the sale was that Security National would clean up the property following years of dumping and squatting, and they've done a great job. We now have a virtually pristine piece of public land for the enjoyment of everyone." Read more

Washington Ecology Unveils Clean Water Project To Create Jobs, Stabilize Communities
The Washington state Department of Ecology is proposing to spread $282 million amongst “108 high-priority clean water projects” to encourage the protection of clean water in the Pacific Northwest. The ‘Water Quality Combined Funding Program’ is meant to assist communities throughout the state by providing resources to manage wastewater treatment, sewer systems, polluted stormwater and a variety of related issues. Overall, the effort is a push to combat nonpoint pollution. Read more
Great Lakes
Public Invited To Give Input On Vision To Provide Better Access To Lake Erie, Stabilize Shoreline
The Lakefront Public Access Plan was announced by Cuyahoga County executive Armond Budish in October 2019 as a way to both improve transportation networks and increase public access to Lake Erie, as well as implement shoreline stabilization efforts. “Having an accessible, inviting lakeshore enhances recreation options, beautifies our communities, and gives residents even more ways to interact with our beautiful lake,” said Budish in a statement. “I look forward to hearing what dreams and hopes residents have for this lake as we work to make it even better for all of us.” More than 90% of the Lake Erie shoreline within Cuyahoga County is not publicly accessible. This plan will detail a multi-modal network of connected paths, all-purpose trails, boardwalks, roads, bridges, and public access points across the shoreline. Read more

Parkside Students Assist In Helping Restore Pike River Water Quality
A portion of the Pike River winding through Petrifying Springs Park is on the mend as part of a project to improve water quality involving University of Wisconsin-Parkside students and faculty. The Pike River watershed flows through Racine and Kenosha counties in an area covering more than 30,000 acres before it empties into Lake Michigan. Pollution in the river and sediment, along with stream channelization from agricultural practices over the years, led to water quality problems. A 2012 assessment by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources ranked the river’s biological community as poor, and relatively few fish species were observed. Additionally, phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations were high, another indication of low water quality. Read more
Gulf Coast
Purchase Of Large Dauphin Island Plot Offers Protection Of Endangered Species
The purchase of 838 acres on the west end of Dauphin Island will help protect a diverse coastal habitat frequented by endangered birds and sea turtles, state conservation officials said. Funds from Alabama’s portion of the $8.8 billion settlement by BP for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf were used to buy the land that was until recently privately owned, the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group announced. The Dauphin Island West End Acquisition project was approved as part of the Alabama Restoration Plan III and Environmental Assessment. The new public property is a diverse coastal habitat made up of dunes, marsh and beaches. Turtles and birds use these habitats for nesting. Neotropical migratory birds use the area as a prime resting spot during migrations. Read more

It Cost Louisiana $7.5 Million To Rebuild A Grand Isle Beach After Hurricane Zeta
When Hurricane Zeta hit Louisiana’s coast in October, it destroyed what was left of Grand Isle’s west end beach. After hold-ups with federal partners, the state has spent $7.5 million over the past few months to repair it. As Louisiana’s only inhabited barrier island, Grand Isle has long been a fishing and recreational destination. Kate Chopin portrayed it as a summer playground for New Orleans’ elite in her complicated 1899 novel “The Awakening.” Now it’s more of a working-class destination, though there’s less and less of it to enjoy each year. The island is on the frontlines of climate change and coastal land loss, facing one of the highest rates of relative sea level rise in the world. Tidal flooding is increasing. Most of the homes are raised up high on stilts. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
More Than 12,000 Panama City Beach Homeowners To Get 25% Flood Insurance Rate Discount
More than 12,000 local households soon will receive about a 25% discount on flood insurance. According to a city of Panama City Beach news release, the dip was sparked when the city received an improved score on the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System — a voluntary program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that rates communities on a scale of 1-10 and determines flood insurance premiums. The lower the score, the better the rate. The press release added that the Beach improved from a Class 8 to a Class 5, which will result in more than $450,000 in annual savings for property owners. Read more

Agreement OKs Year-Round Ports Dredging
Harbors at North Carolina’s ports may now be maintained year-round under a new agreement between the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management recently approved the Corps’ request to eliminate the seasonal dredging window at the ports in Morehead City and Wilmington. Read more
Events & Webinars
NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Applications
Are you interested in a scholarship and paid summer internship with NOAA? Consider applying for the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship or the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship. Applications are due February 1, 2021. Learn more here.

2021 Call for Proposals Great Lakes Research Consortium Small Grants Program
This small grants program provides seed funding for new, cooperative projects that improve our understanding of, and/or management of, New York's Great Lakes basin. The program supports collaborative projects and grant awards that can be used for basic or applied research and project planning that will lead to larger projects. Routine monitoring and one-time site-specific infrastructure projects are not appropriate topics for this RFP. Proposals are due March 1, 2021. Learn more and apply here.

NOAA Sea Grant & Ocean Acidification Program Funding Opportunity: Shellfish Aquaculture Partnerships
The National Sea Grant Office and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Total funding for this competition includes up to $2,000,000 in federal funds to support 2-6 projects. Each project will be funded at the approximate level of $100,000 - $300,000 per year for 1-3 years. Applications are due March 16, 2021. Learn more here.

Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation Scientific Awards Nominations
Help CERF recognize excellence among colleagues, mentors, and former students and nominate them for a CERF Scientific Award. The nomination deadline is April 7, 2021. Learn more and submit nominations 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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