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:

Promoting Ecotourism for Watershed Conservation in Virginia

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and partners—buoyed by evidence that conservation funnels millions of extra dollars into the local economy—have signed a memorandum of understanding that promotes ecotourism’s economic benefits and helps preserve Indigenous and ecological assets.

Virginia’s Lower Chickahominy River watershed is a region in transition. Its near-pristine marshes are located not far from rapidly developing areas in James City and New Kent Counties. A memorandum of understanding to establish the Lower Chickahominy Watershed Collaborative—believed to be the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region—provides the local government and tribal coordination needed to promote ecotourism and safeguard natural resources and Indigenous cultural assets.

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program led a five-year effort to bring together this diverse group of partners, which includes three tribes, three localities, two regional planning district commissions, and state agencies, businesses, and environmental nongovernmental organizations. Read more here and here.

Goodbye and Good Luck to Our Newsletter Editor

This week, we will be saying farewell to Rachel Keylon, CSO’s Federal Affairs Director for the past 4 years. In addition to leading CSO’s legislative and communications efforts, Rachel has been taking law school classes at night and will be taking the Bar this summer; she is leaving CSO to take on a legal role with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Baltimore District in their Environmental Division. Under Rachel’s leadership, CSO has expanded our legislative focus to engage on appropriations and authorizing bills that cover a broad range of coastal management issues, beyond just the Coastal Zone Management Act. But the CZMA has been central to Rachel’s work and state Coastal Zone Management Programs are better off for it. During Rachel’s tenure, CZM programs have seen an annual increase in funding to CZM grants as well as a nearly 40% increase in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Also, the coastal community has come together to develop a draft CZMA re-authorization bill, which has yet to become law, but has become the bases for future re-authorization efforts. Finally, Rachel has led CSO’s efforts in updating and maintaining policy positions, allowing CSO to react nimbly to introduced legislation and federal actions. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

In the States and Regions

East Coast and Caribbean

Maine Beaches That Have Escaped Development Can Help Us Understand Rising Seas

While many of the state's beaches are lined with houses and roads, this stretch of sand, and adjacent Popham Beach State Park, could reveal how beaches and dunes behave with limited human intervention.This barrier beach formed with sand deposited by the Kennebec River, and it migrated inland as sea levels gradually rose. Bates College researchers have found that the front dune has retreated about 24 meters in the last 80 years. Peter Slovinsky of the Maine Geological Survey says dunes naturally tend to roll over themselves. “If they have nothing in the way of their response to sea level rise and storms, they migrate in a landward direction, by basically washing over themselves," Slovinsky says. "So in a naturally occurring dune-and-beach system, that process of overwash can occur.” Read more

Connecticut Harbor Dredge First Step: $500,000 in Federal Funding for Sediment Testing

Greenwich Harbor has been slowly silting in for decades, and dredging is long over due.

So it was an upbeat moment on Wednesday when federal and local officials gathered at the Greenwich Police Marine Operations dock to mark the approval of a $500,000 federal grant in fiscal year 2023 to kick-start the process. Specifically, the funding was secured from the Army Corps of Engineers who will oversee the project. They will test dredge material to determine whether it is contaminated and how it might be safely disposed. Read more

West Coast and Pacific

Pacheco Marsh Project Is Blooming as County Eyes Next Phase

The 31,000 new native plants are growing, freshly arrived shorebirds are starting to nest, and the tide is pushing and pulling water in and out of the 5.32 miles of new channels.

Seasonal ponds are full and flowers are blooming as Pacheco Marsh just survived one of the most frantic winters in recent memory. The Lower Walnut Creek Restoration Project has taken root, literally. Most of the natural work is done. The largest public works project ever undertaken by Contra Costa County is on schedule and ready for the John Muir Land Trust to begin shaping the 232 acres into a park that has been described as a future bird-watcher’s paradise. Read more

Pacific Fishery Management Council adopts 2023 west coast ocean salmon seasons

The Pacific Fishery Management Council has adopted recommendations for ocean salmon fishing along the Pacific west coast in 2023. The seasons provide recreational and commercial opportunities in northern areas of the coast but include significant closures in southern portions of the coast to achieve conservation goals for the numerous salmon stocks.The recommendations will be forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for approval by May 16, 2023. Read more

Gulf Coast

$863M Port Arthur Flood Mitigation Project to Provide Protection from Future Storms Set to be Completed by 2026

A multi-million Port Arthur project that aims to reduce the risk of damage created by storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms to coastal hazard zones in Jefferson County could be completed in less than four years. The project is a component of the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management Program, which is set to reduce the risk of storm surge impacts in Orange, Jefferson, and Brazoria counties.

The program is comprised of three projects, according to a Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal release. One project involves the construction of a new CSRM levee system in southern Orange County, and two involve making improvements to existing Hurricane Flood Protection projects (HFPP) at Port Arthur and Freeport. Read more

Fort Myers Residents Win Block on Bid to Level Mangroves, Built Homes

Lee County commissioners have rejected a proposal to sacrifice 30 acres of mangroves to make way for a development of 55 new homes off Shell Point Boulevard.

The commission's unanimous vote came after residents of the booming Shell Point Retirement Community and the nearby Palm Acres residential community explain how they owe their lives, and property, to mangrove plants that buffered surging gulf waters as Hurricane Ian reached land six months ago. Read more

Great Lakes

Decreasing Great Lakes Ice Cover has Consequences

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that February 2023 was Earth’s fourth-warmest on record. In the Great Lakes basin, this is being witnessed through less lake ice cover, which is already having major impacts. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the leading cause of the Earth’s rapidly changing climate. As of February 13, 2023, only seven percent of the Great Lakes were covered in ice, which is significantly below the 35-40 percent ice cover expected for that time of year, according to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. Although the lack of ice cover on the Great Lakes this winter has been helpful in the shipping world, it causes many ecosystem problems. Read more

Public Boat Slips to be Installed on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland

Boaters on the Cuyahoga River will soon have a more dignified way to go ashore.Cleveland Metroparks, which operates Rivergate Park at Merwin’s Wharf and Heritage Park further downstream near the Center Street bridge, is installing 18 public boat slips that should be ready for use in another six to eight weeks. Once completed they will provide much easier access to the restaurants, entertainment venues and walking and biking trails along the waterfront. Currently there are no publicly accessible boat slips along the river where it serves as a federal navigation channel in Cleveland. Read more

Events & Webinars

April 17, 2023

April 19, 2023

April 20, 2023

April 21, 2023

April 27, 2023

May 4, 2023

May 7-11, 2023

May 16, 2023

May 17-18, 2023

May 18, 2023

May 31-June 3, 2023

June 1, 2023

June 6-9, 2023

June 26-29, 2023

October 16-19, 2023

October 23-25, 2023

November 12-16, 2023


FEMA Releases New Nature-Based Solutions Guide

On March 21, 2023, FEMA released a second guide in a series focused on nature-based solutions to minimize the risk of natural hazards. The first guide, Building Community Resilience With Nature-Based Solutions: A Guide for Local Communities, makes the case for using nature-based solutions. It tells readers how to include nature-based solutions in community planning, and it goes over funding options. The second guide, Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions: Strategies for Success, gives community leaders five main strategies to carry out nature-based solutions projects, with some case studies. 

Michigan Coastal Management Program Calls for Pre-Proposals for Coastal Habitat Restoration and Ecosystem Land Conservation 2023 Grant

The MCMP is seeking pre-proposals in anticipation of selecting up to three projects to submit in this national competition. Pre-proposals are to be submitted to the MCMP no later than Monday June 5, 2023. The MCMP will conduct an informational webinar to cover the federal competition requirements and pre-proposal expectations. The webinar is intended for local units of government, cities, counties, villages, tribal governments, and state agencies within Michigan’s coastal counties. The webinar will be held Wednesday May 3, 2023, 1:30- 3:00 EDT. Register for the webinar here.

BOEM Announces Proposed Rule to Increase Protection of Marine Archaeological Resources

In order to better protect shipwrecks and other cultural resources on the seabed from harm due to offshore energy activities, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is proposing regulatory changes to its marine archaeology reporting requirements for activities proposed on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). A notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comment was published in the Federal Register for a 60-day comment period ending on April 17, 2023. Learn more and find instructions to comment here.

Request for Proposals: Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program

The Great Lakes Commission today issued a request for proposals for the 2023 Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program (GLSNRP) grant program.

The Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program has provided grants to reduce nutrients and sediments entering the Great Lakes for more than 30 years. This year’s program will continue to help local partners take action to reduce nutrient loads from agricultural watersheds and eroding shorelines and streambanks in the Great Lakes basin. Applications are due April 21, 2023. Learn more and apply here.

FEMA Announces NOFO for Safeguarding Tomorrow RLF Program

FEMA has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Safeguarding Tomorrow Revolving Loan Fund Program. Applications are due April 28, 2023. Learn more here.

NOAA Hydrographic Services Panel Seeks Nominations

NOAA is seeking nominations for members to serve on the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) Federal Advisory Committee. The panel advises NOAA on standards and priorities for the agency’s hydrographic services, including ensuring comprehensive geographic coverage. NOAA seeks experts from state and local government, academia, and industry in fields including navigation, port administration, and coastal resource management, including coastal preparedness and emergency response. Nominations are due by email on April 28, 2023. Learn more and submit nominations here.

National Estuary Program Coastal Watersheds Grant Program

Restore America’s Estuaries, in partnership with the U.S. EPA, released the 2023 funding round of the National Estuary Program (NEP) Coastal Watersheds Grant. Approximately $1 million in grants will be made available. The NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant Program is a nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance. RAE will select grantees through a two-step process: 1) letters of intent (LOI); and 2) full proposals by invitation only. Both steps are competitive and a request for full proposal does not guarantee funding. LOIs are due on Friday, May 5, 2023. Learn more here.

National Coral Reef Resilience Strategy RFI

NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program intends to develop a National Coral Reef Resilience Strategy in consultation with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force. The Strategy will identify data and management gaps and establish national goals for funding and research, including designation of priority areas for conservation and for restoration, incorporating elements of the existing Coral Reef Conservation Program Strategic Plan. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov through Monday May 8, 2023.

Coastal Program Announces 2023 New Hampshire Coastal Resilience Grant Request for Applications

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Coastal Program is soliciting 2023 Coastal Resilience Grant (CRG) applications for coastal resilience projects. The CRG funding opportunity supports projects that build capacity, advance planning, and develop designs to increase coastal resilience, with specific focus on community and/or habitat resilience. Applications are due May 26, 2023. Learn more here.

Job Openings


Federal Affairs Manager

In The States

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Water Division, Watershed Management Bureau - Coastal Data Analyst

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

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Coastal Programs Section - Planner

Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection, Program Administrator

Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management - Natural Resources Engineer

South Carolina, Sea Grant Consortium - Coastal GIS Specialist

Texas, General Land Office, Coastal Resources Division - Natural Resource Specialist III (Beach Access & Dune Protection Program)

Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands & Environmental Assistance - Regional Shoreline Planner

Washington Department of Ecology, Shorelands & Environmental Assistance - Senior Floodplain Management Planner

Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Office of Coastal Zone Management - Coastal Resilience Grant Specialist

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

EPA ORISE Fellow - Using Sea-Level-Rise to Understand the Threat in hte Chesapeake Bay Watershed

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

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

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,and Medicine, Ocean Studies Board - Research Associate

The Nature Conservancy - Coral Restoration Project Director

The Nature Conservancy - Senior Advisory, Legislative Affairs

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System - GIS Innovation Develop

Ocean Conservancy - Indigenous Stewardship Fellow

Ocean Conservancy - Climate Science Coordinator

Ocean Conservancy - Senior Policy Analyst, Renewable Energy

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.

Please note: CSO reserves final decision regarding published newsletter content and may not use all information submitted.

Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | [email protected] | www.coastalstates.org
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