Bi-Weekly Report 
July 12, 2016

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State Success Story

Louisiana Parish Creates a Model Subdivision Ordinance to Enhance Public Safety and Resilience to Coastal Storms and Flooding Events with Assistance from the Louisiana Office of Coastal Management. To learn more, click here.  

Flooded Louisiana Roadway
At the Agencies

On June 24, the U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 19 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NOAA Fisheries to manage ocean fish stocks. One at -large seat on the Mid- Atlantic Council will be announced by the Secretary at a later date. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11.
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On July 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a federal Clean Water Act rule to tighten the current selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta. The proposed change would better protect aquatic species, including salmon, smelt, and diving ducks, that are dependent on the Bay and Delta ecosystem, from harmful exposure to elevated levels of selenium.
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According to a press release, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Hopper and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Brian Salerno announced final regulations to ensure that any future exploratory drilling activities on the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are conducted under the highest safety and environmental standards and subject to strong and proven operational requirements.
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In the News
As sea levels rise along U.S. coasts, it may soon get easier for people and local governments to obtain federal permits to build what are known as "living shorelines," natural or nature-based structures designed to protect communities and infrastructure from extreme storms and flooding even as they protect habitat.
The Army Corps of Engineers is considering a new category to its nationwide permits that would allow speedier approval of living shorelines, which include wetlands with sea and marsh grasses, sand dunes, mangroves, and coral reefs.
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On July 6, four Miami-Dade County commissioners presented an unprecedented plan to collect "impact fees" from developers in order to finance local climate mitigation and adaptation projects. The commissioners say the initiative would help provide the funds required to properly prepare the county for the negative effects of sea level rise. Georgetown University law professor J. Peter Byrne co-authored a paper on these fees earlier this year, stating that they are "sensible, well-adapted [tools] that a local government can use," and "if [the program] discourages the developers from building . . . they can try to build it in a manner or location in which there's less climate harm." The four commissioners asked Miami Mayor Carlos Jimenez to draft a report looking at the utility of their proposal and whether it would be appropriate.
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In the face of climate change impact and inevitable sea level rise, Cornell and Scenic Hudson scientists studying New York's Hudson River estuary have forecast new intertidal wetlands, comprising perhaps 33 percent more wetland area by the year 2100.
In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District awarded a Duval County Shore Protection construction contract June 28 to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC of Oak Brook, Illinois, for $13,572,170. The construction will place 650,000 cubic yards of sand on about seven miles of eroded beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach. The project's completion is set for fall 2016.
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The nation's first island reclamation project using dredged materials - the Paul S. Sarbanes Ecosystem Restoration Project at Poplar Island - is in the middle of its second phase, with at least one more phase approved through 2044.
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Gulf Coast 

In Louisiana, up to $13 million to $14 million may be available each year for infrastructure directly affected by coastal land loss, and a state board on Wednesday proposed the criteria it would use to decide how the money gets spent. Each project proposal turned into the state by November of each year will be evaluated on a list of factors that include its purpose, benefits, how well it matches with the state's coastal master plan and how well it helps communities. The community support can come in direct benefits, such as providing evacuation routes, to more indirect uses, such as providing leverage to acquire additional funding.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

On July 11, Hawaii's Office of Planning announced that Justine Nihipali will be the next Planning Program Manager of the Hawai'i Coastal Zone Management *(CZM) Program, effective July 15, 2016. CSO welcomes Justine to this new role and look forward to interacting with her.
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A federal plan to offer leases for offshore wind power development near the coastline of Oahu could help Hawaii take a big step toward reaching its goal of generating all its electrical power with renewable energy sources by 2045. Stationing giant turbines in the ocean north and south of the island will be a huge engineering challenge.
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Beaches will shrink and coastal bluffs will crumble, but most Carlsbad residents and their homes will be safe from the rising sea in the decades ahead, according to a new report by city planners. The draft Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Assessment looks at potential hazards over two time frames - through 2050 and 2100 - and describes possible strategies to prevent flooding, erosion and property damage. The California Coastal Commission requires the assessment for all cities with a Local Coastal Program.
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Great Lakes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District has announced that its contractors will soon begin dredging portions of the Duluth-Superior Harbor, the largest harbor on the Great Lakes with nearly 40 million tons of material, mainly iron ore and coal, shipped or received each year. Dredging will begin this month and is expected to be completed mid-November of this year.
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The Superior Watershed Partnership working with state, federal and private funders has secured more than $1 million in funding to implement a variety of conservation, restoration and pollution prevention projects in the greater Marquette area during the 2016/2017 field seasons. According to SWP, funded projects include stormwater management, habitat restoration, tree planting, energy conservation and more. Several large scale projects improve water quality and directly benefit Lake Superior.
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Today, the Great Lakes Dredging Team has released a guide that provides an overview of Great Lakes state and federal policies pertaining to the beneficial use of dredged material, case studies of projects around the basin and the nation, and "lessons learned" from successful projects. Please click here to read the full guide.

Announcements & More   

The Georgetown Climate Center is pleased to invite you to preview the new and improved version of their Adaptation Clearinghouse, which is scheduled to launch next week. 
Please join for a webinar at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, July 14, 2016, to learn more about this new tool and how it can be useful in your work. Click here to reserve your spot!  
  • Be the first to see how new features will make it easier for adaptation professionals and policymakers to locate the resources needed to help communities prepare for climate change impacts.
  • Discover sector-specific pages and learn how Adaptation Clearinghouse information is tailored based on user interests.
  • Find out how the new site will make it possible for organizations to create their own "mini-clearinghouses" and network with adaptation professionals.
  • Get an early opportunity to make sure that your organization's work is represented in this new tool.
On June 21, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report titled "Evaluating Urban Resilience to Climate Change: A Multi-Sector Approach." The report, from EPA's Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) program, provides tools and guidelines for state and local planners that intend to make their cities more resilient to climate change. The report addresses ways to build resilience in multiple sectors, including water, energy, transportation, health, economic, land use, environmental, and telecommunications. The draft supplies case studies from Washington, D.C. and Worcester, MA as examples of how the tools, methods and actions would work. The EPA will be accepting public comments on the draft for 30 days. For more information, click here. 

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2016 All Hands meeting that happened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was a very successful event. An editorial by Laura Bowie, highlights key meeting accomplishments, including the introduction of the Governor's Action Plan III for Healthy and Resilient Coasts. To read the full editorial and GOMA newsletter, please click here

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB) is pleased to announce the availability of the Draft Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (Draft Plan) for public review and comment. The Draft Plan was developed through a collaborative process, and the MidA RPB encourages feedback from all interested stakeholders. The public comment period is open through September 6, 2016.  Comments may be submitted via email:; or by writing to: Robert P. LaBelle, Federal Co-Lead, Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body, BOEM, 45600 Woodland Road, Mailstop:  VAM-BOEM DIR, Sterling, VA  20166. There was a webinar about the plan on
Monday, July 11.  For more information and future events please click here for updates from the Mid-Atlantic Council on the Ocean. The Ocean Conservancy also released a press release welcoming the plan. The first draft ocean plan to be released was the Draft Northeast Ocean Plan, which is available for public review until July 25, 2016. Note this is less than two weeks away! To review the plan and submit comments on it, please click here. 

OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2016
Title: International Coral Reef Symposium - Key Outcomes 
Date & Time: July 14, 2016 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET
Title: Protecting Peru's Precious Ocean and Coastal Resources
Date & Time: July 14, 2016 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET
Title: Engaging the Public in Marine Reserves and Protected Areas: The Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership
Date & Time: August 11, 2016 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm ET
Seminars are open to the public. For remote access, location, abstracts and more, visit the OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar at: 
Seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice; please check the web page for the latest seminar updates.   

Events & Webinars   

July 18 - 20
September 7 - 8 September 12 - 14, 2016 October 5 -7, 2016 December 10 -15, 2016 
Job Openings 

The Voice of the Coastal States and Territories on Ocean, Coastal & Great Lakes Affairs


The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not represent or reflect the views of CSO.