At the Agencies   
EPA has awarded $1.345 million in grants to strengthen the capacity of the states to protect and restore wetlands. The Wetland Program Development Grants provide states, interstate agencies, and tribes with funding to develop and refine comprehensive state and local wetlands programs. Supplemental funding for these projects will be awarded in FY18 but the amounts will be budget dependent. 
Read more

Sandy Five Years Later. What Have We Learned?
Five years ago, Post-tropical Cyclone Sandy struck at high tide, driving catastrophic storm surge into coastal New Jersey and New York unlike anything seen before. Thirty-four New Jersey residents lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed, causing over $62 billion in damage. 
Read more

Recovery Capacity Building Resource Catalog: FEMA has created a weekly updated document of timely trainings, toolkits, and technical assistance offerings for local governments distributed to states and partners.This document is a directory of training and technical assistance to help local governments build their capacity and recover from disasters. In particular the training in these documents is geared towards those impacted by Irma, Harvey, and Maria.
Read more
In the News   

Flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey affected at least 6,000 Houston-area properties that were subject to flood-zone adjustments through which developers were able to build, according to a New York Times analysis of documents from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Some lots were raised only inches above the level at which homeowners would be notified that they must purchase flood insurance.

Federal investments in ecosystem restoration projects protect Federal trusts, ensure public health and safety, and preserve and enhance essential ecosystem services. These investments also generate business activity and create jobs. The Economic Impacts of Ecosystem Restoration project aims to increase the availability of information on the costs and activities associated with ecosystem restoration, and to gauge the economic effects of these investments to local economies.  
In the States and Regions 
East Coast  
Water managers planning a massive Everglades reservoir to help end polluted releases from Lake Okeechobee that regularly foul both coasts unveiled  early drafts of the project Tuesday.  While still far from final, the plans call for piggybacking the reservoir on an existing water treatment area that helps clean up the dirty water. 

The Maryland Environmental Trust,a unit of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources,and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration announced the start of a new stream restoration project along Gramies Run, a tributary of the Elk River in Cecil County.
Read more

Governor Tom Wolf announced today (Dec 7) that 106 projects to clean up local waters statewide, benefiting hundreds of communities, have been selected to receive funding through the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Growing Greener program. 
"These grant projects represent important opportunities for citizen and community engagement in local water cleanup around the commonwealth. The vitally important roster of local governments and nonprofit organizations who willingly tackle them is a great representation of our spirit of partnership," said Governor Wolf. "Their efforts are invaluable investments in our public health, the vitality of our communities, and the quality of our environment in Pennsylvania."

Gulf Coast 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) today (Dec 4) launched a public awareness campaign to inform owners of homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey that help is available to avoid foreclosure and to finance repairs.  "After a major disaster like Hurricane Harvey, struggling homeowners need to know that we will do everything we can to facilitate their recovery," said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  "Working closely with our Texas partners, our goal is to give owners of damaged FHA-insured properties the time needed to focus on repairing their homes."  "Hurricane Harvey affected nearly 50,000 square miles of Texas and damaged or destroyed more than a million homes," said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. "While we rebuild, many Texas homeowners are facing a second struggle of returning to work and making mortgage payments. To help these Texans, the GLO is proud to team with our disaster recovery partners at HUD to help those who need help avoiding foreclosure or assistance in financing repairs to damaged homes. 
West Coast and Pacific Islands 

The California State Coastal Conservancy awarded over $4.6 million in grants to protect, restore and enhance coastal resources at its November 30 Board meeting.  Included in these grants was nearly $100,000 in Sea Otter Recovery grants to 3 programs to protect and restore sea otter populations off the California coast.

Great Lakes

A bipartisan group of Congressional delegates from Michigan is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to take a stronger hand in the investigation into toxic fluorochemical contamination at 28 sites in 14 communities around the state. Eight House Republicans and four House Democrats joined Michigan's two Democrat senators on the Dec. 5 letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt urging the agency to "continue to actively engage" in the state's response to drinking, surface and groundwater pollution from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances named PFAS (or PFCs).
Read more  
The US Army Corps of Engineers released its latest six-month Great Lakes water level forecast Monday. "The lake levels of the Great Lakes themselves, especially on Lake Superior, are very high compared to their long-term averages, and Lake Superior has only been higher during the period of record-high during the 1980s," said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology for the Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The forecast is determined using current lake conditions and anticipated weather patterns. The projected levels are compared with averages from 1918 to 2015.
Announcements & More   
Funding Opportunity
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FedEx, and Southern Company are pleased to solicit applications for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide.
NOAA Section 309 Projects of Special Merit FFO now Available
2018 Projects of Special Merit Federal Funding Announcement was published on last week.  The announcement number is: NOAA-NOS-OCM-2018-2005389.  Proposals are due to NOAA on  Friday, January 5th.
The funding is open to eligible coastal management programs - 2 applications allowed per CZM program; $250k max per project; focus on  hazards or advancing comprehensive ocean and Great Lakes planning efforts.
Public Comment Period for the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4)  
Public comment on the draft report is an critical component of the NCA process, and NOAA wants to encourage the public to review and comment on of the NCA4 no later than January 31, 2018. To find and review the NCA4 visit: .  To read the full notice, please click here .
To familiarize the public with the NCA and the Review & Comment website, the US Global Change Research Program is hosting a series of webinars on the following dates:
  • Saturday, Nov 18, 3pm EST
  • Wednesday, Dec 6, 5pm EST
  • Tuesday, Jan 16, 8pm EST
Call-in: (605) 475-5606
Passcode: 9663019548#
Worth Exploring! Using Nature to Address Flooding
Explore Different Types of Nature-Based Solutions -
Nature offers a powerful set of tools for addressing hazards like flooding and erosion. Nature-based solutions use natural systems, mimic natural processes, or work in tandem with traditional approaches to address these specific hazards. Communities across the country- along rivers or coasts, large or small, rural or urban - can incorporate nature-based solutions in local planning, zoning, regulations, and built projects to help reduce their exposure to flood and erosion impacts.

OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  
Date & Time: January 25, 2018 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET
Date & time: February 15, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:00 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.   

Call for Proposals Now Available
Investing In Our Coasts: Environment, Economy, Culture

America's coasts continue to be a focal point for gauging our nation's well-being on many fronts. The Summit theme, "Investing In Our Coasts: Environment, Economy, Culture," explores the wide variety of roles our coasts play, ranging from economic to environmental to cultural.  
RAE welcomes you to submit a proposal for the Program and participate via an oral presentation, dedicated or alternative session, or poster. Please see the Call for Proposals for details and plan to join us!

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.