August 17, 2016

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State Success Story

To help increase local coastal resilience, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management's (CZM) StormSmart Coasts program launched the Coastal Resilience Grant Program in 2014. These grants provide financial and technical resources directly to coastal communities for proactive efforts to address current and future coastal flooding and erosion while maintaining important natural shoreline systems. To learn more, click here.

At the Agencies

On August 3, NOAA Fisheries released final guidance to help predict how human-made underwater sounds affect marine mammal hearing.
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Nations exporting fish and fish products to the United States will have to meet fishing standards for protecting marine mammals equal to those American fishermen follow, under a final rule published today by NOAA Fisheries. U.S. trade partners will need to show that killing or injuring marine mammals incidental to fishing activities, or bycatch, in their export fisheries do not exceed U.S. standards. "Fishing gear entanglements or accidental catch is a global threat to marine mammal populations," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. "Establishing these bycatch criteria mark a significant step forward in the global conservation of marine mammals."
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In September of 2015, EPA and USDA sponsored a three-day national workshop at the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute in Lincoln, Nebraska that brought together more than 200 experts and leaders representing the agricultural community, utilities, environmental NGOs, private investors, states, cities, and tribes to discuss how to expand the country's small but growing water quality trading markets. Recently, we (EPA and USDA) released a report that summarizes the workshop's key discussions and outlines new actions that we (EPA and USDA) and others will take to further promote the use of market-based tools to advance water quality improvements.
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In the News
NY/NJ Baykeeper and partners will begin the installation of a first of its kind urban living shoreline on Wednesday, August 17. Located at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Monmouth County, NJ, the 0.91 acre living shoreline will consist of an artificial reef using live oysters and concrete structures known as oyster castles to fortify and protect the coast along the Raritan Bayshore.
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Massive sand erosion is eating away at the wildlife habitat areas of Illinois' State Beach Park. A new regional plan aims to reverse that trend. (Illinois Department of Natural Resources)
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Dredging Operations Technical Support Program will launch a new website dedicated to the practice of thin-layer placement of dredged material.The newly developed Thin-Layer Placement of Dredged Material website will officially launch during the next DOTS webinar August 31, and will consolidate a growing wealth of information and resources on thin-layer placement for use across the dredging community of practice.
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In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

The Oak Island Beach and Inlet Committee has formally recommended that town council adopt plans for beach renourishment that would, in theory, protect property from a storm expected to occur once every 25 years.
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In order to find ways to protect its citizens from the increasing effects of climate change, the city of Sarasota will start conducting its first climate vulnerability assessment over the next year. In the end, the assessment will have a loose adaptation plan to have municipal systems be proactive toward climate-change scenarios.
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With a two-year grant from the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium, NJIT's Center for Resilient Design, part of the College of Architecture and Design (CoAD), will develop ways to protect ecosystems and their surrounding communities from flooding. The grant project, "At Risk: Healthy Coastal Ecosystems and Resilient Communities & Economies in an Era of Climate Change: A Balanced Approach to Protecting People, Property and Nature in Historic Greenwich Township, NJ," is spearheaded by Colette Santasieri, Ph.D., director of Policy and Planning Innovation for Civil Infrastructure and Environment at NJIT, and conducted in collaboration with Rutgers and Montclair State Universities.
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Gulf Coast 

Visitors to Galveston can expect to find wider beaches on a 4-mile-long stretch next spring as a result of an $18.5 million beach renourishment project that is going forward.
Crews are expected to begin putting new sand on a stretch in front of the seawall in October after officials bypassed a dispute with condo owners who had opposed the plans, the Galveston Park Board was told Tuesday.
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The Southwest Coastal Louisiana Feasibility Study saw more progress Wednesday
(August 5) as the Army Corps of Engineers issued the final report needed to send the study to Congress for funding consideration.The study includes about $3.3 billion in coastal protection and restoration projects for Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes. The recommendations must be included in the 2016 Water Resources Development Act, and the projects must be federally authorized for construction.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials are seeking public comments on the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project Draft Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment. The 30-day public comment period runs Aug. 2 to 31, 2016. The documents are available for viewing online at A paper copy is available at each Seattle Public Library Delridge, West Seattle, International District and Highpoint branch.
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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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On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the Great Lakes Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced nearly $10 million in grants to fund habitat restoration and water quality improvement projects in 14 cities around Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and New York.
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Announcements & More   

September 17 - 24, 2016 is National Estuaries Week!

Since 1988, National Estuaries Week (NEW) has celebrated the many ways we benefit, from healthy, thriving coastal ecosystems. All throughout the country, local organizations including Restore America's Estuaries
member groups, National Estuarine Research Reserves and National Estuary Programs organize special events, like beach clean-ups, hikes, canoe and kayak trips, workshops and more to recognize the special role these places play in our everyday lives. National Estuaries Week is a terrific opportunity to learn more about estuaries and the perfect excuse to spend time on your local bay!
During NEW - spread the word to Go! and visit these special places. For more information, click here.

On August 2, NOAA released The State of the Climate in 2015 report; which was compiled by 460 scientists from 62 countries around the world. To see the a PowerPoint presentation, please click here. For additional details, please click here.  

Restore America's Estuaries and The Coastal Society are proud to bring together the coastal restoration and management communities for an integrated discussion to explore issues, solutions, and lessons learned in our work. The Summit will be December 10 - 15, 2016, in New Orleans, LA. The Summit will provide timely and much-needed attention to the challenges and opportunities for coastal and estuarine restoration and management and will bring together a unique blend of people who are involved in policy, science, strategy, business, and on-the-ground restoration and management. For detailed information, please click here.

OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2016

Title: Knowledge Exchange and Stakeholder Engagement in Natural Resource Science and Management  
Date & Time: August 18, 2016  12:00 pm - 12:30 pm  ET

Title: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Valuing Ecosystem Services from Natural Infrastructure
Date & Time: August 31, 2016  1:30 pm - 2:30 pm  ET

Title: Bring the Ocean into Your Classroom with National Marine Sanctuaries
Date & Time: September 21, 2016  6:00 pm - 7:00 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   

September 7 - 8
September 12 - 15, 2016 September 12 - 14, 2016 October 5 -7, 2016 December 10 -15, 2016 

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.