Bi-Weekly Report 
June 28, 2016

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At the Agencies

EPA's Climate Ready Estuaries created an online companion tool for "Being Prepared for Climate Change: A Workbook for Developing Risk-Based Adaptation Plans." The workbook is a step by step guide for communities and other place-based organizations to develop risk-based climate change adaptation plans. This new interactive online companion tool takes users through the steps of creating a vulnerability assessment. The tool automatically takes user analysis and generates a consequence/probability matrix and formats a simple report. The purpose of the workbook and online companion tool is to help people reach their own understanding of how climate change may affect their organization's goals.
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On June 25, as part of its national effort to build resilient coastal ecosystems, communities and economies, NOAA is announcing the availability of up to $8.5 million in funding for coastal and marine habitat restoration in 2016.
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According to a press release by the U.S. Department of Interior, five Gulf Coast tribes receive $500,000 to create tribal youth conservation corps teams focused on restoring health, resilience of Gulf Coast Tribal Nations. The Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell traveled to the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana to announce the first suite of projects to move forward using funding from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, established in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy to manage part of the ecosystem restoration responsibilities that resulted from the massive oil spill. The first set of projects will focus on coastal tribal community restoration priorities and will provide employment opportunities for young people across five Gulf Coast tribal nations, including the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana, Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, Seminole Tribe of Florida, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.
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U.S. IOOS is proud to announce the awarding of over $31 million in grants to support ocean, coastal and Great Lakes observing efforts throughout the United States, Caribbean and Pacific.The funds are distributed primarily in the form of five-year cooperative agreements, augmented by funds from other federal offices and agencies, as well as outside groups.
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In the News
Governors from the eight Great Lakes states agreed Tuesday (June 22) to allow a Wisconsin city to start pumping millions of gallons a day from Lake Michigan, marking the largest diversion of water from the lakes since Chicago reversed the flow of the Chicago River in 1900. The unanimous decision favoring Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb of 70,000 about 17 miles west of the lake, is the first test of a 2008 legal compact intended to prevent thirsty communities or countries outside the Great Lakes region from dipping into the world's largest source of fresh surface water.
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Researchers from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have created a seasonal outlook for the Pacific Northwest waters, which would help tell if it's going to be a great year for sardines or a poor crab season. A paper evaluating the forecast's performance was published in June in the interdisciplinary, open-access journal  Scientific Reports. "Ocean forecasting is a growing field, and the Pacific Northwest coast is a particularly good place to use this approach," said lead author Samantha Siedlecki, a research scientist at the UW-based Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean.
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In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

A project to restore six acres of North Jacksonville's Batten Island back to its natural salt marsh state will begin in early July, conducted by Florida's Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Protection.The 15-acre spoil island, south of Ft. George Island along Heckscher Drive, was created several decades ago during dredging of the area's local waterways, according to state officials. Restoring the salt marsh will help bring the area back to its original state and improve the local ecosystem as it improves coastal storm surge protection, according to Talbot Islands State Park officials.
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In New Jersey, the Ocean Co. dune project could start next year. The state has at last secured the easements necessary for a long-awaited beach replenishment project that will build 22-foot dunes and expand beaches from Mantoloking to Seaside Park. "We currently have all the properties we need for the base project in northern Ocean County," said Bob Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.
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The federal government is giving the Lincolnville Sewer District a Water and Waste Disposal direct loan of $1.6 million, and a grant of $1 million to help construct a new $3.1 million wastewater collection system and treatment facility at the Beach.
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Gulf Coast 

The Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. (GCCPRD) has identified a compelling need for a storm surge protection system on the upper Texas Coast. The Storm Surge Suppression Study Phase 3 Report: Recommended Actions identifies the preferred regional alternatives across the North Region - Orange and Jefferson counties, Central Region - Galveston, Chambers and Harris counties and South Region - Brazoria County and Galveston County (vicinity of San Luis Pass). The report establishes a framework for a plan and calls local, state and federally elected officials to become advocates for coastal protection.
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On June 8, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) released the Governors' Action Plan III For Healthy and Resilient Coasts. This is the third major effort by the Alliance, approved by all five U.S. Gulf Coast State governors. The states of Alabama and Mississippi issued proclamations, declaring support for the plan and emphasizing the vision to improve the health and sustainability of our coastal areas. They noted millions of people depend on it - to live, work, and vacation. In the plan, the Alliance addresses six major regional issues: coastal resilience; data and monitoring; education and engagement; habitat resources; water resources; and wildlife and fisheries.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

Beach replenishment helps protect against storm erosion during El Niño. A team of researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego compared sand levels on several San Diego beaches during the last seven winters. The El Niños of winter 2009-10 and 2015-16 were the two most erosive. Three San Diego County beaches that received imported sand in 2012 were about 10 meters (33 feet) wider, and one to two meters (three to six feet) higher in 2015-16 than in 2009-10, with the coarseness of the sand apparently aiding the effectiveness of the effort.
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The health of the world's coral reefs is an indication of the wellbeing of ocean systems all over the planet. That's the message at an international gathering in Honolulu this week (June 20). Delegates at the International Coral Reef Symposium are unified in one discouraging observation: our reefs are dying. Culpability, they agree, lies with warming waters and careless human interaction with ocean resources. "Make wise choices of the seafood you eat, make sure it's sustainable, know where it's coming from," said Jennifer Koss of the NOAA Reef Conservation Program.
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Carlsbad residents concerned about global warming and a potential sea level rise can now access a draft report, commissioned by the city, that shows area trouble spots, pinpointing where future flooding and erosion could occur. Coastal cities throughout California are identifying possible risks from a rising sea level and developing ways to protect public infrastructure and private property.
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Great Lakes

The poisons have been removed from the Buffalo River. Now, the next step in the river's recovery is underway: bringing nature back. This week (June 18), the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, in collaboration with its partners from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Great Lake Commission, gave a progress update on its mission to restore life to the river. It is a $6.2 million endeavor happening at eight spots along the shoreline.
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At a meeting this week (Wednesday, June 22) of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, state EPA officials rolled out their plan to reduce the phosphorus that's fueling Lake Erie's annual algae blooms. Michigan has already completed a similar plan. As independent producer Karen Schaefer reports, the key to measuring Ohio's success will be intensive monitoring of changes in water quality. Karl Gebhardt, deputy director for water resources at the Ohio EPA, says reducing phosphorus to Lake Erie by 40­percent won't happen overnight. He says the new plan will rely on intensive and ongoing scrutiny of all watersheds where phosphorus is being released to see whether changes in agriculture, wastewater, and septic systems are having an impact.
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Announcements & More   

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 Maine Coastal Program staff directly benefits from The Coastal Society's efforts to bring together academics, state, federal, NGO, and private sector individuals and institutions to discuss the latest issues and solutions to today's coastal management challenges.   Again this year, The Coastal Society is partnering with Restore America's Estuaries to sponsor the Restore America's Estuaries 2016 Summit, bringing practitioners, managers, and researchers together under one roof in New Orleans from December 10th to the 15th 2016.  For more information about the Summit - or to register - please follow this link:  For more information about the benefits of TCS membership, please contact  Matt Nixon, Assistant Director, Maine Coastal Program and President, The Coastal Society

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 7, 2016
July 18 - 20
September 7 - 8 September 12 - 14, 2016 October 5 -7, 2016 November 16 -19, 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.