At the Agencies   

Real-time Data Helps Miami Seaport Safely Bring in Ships
Every day off the Florida coast, pilots steer mega-ships down a watery highway into the Miami seaport. Each ship must stay on a narrow, carefully-planned course to protect not only the lives of those on board, but also the sensitive ecosystem in which the vessel operates, as well as the thousands of containers loaded up with furniture, machines, clothes, food, beverages, and other commodities bound for the United States.

As ships approach the port in Miami, they face a particular challenge: strong currents from the Gulf Stream run perpendicular to the shipping channel. This makes navigation especially difficult. Pilots need information on these currents to make immediate and rapid navigation decisions.

Miami ship pilots now have access to real-time information that will help them get into seaport more safely, thanks to a new NOAA system called  Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System  (PORTSĀ® ). Read more.


FEMA Grants Data Visualization
Did you know that you can view FEMA mitigation projects funded over the last 30 years by county, state and region of the country?  Visit FEMA's new data visualization tool  here.
In the News   

Mexican coral reef and beach get unique insurance policy against hurricane damage
Dozens of kilometres of coral reef and beach on Mexico's Caribbean coast will be insured to help preserve them and reduce the impact of hurricanes, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a large U.S.-based charity, said on Thursday.

Rapid payouts will be triggered when storm-force winds reach a certain speed under the "insurance-for-nature" plan, a concept TNC said countries such as Belize and Honduras were considering. Read more

Ghost gear clogging world's oceans is having 'catastrophic' effect, report says
The tools of the fishermen's trade are what make it possible for them to harvest the 170 billion pounds of seafood that the world feasts on each year.

When the items - nets, lines and traps - are inadvertently lost or abandoned at the bottom of the ocean, they become classified as ghost gear. The discarded debris not only pollutes the waters, but it disrupts ecosystems and has become increasingly deadly.  Read more

Full funding announced for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Action at both the state and federal level on Thursday are likely to have an impact on the continued efforts to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program that funds thousands of projects aimed at restoring the health of the Great Lakes, is expected to maintain its full funding this year.

Ohio's U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown announced Thursday that funding for the GLRI would be kept this fiscal year at its existing level of $300 million based on the government funding measure expected to pass this week.  Read more.

Philadelphia Turns Massive Stormwater Runoff Problem Into Economic Boost 
Philadelphia has long struggled with stormwater that sends massive amounts of polluted runoff into nearby rivers. Rather than spending nearly $10 billion it didn't have on a new 30-mile-long tunnel, the city is investing a fraction of that on thousands of "green" infrastructure sites.

And the strategy is paying off, Bruce Stutz reports in Yale Environment 360.

The city is seven years into a 25-year project designed to reduce 85% Philadelphia's combined sewer overflows by 85% under an agreement with the EPA,  Stutz explained. "The city is investing an estimated $2.4 billion in public funds - to be augmented by large expenditures from the private sector - to create a citywide mosaic of green stormwater infrastructure."  Read more.

In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

Coastal Resiliency Program Expands to Anne Arundel County
The Board of Public Works today unanimously approved dedicated funding of two 
Coastal Resiliency Grant Program projects in Anne Arundel County to help communities enhance their resiliency to the effects of climate change, extreme storms and weather.

The  Maryland Department of Natural Resources is helping to design six shoreline improvement demonstration projects  statewide to implement on-the-ground natural and nature-based restoration projects, including living shorelines, marsh enhancements and stormwater management systems in vulnerable areas through
out Maryland.  Read more.

StormSmart Properties Fact Sheet 2: Controlling Overland Runoff to Reduce Coastal Erosion
StormSmart Properties-part of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management's (CZM) StormSmart Coasts program-provides coastal property owners with important information on a range of shoreline stabilization techniques that can effectively reduce erosion and storm damage while minimizing impacts to shoreline systems. This information is intended to help property owners work with consultants and other design professionals to select the best option for their circumstances.  Read more.

Gulf Coast  

Florida's Coastal Partnership Initiative
Florida's Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for directing the implementation of the state-wide coastal management program. Each year, the FCMP publishes a CPI Brochure and a "Notice of Availability of Funds" in the Florida Administrative Register to solicit CPI applications from eligible entities. CPI grants provide support for innovative local coastal management projects in four program areas:
  • Resilient Communities
  • Public Access
  • Working Waterfronts
  • Coastal Stewardship

More information from Florida DEP on coastal activities can be found here.

West Coast and Pacific Islands 

Conference tackles coastal management on Pacific islands   
Coastal management representatives from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii shared the status of their island's coasts and presented the ways they combat coastal threats during the Conference on Island Sustainability on Monday at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

Members of the islands' coastal management teams exchanged their knowledge to influence best coastal management practices, as the three jurisdictions share similar struggles, particularly erosion.  Read more.

Great Lakes

DNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program seeks input on funding
The Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) is seeking public input on funding priorities for the 2019 funding cycle of the Coastal Grants Program.

A public kickoff meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on April 18 at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, 1000 Riverwalk Drive.

The meeting will begin with a presentation about the Coastal Grants Program. The public can talk with LMCP staff and Coastal Advisory Board (CAB) members and provide suggestions for projects that should receive priority consideration during the grants process.  Read more.
Announcements & More   

5th National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium 

Registration is now open for the 5th National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium, held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 14-17, 2018. The symposium provides a forum for stakeholders from across the U.S. to connect and showcase innovative, successful, and timely solutions to waterfront and waterway issues. Working waterfronts include lands and infrastructure that are used for water-dependent activities, such as ports, marinas, recreational harbors, fishing docks, and hundreds of other places across the country where people use and access the water.
Michigan Sea Grant will host the 2018 symposium at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, with field trips that highlight working waterfronts in nearby riverfront and coastal towns. Learn and share challenges and solutions during plenary sessions, concurrent presentations, strategic planning meetings, and ample networking time. Registration details and other information about the conference can be found at:

Digital Coast  
Tips and Stories for Coastal Managers, Delivered to Your Inbox!
Have the latest technical topics, professional tips, and stories from your peers emailed to you each month. Subscribe  to NOAA Office for Coastal Management's recently redesigned Digital Coast Connections newsletter. Stay in the know about new data, tools, and resources from NOAA's Digital Coast, as well as announcements from the research reserves, the Coastal Zone Management Program, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. Email the office for more information.  

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.

Environmental Communications Planning  
This course is designed to give environmental professionals the necessary tools to write a successful and comprehensive Communications Plan. These plans can be used internally, to manage change or initiatives within an organization, or externally to communicate a message to stakeholders and/or the public. For more information, click here. 

Restoration Ecology 
Using Mitigation and Sustainable Design Techniques to Reduce Stormwater Impacts and Increase Storm Resiliency. For more information, click here.  
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  

Title: Natural Shoreline Infrastructure: Working with Nature to Increase Coastal Resilience
Date & Time: April 10, 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! Proposals are due by April 6, 2018.  
The Voice of the Coastal States and Territories on Ocean, Coastal & Great Lakes Affairs
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