At the Agencies   

Today (August 10), NOAA announces the award of $5.8 million in species recovery grants to states and tribes to promote the recovery of endangered and threatened marine species, ranging from large whales to tiny shellfish. This year's awards include almost $1.1 million for six new grants to four states and one federally recognized tribe. The remaining $4.7 million will support 22 continuing projects for 20 states and two tribes.
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New Tool to Assist with Assessing Coral Reef Impacts and Mitigation
Project applicants, proponents, permittees working in marine areas that support coral reefs and coral reef and coastal resource managers and regulators now have a new tool to assist them in understanding and avoiding and minimizing impacts to coral reefs and identifying potential options to compensate for unavoidable coral reef impacts. The Handbook on Coral Reef Impacts: Avoidance, Minimization, Compensatory Mitigation and Restoration is a product of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Coral Injury and Mitigation Working Group.
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In the News 

Developing a New National OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024

On April 28, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13795, outlining an America First Offshore Energy Strategy. As a key piece of this strategy, BOEM is initiating a new National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) development process to replace the 2017-2022 Program. As outlined in the OCS Lands Act, a multi-step process that includes multiple decision points and opportunities for public input is required. The new National OCS Program will cover the years 2019-2024. The first step in the development process, a Request for Information (RFI), was published in the Federal Register on July 3, 2017, with a 45-day comment period that will close on August 17, 2017.
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Coastal communities rely on full funding for NOAA
Op-ed by Crystal Dingler and Mike Cassinelli

Because Washington's coastal towns are small towns, we work together - with support from various National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration programs - to manage and protect our ocean resources. Our partnership with NOAA runs the gamut, from salmon habitat protection and habitat restoration jobs, to a tsunami warning system, to funding that helps ensure the viability of our shellfish industry. Visit any U.S. coastal town and you'll hear the same thing: We can't protect our citizens from floods and tsunamis, keep fishermen safe, and fisheries viable, or maintain tourism without NOAA. Whether it is big storms coming off the Pacific or the threat of East Coast hurricanes, we all rely on the agency's expertise and funding.
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In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

After UF scientists identified a hot spot reaching from Cape Hatteras to Miami, they probed the causes by analyzing tidal and climate data for the U.S. eastern seaboard. The new study, published online today (Aug. 10) in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that seas rose in the southeastern U.S. between 2011 and 2015 by more than six times the global average sea level rise that is already happening due to human-induced global warming.
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A bill to remove the coastal barrier zone boundary restricting federal aid to a large portion of North Topsail Beach is back on the table for congressional review.
Senate Bill 1745 would erase the federal Coastal Barrier Resources Act, or CBRA (pronounced "cobra"), designation that currently covers about 70 percent of the town.
The bill, introduced by U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., is the bill's co-sponsor.
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Environmental Officials Announce Coastal Resiliency Grants on Cape Cod. State and town officials and local legislators gathered yesterday (Aug. 10) at the Aquaculture Research Corporation in Dennis to announce state funding to help coastal communities prepare for climate change.The state is funding 16 projects with more than $2.2 million to increase community preparedness and resilience to coastal storm impacts, including storm surges, flooding, erosion and rising sea levels.
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Gulf Coast 

Scientists have determined this year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone," an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life, is 8,776 square miles, an area about the size of New Jersey. It is the largest measured since dead zone mapping began there in 1985.
The measured size is close to the 8,185 square miles forecast by NOAA in June.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

Plans for a network of sand dunes to protect Coast Highway 101 in south Cardiff are now waiting to be heard by the California Coastal Commission.
A notice of pending permit recently appeared on Cardiff State Beach near the Chart House restaurant, alerting visitors that the city's project application was pending before the state agency. The notice coincides with the Encinitas Planning Commission's approval of the project in June.

Great Lakes

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has an updated webpage with detailed information on tools landowners and communities along the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior shorelines can use to address the problems of rising water levels and bluff failures. The Great Lakes erosion control webpage was initially launched in 2016 in response to safety concerns stemming from soil erosion and bluff failures. For more information, search the DNR website,, for keywords "Great Lakes erosion control." It has the latest information the public can turn to for details on temporary, emergency measures as well as the process for permanent structures.
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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed spending $275 million to upgrade defenses against an invading force. The enemy? A fish. Specifically, Asian carp that are threatening to break through to the Great Lakes. In June, a live Asian silver carp was caught in the Illinois Waterway just 9 miles from Lake Michigan. Scientists fear that if the voracious carp establish themselves in the Great Lakes, they could devastate the region's $7 billion fishing industry.
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Announcements & More   
A new website and training program has been launched for the New Hampshire Coastal Viewer, a web-based mapping tool that makes spatial datasets about community assets, natural resources, and hazards within New Hampshire's 42 coastal watershed communities publicly accessible in one place. Users can analyze data, make maps, and save projects to share with others. The new website streamlines access, provides new training resources including video tutorials, and displays examples of how the data can be used to tell stories about coastal resources. For more, visit

Mark your calendar!

Join American Shore & Beach Preservation Association     (ASBPA) at their National Coastal Conference, with the theme, "Beaches, Bays and Beyond", in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 24-27. Program and registration online at

The Association of State Floodplain Managers invites you to participate on the National Flood Mitigation & Flood Proofing Workshop on August 14 -17!

The workshop will focus on the following questions: 
  • How do we mitigate against flood risk?
  • How do we make sure existing and new development becomes more resilient to flood hazards?
During the workshop you will  learn  tools, techniques and best practices that the nation's leading floodplain managers, engineers, architects, designers, emergency managers, property managers, owners and others can use to reduce flood risk.
Worth reading!

A survey of tens of thousands of marine studies from the last decade reveals current threats to our marine environment. These include: the effects of climate change, marine plastic pollution, conservation, as well as social and economic impacts. It is hoped the method used to obtain this information, which has only just been made possible with advances in computational power, will enable the development of robust policies that ensure the future health of our seas.

Frontiers. (2017, August 3). Current threats to our oceans revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 11, 2017 from

OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  
Tile:Synthesis of public  water supply use in the United States: Spatio-temporal patterns and socio-economic controls.
Date & Time:  October 18, 2017 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm ET SSMC4 Large Conference Room #8150
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.   


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.