State Success Story
The Washington Coastal Program developed a strong regional partnership that supports vulnerable communities by advising local planners and connecting them to tools for disaster response and recovery.
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At the Agencies

Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, has climbed in the rural West over the past 25 years, even in such seemingly pristine places as Yellowstone National Park. Now, scientists may have found out why offsite link - and why cutting our own output of smog-forming chemicals such as nitrogen oxide hasn't helped.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today (March 6) announced that the Department will offer 73 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida for oil and gas exploration and development. The proposed region-wide lease sale scheduled for August 16, 2017 would include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
EPA has awarded $3.3 million in grants to strengthen the capacity of states and tribes to protect and restore wetlands. The Wetland Program Development Grants provide interstate agencies, tribes, and nonprofit organizations with funding to develop and refine comprehensive state, tribal, and local wetlands programs. While monies for these project came from 2015 and 2016 allotments, EPA will soon release a request for projects to be funded with 2017 and 2018 funding.
In the News
For a lawn that helps the environment - and doesn't need to be mowed - look to the ocean. Meadows of underwater seagrass plants might lower levels of harmful bacteria in nearby ocean waters, researchers reported February 16 during a news conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That could make the whole ecosystem - from corals to fish to humans - healthier.
More than half the world's oceans could suffer multiple symptoms of climate change over the next 15 years, including rising temperatures, acidification, lower oxygen levels and decreasing food supplies, new research suggests. By midcentury, without significant efforts to reduce warming, more than 80 percent could be ailing - and the fragile Arctic, already among the most rapidly warming parts of the planet, may be one of the regions most severely hit. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications' uses computer models to examine how oceans would fare over the next century under a business-as-usual trajectory and a more moderate scenario in which the mitigation efforts promised under the Paris Agreement come into effect. In both scenarios, large swaths of the ocean will be altered by climate change.
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The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), a partnership of five Mid-Atlantic states, has released a report on the role of Mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands in reducing climate risk. The report examines current practices for identifying and prioritizing wetlands for their ability to reduce climate risk and enhance climate resilience in the region.  The report, prepared by the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) , identifies opportunities for improving how coastal wetlands can serve as climate buffers in the coastal states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
In the States and Regions 
East Coast 

Florida leaders announced a bill that will offer at least $50 million annually to restore beaches around the state. That's an increase from the $30 million that's already budgeted. The money will be used to save Florida's beaches from continued erosion as beaches are key to our state's environment, public safety for visitors, and economy.
Southern Shores OK's nourishment project for later this year. With assurance of partial financing from Dare County and the likely approval of state and federal permitting, Southern Shores committed Tuesday to pumping sand onto 2,500 feet of beach north of the Kitty Hawk line. Ken Willson of Coastal Planning and Engineering, which is developing the project for Southern Shores, told the Town Council that he was confident costs will come in at less than $1 million.
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Gulf Coast 

Construction is expected to begin within the next few months on an oyster reef that will help protect marshes in southeastern Terrebonne from erosion, parish officials said.
The oyster bed system in Lake Chien and Lake Tambour aims to put more of a buffer between inland communities and Gulf of Mexico tides and storm surges.
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West Coast and Pacific Islands 

As coastal erosion continues to threaten areas of the San Mateo County coastline with many suggesting the outer jetty at Pillar Point Harbor is exacerbating the degradation immediately south, locals have decided to take the reins after a federal agency declined to fund what some believe could be a solution - dredging the harbor.
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Great Lakes

The binational Great Lakes Commission (GLC) today (March 2) called for U.S. and Canadian leadership to rebuild and modernize aging water infrastructure in the Great Lakes region. In a suite of comprehensive recommendations to both governments, the GLC argued that the time is right to invest in infrastructure that provides safe drinking water to more than 48 million people, transports 200 million tons of freight each year, and supports a $5 trillion economy in the eight-state, two province Great Lakes region.
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Announcements & More  

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) is pleased to release an interactive digital report, the Ocean Action Agenda: Supporting Regional Ocean Economies and Ecosystems ( These recommendations for the Trump Administration and Congress will ensure the health and productivity of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and grow our economy.

JOCI's recommendations were informed by input gathered at Regional Ocean Leadership Roundtables convened in the U.S. Arctic and East, West, and Gulf Coasts. At these roundtables, JOCI brought together more than 250 local, state, tribal, and national leaders representing diverse industry, government, and nonprofit interests to identify creative solutions to critical ocean and coastal issues.
Join the conversation by sharing your thoughts on social media. Here is a social media toolkit with sample posts and graphics that you can use to promote the digital report.
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2017  
Title: 4th National Climate Assessment: Oceans and Marine Resources Chapter, Request for Feedback
Date & Time: Mon, March 20, 3pm - 4pm

Title: NOAA Marine Debris Program-funded Microplastic Research and Current Research Priorities 
Date & Time: Thu, April 13 - 1pm - 2 pm
Title: He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve
Date & Time: May 11, 2017 - 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.   


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.