CSO Newsletter
The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
Wetlands Month
May is Wetlands Month and to celebrate, CSO is highlighting wetland conservation and restoration through the years!

Wetlands form an important link between land and water and serve as primary habitat for thousands of flora and fauna. These unique landscapes cover a large portion of the Earth’s land surface but it’s taken many years for us to understood their true value. 

Learn more about what wetlands are, why they are important, how our understanding of their value has evolved, and examples of habitat conservation and restoration projects here.
Spotlight on Coastal Management:
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is also Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! To celebrate, CSO is highlighting coastal zone management stories from American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Common Wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands throughout the month!

The stories are being highlighted on Facebook, Twitter, and our website.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
‘The Situation Is Critical’: Saving This Maui Beach Won’t Be Easy Or Cheap
Government agencies, scientists, property owners and beachgoers have banded together to find a solution to chronic erosion at Maui’s Kahana Bay. The ocean has destroyed condominium pool decks, cabanas, stairs and walkways. Seawalls installed to protect the shoreline have only worsened the problem. Thousands of sandbags piled up are merely a Band-Aid to buy time to find a more lasting solution. In some places, the beach has completely vanished. The mounting erosion crisis at Kahana Bay has led nearly 1,000 condo unit owners and one private homeowner to join together to find a comprehensive solution after having exhausted various short-term, piecemeal efforts to thwart the intensifying effects of sea level rise, king tides and storm surges. Read more

Washington Tribe's Tsunami Evacuation Tower Could Become Model for the Nation
Ceremonial groundbreaking and land clearing for the first dedicated tsunami evacuation tower has begun in the coastal community of Tokeland on land belonging to the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. The tower will be available in an emergency to tribal members and non-tribal residents who live off the reservation at the southern end of the peninsula. With its expected completion by the end of 2021, it becomes the second or third tsunami evacuation structure in Washington state and even in North America. 
Washington is leading North America in tsunami evacuation structures. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Why the First Big U.S. Ocean Wind Farm Is A Big Deal
The U.S. is getting its first major offshore wind farm. And it's a big deal.
The Biden administration recently gave the green light for the company, Vineyard Wind, to build 62 colossal wind turbines (over 800 feet tall) off the coast of Massachusetts, creating enough energy to power some 400,000 homes. The project is a significant leap in the nation's ability to harness powerful winds that blow over the ocean, producing bounties of clean, renewable energy. "This is an imperative for us," emphasized Ben Schafer, a civil engineer and director of the Sustainable Energy Institute at Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has to start somewhere to establish reliable offshore wind in coastal areas where most Americans live and consume energy. Read more

FEMA Approves $3.4 Million for Buxton Beachfill Project
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved $3,385,724 in funding to help Dare County restore the beaches and stabilize the sand dunes in Buxton that were damaged by Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The FEMA disaster grant will pay for 164,690 cubic yards of sand to be deposited on the beach in Buxton as part of a future project that will renourish the beaches that originally underwent beach nourishment in February 2018. Dare County will also receive $5,782,866 to help restore beaches and stabilize dunes in Buxton that were damaged by Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Read more
Great Lakes
Clark Island Restoration Among Four Local H2Ohio Projects
Four of the DeWine administration's H2Ohio projects are in the city of Toledo, including one which encompasses 190 acres and two Maumee River islands near Walbridge Park. They are among nearly five dozen projects statewide being funded by the program to help the Lake Erie or Ohio River watersheds, with many others in northwest Ohio.
The projects are planned as long-term efforts to help improve statewide water quality, mostly through wetlands rehabilitation and expansion. Read more

Great Lakes Water Level Surge Eases After 2 Record-setting Years
A spell of dry, mild weather is giving the Great Lakes a break after two years of high water that has shattered records and heavily damaged shoreline roads and homes, officials said Monday. Although still above normal, the lakes have dropped steadily since last fall and are expected to remain below 2020 levels for most of this year, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecast. But officials cautioned that it's too early to declare an end to the high-water period. Read more
Gulf Coast
Project to Widen and Deepen Houston Ship Channel Breaks Ground
The Port of Houston has started construction on the project to widen and deepen the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel. The project, known Project 11, will widen the channel by 170 feet along the Galveston Bay reach, from 530 feet to 700 feet. It will also deepen upstream segments to 46.5 feet. “Our port serves as the anchor for the Texas region,” said Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo. “Expanding the Houston Ship Channel to accommodate the growth of vessel calls, vessel sizes, and cargo needs for customers and consumers will continue providing over 3.2 million jobs and $802 billion in economic value to the nation.” Port Houston has partnered with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on the project. Read more

Gov. Edwards Announces Three Large Scale Coastal Restoration Projects in Southeast Louisiana
Gov. John Bel Edwards today announced three large scale coastal restoration projects are now under construction to restore more than 2,900 acres of beach, dune, marsh and ridge in four parishes in Southeast Louisiana. The Spanish Pass marsh restoration near the town of Venice, the West Grand Terre barrier island restoration near Grand Isle, and the Golden Triangle marsh restoration east of New Orleans and Chalmette, will address significant land loss due to erosion and subsidence and restore a combined total of nearly five square miles of coastal land. Read more
Events & Webinars
Biden Administration Releases 10-year plan for conserving and restoring ‘America the Beautiful’
NOAA and federal partners released the Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful report, a roadmap for a decade-long, inclusive, voluntary and locally-led effort to conserve at least 30% of lands and waters by 2030. Learn more and read the report here.

TNC and PEW Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) Program
The Nature Conservancy and Pew Charitable Trusts’ Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR) program issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the new $1 million Shellfish Growers Resiliency Fund (Fund). The Fund aims to pave the way for a more resilient and sustainable U.S. shellfish industry that benefits the ocean and the communities which rely upon it. Funding is open to applicants in the U.S. and will be distributed equitably among the West Coast (including Hawaii and Alaska), East Coast, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Fund will award small one-year projects (up to $20,000) targeting shellfish growers, shellfish aquaculture industry associations, and closely linked supply chain companies supporting aquaculture. The second round of applications for the small RFP are due June 28, 2021, with a second round closing in June 2021. The Fund will also award large two-year projects (up to $100,000) and will target shellfish growers, academic organizations, non-profit organizations engaged directly in the support of shellfish aquaculture, supply chain companies supporting aquaculture, and shellfish aquaculture industry associations. The application deadline for the large RFP is June 14, 2021. Contact Christina Popolizio with questions. Learn more and apply here.

Massachusetts Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grants
The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) announces the availability of up to $500,000 for municipalities located in the Massachusetts Coastal Watershed to assess and remediate stormwater pollution and to design and construct commercial boat-waste pumpout facilities. Related capacity-building activities, such as development of stormwater bylaws, maintenance trainings for municipal staff, and project case studies, will also be considered. As much as $175,000 may be requested and a 25 percent match of the total project cost is required. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022. See the Request for Responses (RFR) here. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on June 11. Learn more here.

RAE 2021 NEP Coastal Watersheds Grant RFP
Now in its second year, the NEP CWG Program is a nationally competitive grants program designed to support projects that address urgent and challenging issues threatening the well-being of coastal and estuarine areas within determined estuaries of national significance. In 2020, the NEP CWG awarded more than $1.3 million to eight projects.  RAE will select grantees through a two-step process: 1) Letters of Intent (LOI); and 2) full proposals by invitation only. LOIs are due on June 7, 2021. Only projects occurring within the geographic eligibility areas may receive funding. Informational webinars will occur on April 27 and May 5 for those interested in learning more.

ASBPA Best Restored Shore nominations due this Summer
ASBPA recognizes projects which address natural resource restoration to enhance shoreline resiliency by addressing environmental degradation, storm impacts, climate change, and sea level rise which all increasingly threaten the nation’s coastal, estuarine and Great Lakes communities. ASBPA understands the time, effort, and money that it takes to restore or enhance an inland or bay shoreline, and we want to recognize your accomplishments. Whether your project involves a Great Lake or an estuary, a mangrove or an oyster reef, if your project created thriving habitats, improved water quality, recreation and local economies you should apply to be a Best Restored Shores project.
The award-winning projects may include:
  • Coastal back bays or large freshwater lakes
  • Urban waterfronts
  • Seagrass, shellfish, coral reef, and other submerged habitats
  • Wetlands, mangroves, and other intertidal habitat
  • Living shorelines
  • Beneficial use of dredged material for environmental projects
Projects must have completed construction no later than 2019.

Best Restored Shores Nominations are now open and the deadline is July 16th. Submit your nomination via email here. Learn more here.
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The views expressed in articles referenced here are those of the authors and do not represent or reflect the views of CSO.

If you have a news item or job posting to include in future CSO Newsletters, please send an email to: rkeylon@coastalstates.org with a subject line: "Newsletter Content". Please include the information to be considered in the body of the email.
Please note: CSO reserves final decision regarding published newsletter content and may not use all information submitted.
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