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:
New Report Makes 30 Recommendations to Make Coastal Communities More Resilient
The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) released a new report, A Resilient Future for Coastal Communities: Federal Policy Recommendations from Solutions in Practice, which highlights 30 specific policy recommendations to support community resilience to extreme weather, erosion, flooding, sea level rise, and other hazards exacerbated by climate change. Coastal communities are at the frontlines of climate change, and 40 percent of Americans—130 million people—live along our ocean and Great Lakes shorelines.

The report is designed as a practical resource for Congress, federal agencies, and the public and represents a distillation of the findings, recommendations, and case studies identified during EESI’s Congressional briefing series on Regional Coastal Resilience. Between June 2019 and June 2020, EESI organized 16 briefings featuring 42 coastal resilience experts, practitioners, and community leaders from Alaska, the Caribbean, the Great Lakes, the Gulf Coast, Hawaii, the Northeast, the Southeast, and the West Coast.

Learn more and read the report here.
In the States and Regions
Gulf Coast
Despite Active Hurricane Season, La. Coastal Restoration Projects Saw Little Damage; Here's Why
Restoration projects along Louisiana's coastline were mostly spared by the record six-pack of hurricanes that have threatened the state so far this year, including Category 4 Laura and Category 2 Delta, which slammed into the southwestern part of the state, said Gov. John Bel Edwards and officials with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday. Edwards said the survival of the coastal restoration projects, viewed during aerial tours after both Laura and Delta, is "a testament to the nature-based solutions that we've implemented, and the strategy of developing restoration and protection in a comprehensive manner." Read more

Gulf Shores to Spend $5.3 Million on Streetscapes, Drainage in Downtown Walking District
Gulf Shores awarded a bid of more than $5 million for Beach Walking District Phase I improvements including streetscapes and drainage improvements during its Oct. 12 regular session. “The Beach Walking District is one of the city’s five action items in our Vision 2025 Strategic Plan and was envisioned ‘as a walkable, energetic beachfront district that will attract tourism, stimulate local businesses and encourage business and residential relocation,’” city documents state. McElhenney Construction had the lowest bid on the project at $5.3 million with portions funded by Transportation Alternate Program and Alabama Coastal Area Management Program grants. Read more
Great Lakes
Emmet County, Local Governments Pilot Statewide Coastal Training Program
Emmet County and other local governments this year are participating in a pilot program that may help provide resources and training to Michigan communities facing coastal erosion issues. Officials from Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Emmet County, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, several local townships, and other entities met this week for the first of three sessions as part of the Michigan Coastal Leadership Academy, an initiative intended to offer resources to communities across the state in drafting longterm plans for maintaining coastline resiliency. The program is organized by the Michigan Association of Planners in cooperation with the state’s Michigan Coastal Management Program. Read more

Floodplain Restoration Project Completed in North Perry Village
A partnership composed of public and private entities has accomplished its mission of restoring a floodplain in North Perry Village. This project restored floodplain access to a deeply cut stream channel with eroding banks on a tributary in the McKinley Creek-Frontal Lake Erie Watershed, which drains directly into Lake Erie, a news release from the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District stated. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
SF Estuary Flows Into Restored Marsh for First Time Since 1800s
The first phase of a highly touted tidal marsh recovery plan was completed when a levee was breached and the restored marsh area was reconnected to the San Francisco Bay estuary for the first time since the late 1800s. The first phase of the Montezuma Wetlands Restored Tidal Marsh Project was completed. The restored area includes 566 acres of tidal marsh and subtidal habitat, 45 acres of seasonal wetlands and 19 acres of high tide refuge and bird nesting habitat. Approximately 220 acres of adjacent uplands will be enhanced to improve upland habitat quality, plan documents state. Read more

King Tides Project Surges in Oregon
Every year in early winter, high tides on the Oregon coast are higher than usual. And every winter for the past decade, a growing network of volunteer photographers has documented the highest point reached by these highest of tides. The hundreds of photos they take capture a moment in the interaction between land and sea which up till now has been rare, but is likely to become far more typical. The images reveal current vulnerabilities to flooding. Even more important, they help us visualize and understand the coming impacts of sea level rise (such as flooding and erosion) to coastal communities. These tides are especially important to document when storm surges and high winds and waves create even higher water levels. The volunteer photographers are participating in the King Tides Project, the Oregon branch of an international grassroots effort to document coastal areas flooded by the highest winter tides. In Oregon, the King Tides Project has been developed and coordinated by the CoastWatch Program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, and the Oregon Coastal Management Program, and branch of the Department of Land Conservation and Development. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
State Invites Local Governments to Apply for N.C. Resilient Coastal Communities Program
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management will select up to 20 municipal and county governments throughout the 20 coastal counties of North Carolina to receive no-cost direct technical assistance services to complete Phases 1 and 2 of the N.C. Resilient Coastal Communities Program. These phases will include community engagement, a risk and vulnerability assessment, and development of a portfolio of resilience projects and actions to integrate within existing local planning initiatives. Read more

New State Wildlife Management Area Opens On The Coast
The Georgia Board of Natural Resources voted Tuesday to acquire nearly 8,000 acres of the historic Cabin Bluff property in Camden County for designation as a state wildlife management area. Located just across the Intracoastal Waterway from the Cumberland Island National Seashore, Cabin Bluff includes a diverse landscape of salt marshes, tidal creeks and longleaf pine woodlands. It serves as habitat for threatened and endangered species including the gopher tortoise, wood stork and eastern indigo snake. Read more
Events & Webinars
Second Public Comment Period for Coastal Texas Study
The Texas General Land Office (GLO) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will be hosting a second round of virtual public meetings on the Coastal Texas Protection & Restoration Feasibility Study, or the Coastal Texas Study, to update the community regarding study changes and to hear community feedback on the Draft Proposal. The Coastal Texas Study is a comprehensive study to examine the feasibility of construction projects for coastal storm risk management and ecosystem restoration along the Texas coast. Throughout the study process, public feedback is critical to understanding the needs and opportunities along the Texas coast. The intent of the public comment period is to receive ideas and concerns from the citizens of Texas. Constituent feedback is a vital part of this process. The revised Coastal Texas Study Draft Proposal is now available and is open for a 45-day public review and comment period ending on December 14, 2020. View and download the report here.

Reef Resilience Network Releases Restoration Guide
The Reef Resilience Network has released the Manager’s Guide to Coral Reef Restoration Planning and Design to support the needs of reef managers seeking to begin restoration or assess their current restoration program. Based on global best practices—and tested with managers from Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands—the Guide was developed for reef managers and practitioners, and anyone who plans, implements, and monitors restoration activities. Development of this Guide was made possible through financial support from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program and NOAA Restoration Center, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development, and The Nature Conservancy’s Reef Resilience Network. Learn more and read the guide here.

NOAA Sea Grant & Ocean Acidification Program Funding Opportunity: Shellfish Aquaculture Partnerships
The National Sea Grant Office and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Total funding for this competition includes up to $2,000,000 in federal funds to support 2-6 projects. Each project will be funded at the approximate level of $100,000 - $300,000 per year for 1-3 years. Applications are due March 16, 2021. Learn more here.

The application period for FEMA’s fiscal year 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants under the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) programs is now open. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO) system. All applications must be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 29, 2021. For FY20, a total of $660 million in funding is available for FMA and BRIC. Visit the FMA and BRIC web pages to find helpful resources.

NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Applications Are Open!
Are you interested in a scholarship and paid summer internship with NOAA? Consider applying for the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship or the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship. Applications are open from September 1, 2020, through February 1, 2021. Learn more here.

NOAA RESTORE Science Program Grants
The NOAA RESTORE Science Program is making approximately $2.5 million available for this competition to fund approximately 20 planning projects that will run for one year each. This competition will provide natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with funding to plan a research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. A second competition for funding to execute and apply actionable science will follow this competition. These two competitions will be independent of one another. The deadline for applications is Dec. 15, 2020. See the full announcement 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.

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