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:
Oregon Jurisdictions Bolster Tsunami Resilience
The Cascadia Subduction Zone, a fault line located 50 miles off the Oregon coast, can produce earthquakes of 9.0 or higher on the Richter scale. In the next 50 years, a major earthquake here stands a one-in-three chance of producing a tsunami that strikes the coast and its 22,000 residents within 15 minutes. Ten jurisdictions have lessened risks to life and property, thanks to grants, a land-use guide, and early risk-reduction outreach administered by the Oregon Coastal Management Program.

10 jurisdictions have now adopted tsunami hazard overlay zones into their land-use planning programs. Regulations limit development of critical facilities within tsunami inundation zones, require evacuation improvements into development designs, and offer flexible options to people who want to make their development designs even more tsunami-resilient. Five of those jurisdictions also have comprehensive tsunami evacuation facility improvement plans, while three more are in progress. The coastal program collaborated closely with each community to ensure that different evacuation perspectives and needs were included.

Learn more about this effort here.

Learn more about tsunami impacts on coastal communities here.
Get to Know CSO
CSO and FEMA would like to congratulate Brittney Parker, our 2020 Knauss fellow who has been working over the past year in a joint position between CSO and FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance. She is excited to accept a position as a policy specialist with National Wildlife Federation’s Resilient Coasts and Floodplains Team at the National Advocacy Center, in Washington, DC. CSO is excited to be able to continue working with Brittney as she joins our valued partners at National Wildlife Federation.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Neighbors Influence Coastal Landowners’ Decisions to Armor Shorelines Against Erosion, Rising Seas
Neighbors play an influential role in private oceanfront landowners’ decisions to protect their shorelines from erosion and rising sea levels, which could lead to excessive armoring of the coastline, a new analysis from Oregon State University shows. Researchers studied 25 years of decisions by private coastal property owners in Oregon to better understand what drives landowners’ decisions to armor their shorelines – a process of adding stacks of boulders, or riprap, to slow erosion along beaches, dunes or bluffs. Read more

San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project Moves Forward, Boater Engagement Planned
A project that will bring 200 acres of kelp beds, eelgrass beds, and rocky reef habitats to 18 square miles in the East San Pedro Bay, offshore of Long Beach, has taken a step forward. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers submitted a consistency determination to the California Coastal Commission and on Dec. 11 commissioners unanimously concurred with the determination. The consistency determination is the review process to assure all federal agency activities affecting the coastal zone are consistent with the enforceable policies of the state’s certified program. Read more
Great Lakes
Gov. Evers Announces More Than $6 Million In Harbor Assistance
Gov. Tony Evers today announced grants for nine harbor maintenance and improvement projects in Wisconsin. The improvements will boost statewide economic development by promoting waterborne freight, harbor infrastructure, and passenger cruise facilities. Created in 1979, WisDOT's Harbor Assistance Program helps harbor communities maintain and improve waterborne commerce. Applications are reviewed by the Harbor Advisory Council, which includes members from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, UW Sea Grant, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and alumni from the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute. Read more

New Federal Law Opens Low-Interest Loans for Coastal Communities Battling High Water, Erosion
A federal bill has been signed into law that allows states battling high water levels and erosion to create revolving loan funds for coastal mitigation projects. The STORM Act — sponsored by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan — allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fund programs that would be open to states and local governments for projects that help with coastal erosion from high water, which has been particularly challenging along Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline the last couple of years. Local governments could invest the low-interest loans in projects that reduce the risk of property losses and higher insurance rates while also helping with disaster recovery. Officials say the loans would reach communities quicker than traditional FEMA loans. Read more
Gulf Coast
Mobile District Completes Ship Island Restoration
After 10 years of planning and executing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District’s Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) completed the second largest restoration project in the history of the National Park Service, the restoration of Ship Island. Ship Island, a barrier island on the western tip of Gulf Islands National Seashore, 10 miles off the coast of Mississippi, serves as an important as a first line of defense protecting the Mississippi coastline against incoming hurricanes and tropical storms. Completed on December 10, 2020, the Ship Island Restoration Project was part of a five-phase effort to not only restore and protect the valuable habitats of the island, but to also enhance the resiliency of the Mississippi Sound and the nearby Mississippi coastline. The completion of the Ship Island Restoration Project culminates not only an important project for Mobile District, but it stands as a model for how to approach large projects. Read more

Restoration Begins on North Breton Island
On December 9, 2020 construction began on North Breton Island with the first cubic yards of dredged sand placed on the island. The long awaited project was approved in 2014 as one of the three components of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Phase III Early Restoration Louisiana Outer Coast Project. The restoration project will add 400 acres of barrier island wildlife habitat to address some of the injuries to birds caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Cape Charles Nature Preserve Addition Protects Migratory Birds
There’s good news for the birds who like to vacation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve is nearly doubling in size, with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) acquisition of 20.7 acres adjacent to the preserve. The preserve, established in 1997, protects shoreline, dune and maritime forest habitats on the Chesapeake Bay side of ESVA. Migratory birds and the federal endangered northeastern beach tiger beetle are among the species that depend on those habitats. The expansion brings the preserve to 50 acres in size. Its majority is funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program courtesy of a NOAA grant. It also covers three high-priority areas included in the Commonwealth’s ConserveVirginia program. Read more

SCDNR Receives $1M Grant for Wetland Restoration at Georgetown County waterfowl management area
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has been awarded a $1 million grant for wetland restoration on the Lower Middleton complex at Samworth Wildlife Management Area in Georgetown County. The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant, which was awarded to SCDNR by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was completed and submitted through a partnership between Ducks Unlimited and SCDNR. Read more
Events & Webinars
Digital Coast Act Signed Into Law
The Digital Coast Act codifies the Digital Coast approach and shows congressional support, which in turn paves a path to an even bigger and better Digital Coast. Renewed goals for the information platform include filling data gaps, developing more tools, and providing a greater focus on underserved geographies and communities. To learn more here.

Celebrating Ten Years of Engineering With Nature® Practice and Collaboration
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering With Nature® (EWN) initiative is celebrating 10 years of enabling more sustainable delivery of economic, social and environmental benefits through infrastructure. The overarching vision for the initiative is to foster an approach where nature and human engineering are partners in infrastructure development. The strong relationships and collaborations built with partners around the world have fueled EWN’s progress over the past decade. Check out two new videos with EWN’s partners sharing their greetings and congratulations on the 10th anniversary of EWN here.

Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Support
The Chesapeake Bay Trust has been designated to receive federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Initiative. The work funded by this initiative advances outcomes identified in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Each year, certain outcomes are chosen by the Chesapeake Bay Program as top priorities to address, and these stretch across all Goal Implementation Teams (GIT) and workgroups. The deadline for applications is January 22, 2021. Learn more about the twelve scopes of work and apply here.

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 due February 1, 2021. Learn more 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.
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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.
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