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:
Celebrating Earth Day!
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970 ringing in the Decade of the Environment and the modern environmental movement. This led to passage of numerous pieces of legislation to preserve, conserve, and manage our environment for current and future generations, one of these was the Coastal Zone Management Act which was passed in 1972. Since then the State and Territory Coastal Zone Management Programs have been effectively managing the nation's coastal zone.

Some highlights from just the past decade of Coastal Zone Management include:
  • Over 2,600 projects completed to improve resilience to coastal hazards
  • Protecting and/or restoring over 133,000 acres of coastal habitat
  • Creating or enhancing nearly 4,000 coastal public access sites
  • Training nearly 200,000 coastal decision makers on best coastal management practices
  • Assisting over 3,000 coastal communities to grow while also protecting coastal resources
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
In Oregon, 2 Coastal Projects Could Help Salmon—and Communities
Yaquina Bay meets the Pacific Ocean in Newport, Oregon, a working waterfront town bustling with tourists, commercial and recreational fishing operations, crabbers and oyster growers, marine research, and more—activity that depends on a healthy estuary. So it is good news that two projects should help the Yaquina Bay estuary thrive. One, led by Oregon’s MidCoast Watersheds Council, is at work restoring habitat on 55 acres of land along Yaquina Bay owned by The Wetlands Conservancy. The other, spearheaded by the Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP), will update a nearly 40-year-old land use plan for the estuary to include research, consideration of new threats, such as updated sea-level rise maps, and input from coastal tribal nations. Read more

San Francisco Bay Report Decries Waste of Protective Sediment
For more than 100 years after California’s Gold Rush, developers and city leaders filled in San Francisco Bay, shrinking it by one third to build farms, freeways, airports and subdivisions. All that changed in the 1970s with modern environmental laws. But now as sea level rise threatens to cause billions of dollars of flooding in the coming decades, the bay is going to need to be filled again — but this time in a different way, according to a new scientific report out Tuesday. Twice the amount of sediment excavated for the Panama Canal will be needed to build up the bay’s shoreline, researchers say, to protect communities in Marin County and elsewhere from disastrous flooding and rising seas that could climb as much as 6 feet by the end of the century. The best source for that immense volume of fill is the mud and silt scooped up when the bay’s harbors and shipping channels are dredged every year. But currently, that material is being dumped into the ocean 60 miles off the Golden Gate, or sent to the bottom of the bay near Alcatraz Island. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
On Virginia’s Rural Coast, Resiliency and Chesapeake Bay Conservation Goals Collide Amid Sea Level Rise
The geography of Mathews County was carved by catastrophe. Thirty-five million years ago, a meteorite or comet tore through the Earth’s atmosphere and slammed into its surface somewhere between the county and what is now called Cape Charles. In the ruin it left behind, the Chesapeake Bay would form. Mathews, at the very tip of Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, remains one of the state’s lowest-lying areas, surrounded on three sides by the Chesapeake Bay and the waters that flow into it. “We’re flat as a pancake,” said Thomas Jenkins, the county’s planning, zoning and wetlands director. “Much of the county is close to sea level.” Today a far slower but perhaps no less catastrophic force is reshaping Mathews. As climate change drives seas upward, the county is struggling to keep its waterfront properties above the tides. Read more

Federal Keys Coastal Resilience Plan Enters Final Stage
A study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers nears completion as various governments confront coastal storm and flood vulnerability in the Florida Keys. With recommendations for shoreline stabilization along U.S. 1, voluntary home raising and structure floodproofing, fortifying the Keys from future storms and flooding is estimated at $2.6 billion. Monroe County Board of County Commissioners recently gave the go-ahead to sign a letter of support to accept the $3 million, federally-funded feasibility study, which started in 2018. A final version of the study was presented to government officials from the county, and more recently, Islamorada village council members. Read more
Great Lakes
New Lakefront Special Improvement District Could Lead to New Lake Erie Trails Following Innovative Euclid Example
Lakefront property owners whose backyards are crumbling into Lake Erie have a new place to turn for help. The City of Euclid and 12 Lake County communities recently incorporated Ohio’s first lakefront special improvement district to help property owners finance expensive and urgently needed erosion control projects along the Lake Erie shoreline. Ultimately, however, the district could become a vehicle to open new public trails along vast stretches of private lakefront land that limit access to one of Ohio’s greatest natural resources. Read more

The Bay of Green Bay, the World's Largest Freshwater Estuary, Could Become A National Reserve to Protect Its Waters and Habitats
For centuries, the bay of Green Bay has been vital to how northeast Wisconsin lives, works and plays. It's had its share of challenges, but it also has cultivated a group of strong supporters willing to put in work to preserve it. Those supporters have begun to wonder: What's next for the bay? To help preserve the bay for future generations, they're pushing to designate it as a research reserve that would use National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funding to study the area and educate the public about how to protect and celebrate the unique resource. Read more
Gulf Coast
Louisiana’s Biggest Barrier Island Restoration Yet, $167M
Dredges, pumps and bulldozers are at work on Louisiana’s biggest barrier island restoration yet, a $167 million project using BP oil spill money. Pipelines are pumping sand 15 miles (25 kilometers) to build 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of marsh, dune and beach on three barrier islands and a headland, The Courier reports. Work began in summer 2019 and is expected to be complete in January. Read more

UT Begins Offshore Search for Sand Resources to Protect Texas from Coastal Erosion
Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin will embark from Galveston on April 14 in search of sunken treasure that holds the key to protecting Texas from storms and rising seas: sand. About 80% of Texas' Gulf shoreline is critically eroded, and the state is running out of easily accessible sand to rebuild and protect the shore, as the Texas General Land Office (GLO) has done for decades through its Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act (CEPRA) Program. "That's where we come in," said John Goff, a coastal geophysicist at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), whose group will help CEPRA locate the sand needed to restore and reinforce the state's beleaguered beaches and build a formal sand inventory for Texas. The Texas General Land Office's beach restoration projects have, for years, protected coastal communities, industries and ecosystems -- quite literally -- from the rising tide. Read more
Events & Webinars
New Delaware Green Infrastructure Resources
The University of Delaware Institute for Public Administration has released two new green infrastructure resources. The first is a story map on green infrastructure projects in Delaware that can be found here. The second is a podcast series addressing various topics in green infrastructure that can be found here.

New Waterlog Podcast
On this April Update of the WaterLog Podcast, Howard and Dan dive into how the earmarking process is impacting congressional budget decisions, North Carolina’s beach troubles, national beach nourishment funding, and an update on the National Flood Insurance Program. Listen here.

Margaret A. Davidson Coastal Career Development Program
The Coastal Society is hosting a virtual workshop on April 27, 2021 designed to provide academic and employment advice from national experts to students, recent graduates, and early professionals seeking a coastal career. The half-day program features an opening panel and two break-out sessions, allowing attendees to hear from speakers in plenary and small group sessions. Our goal is to share insights on the trends, tactics, and skills needed as you move through school and into the job market. Learn more about TCS’s coastal career program and the agenda for this workshop here.

ASBPA Best Restored Beach nominations Due April 30
For more than 30 years communities around the United States have been restoring their beaches. Although some areas are relatively new to the process, others have a long history of successful replenishment projects. In many cases, the restoration process is so well established that beach enthusiasts are not even aware they are enjoying a restored beach! This often occurs when a community has a large seasonal population and the beach restoration occurs when seasonal residents are not there to see it.
Best Restored Beach Nominations are now open. Coastal communities can nominate their restoration projects for consideration. Judging is based on three criteria:
  • The economic and ecological benefits the beach brings to its community,
  • The short- and long-term success of the restoration project; and
  • The challenges each community overcame during the course of the project.

The deadline is April 30thSubmit your nomination via email here. Learn more here.

NOAA Photo Contest: Coastal Management in Action
Coastal management comes in many shapes and sizes. From ensuring public access to balancing development with natural areas, coastal management keeps our coasts thriving. For the fifth annual coastal management photo contest, we want to see your photos of coastal management in action. Show us your natural infrastructure projects, beautiful beaches you work to protect, recreational uses, and more! Find inspiration from the list of nine categories. Submit photos to the fifth Coastal Management photo contest. Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be featured in our social media campaign during the month of May. Submit your photos by May 3, 2021.

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.

A Gulf-wide restoration plan to address Deepwater Horizon impacts on marine life
NOAA and the Deepwater Horizon Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group are seeking public input on their first draft restoration plan. Eleven new projects, totalling nearly $100 million, are proposed to support the restoration of sea turtles, marine mammals, oysters, and birds. Comments are due May 6, 2021. More information is available here.

Water Resources Development Act of 2020 Comment Period and Stakeholder Sessions
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA(CW)) is issuing this notice for a comment period for stakeholders and other interested parties to provide input and recommendations to the ASA(CW) on any provisions in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020. The Office of the ASA(CW) will consider all comments received before any implementation guidance is issued. There is one remaining session will be held via webinar on April 13, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on any WRDA 2020 provisions. The public comment period will end on May 7, 2021. Learn more here.

EPA Announces Availability of Up to $6 Million in Annual Environmental Justice Grants
The EPA has announced the availability of up to $6 million in grant funding under The Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving (EJCPS) Cooperative Agreement Program and The Environmental Justice Small Grants (EJSG) Program. EPA will be giving special consideration to the following focus areas:
  • Addressing COVID-19 concerns faced by low-income communities and communities of color
  • Climate Change and Natural Disaster Resiliency outreach and planning
  • New applicants to either opportunity
  • Ports Initiative to assist people living and working near ports across the country
  • Small non-profits

Applicants interested in either opportunity must submit proposal packages on or before May 7, 2021. Applicants should plan for projects to begin on October 1, 2021.Learn more about EJCPS pre-application assistance calls and how to apply for funding here. Learn more about EJSG pre-application assistance calls and how to apply for funding 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.

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 application deadline for the small RFP is May 17, 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.

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.
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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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