CSO Newsletter

The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories, and Commonwealths on ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resource issues.

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Biden-Harris Administration Invests $60 Million to Build a Climate-Ready Workforce through Investing in America Agenda

 The coastal and Great Lakes states and U.S. territories where nine Climate-Ready Workforce projects will develop worker training that leads to job placement for Americans over the next four years. (Image credit: NOAA)

The Department of Commerce and NOAA announced $60 million in funding to help train and place people in jobs that advance a climate-ready workforce for coastal and Great Lakes states, Tribes and Territories as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act. The funding will support nine projects around the nation, with $50 million going directly to the projects and $10 million for technical assistance to support the grantees. These funds, part of NOAA’s Climate-Ready Workforce initiative, will allow NOAA’s National Sea Grant College ProgramClimate Program Office and Office for Coastal Management to fund sectoral partnerships that will develop and implement job training programs. These programs will include wraparound services to help make training opportunities more accessible.

“Our goal of building climate resilience across the nation depends upon creating a trained, well-paid and supported climate-ready workforce,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Each of these projects in coastal, Tribal and Territorial communities is tailored to tackle the most pressing climate needs of their communities and will focus on recruiting people for training and jobs from disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts.”

Nine projects located across the country were selected through a competitive process (see image).

Read more here.

In the States and Territories

East Coast and Caribbean

Young Puerto Ricans Restore Habitat Damaged by Hurricane While Launching Conservation Careers

NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation awarded BoriCorps, [...] a Conservation Corps program for young Puerto Ricans, $1.3 million through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to help expand the program’s reach. BoriCorps members help restore the island’s environmental and cultural assets and volunteer in hard-hit local communities [...] and gain valuable paid work experience and connections to possible future employers. At Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, BoriCorps members help restore 695 acres of mangrove forest [...] in partnership with Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, which manages the Reserve, and The Ocean Foundation. "This mangrove restoration project—the largest of its kind ever attempted in the United States—will contribute to improved fisheries and migratory bird habitat as well as provide hurricane-related wind and flood protection for surrounding communities and critical power-generating facilities,” says Ocean Foundation program officer Ben Scheelk. Read more here.

Conservation Group Uses Drone to Drop Millions of Clams into Indian River Lagoon

Progress was made [...] in Coastal Conservation Association Florida’s “billion clam initiative,” with the drone-assisted deployment of millions of clams in the Indian River Lagoon. The billion clam initiative seeks to revitalize and preserve the delicate ecosystem with the systematic distribution of clams — helped along by state-of-the-art technology — as a proactive approach to improving water quality through the large-scale replenishment of the shelled filter feeders. The use of a patented drone helped plant the clams in specific locations and densities, quickening the maturation process when compared to manual spreading. The overcoming of predation pressures, too, is said to be an advantage of using a drone to help spread the clams [...] which drops minuscule veliger larva, little clams which have just begun to develop their shells and thus have a fighting chance against predators despite their small size. Read more here.

Gulf Coast

470-Acre Coastal Wetland Restored in Louisiana with $14 Million in NOAA Funding

NOAA’s Office of Habitat Conservation and its partners restored 473 acres of marsh and 11,171 linear feet of ridge habitat in Bayou De Cade, Louisiana. NOAA provided $14 million for the project through the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act Program. This effort is part of NOAA’s long-term commitment to combat land loss in this region. To reclaim Bayou De Cade, partners pumped 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of nearby Lake De Cade into the bayou. Temporary containment dikes prevented the sediment from washing away. Work crews built up 5-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide ridge habitat along the bayou and planted it with wax myrtle and other shrub species. The project site now hosts a brackish marsh where redfish, blue crabs, shrimp, and other species come in with the tides. The restored wetlands help protect the coastline from erosion and flooding and support Louisiana’s billion-dollar seafood industry. Read more here.

EPA awards Mississippi Coastal Plain Land Trust with Environmental Justice Grant Worth Nearly $2.5 Million

Almost $2.5 million was signed off to the Mississippi Coastal Plain Land Trust (MCPLT) as a part of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Program, which will serve the six coastal counties of Mississippi over a five-year period. Sara Guice, the executive director of the Mississippi Coastal Plain Land Trust, says this grant will allow the land trust to work directly with community projects. “That money is for us to push out into communities for nature-based solution projects, community cleanups, anything that the community wants,” she explains. The grant will allow The Land Trust to assist communities and administer a competitive sub-award program to fund projects that can cover a range of opportunities from training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, with building and supporting community engagement as a key to the program. Read more here.

Great Lakes

Illinois Beach State Park Shoreline Stabilization Named Best Restored Beach by American Shore and Beach Preservation Association

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) is proud to release [...] annual awards of the nation’s Best Restored Beaches. The award-winning projects this year includes the Illinois Beach State Park Shoreline Stabilization in Zion, Illinois. The goal of ASBPA’s annual Best Restored Beach award is to acknowledge community beach restoration projects around the United States that increase a shoreline’s resiliency, the beach’s ability to mitigate storm damage and flooding from severe storms, and naturally allow the beach to adjust to short-term sea level rise while remaining an important part of the nearshore ecosystem. [...] The Illinois Beach State Park Shoreline Stabilization was selected as a Best Restored Beach as it combined beach nourishment for a recreational beach and a coastal habitat restoration component protecting state park infrastructure and critical habitats. The primary goal was to develop shoreline erosion solutions that stabilize the shoreline and protect critical infrastructure while maintaining the character and mission of the state park and recreational user experience. The project creates 50.7 acres of additional sand beach habitat, 18.1 acres of in-water rock habitat, 1.1 acres of aquatic habitat elements, and ten tern nests. Funding was made possible through Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program to improve infrastructure. Read more here.

Lake Ontario Designated as 16th National Marine Sanctuary, Honoring Its Rich History

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the designation of the Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary as the 16th sanctuary in a set of underwater parks that covers over 62,000 square miles. This will cover both oceanic water and part of the Great Lakes. Lake Ontario's designation will also recognize the Lake's historical timeline, from its history as a trade and transportation route to its role in the Revolutionary War in the 1770s and beyond. This also includes honoring over forty shipwrecks and two aircraft wrecks. Read more here.

West Coast and Pacific

New Study: Beach Erosion Will Make Southern California Coastal Living Five Times More Expensive by 2050

Rising sea levels and urban development are accelerating coastal erosion at an alarming rate in Southern California with significant ripple effects on the region's economy, a USC study reveals. The study predicts that Southern California's coastal living costs will surge fivefold by 2050 as a direct result of beach erosion, [...] which will require more frequent and costly beach nourishment projects to maintain the state's [...] shorelines, consequently driving up the cost of living along the coast. Beach erosion rates are expected to triple by 2050, increasing from an average of 1.45 meters per year to 3.18 meters by 2100. Consequently, the annual sand requirement for beach nourishment could triple by 2050, with costs rising fivefold due to the global increase in sand prices. "Our study presents compelling evidence of the rapid deterioration of Southern California's coastal landscapes," said Essam Heggy, a geoscientist in [...] the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. "Our investigation suggests that coastal problems start inland due to the rapid growth of cities along the coast, which compromise inland sediment replenishment of sandy beaches," said Heggy, whose research focuses on understanding water evolution in Earth's arid environments. "As our beaches shrink, the cost of maintaining them will rise. Finding innovative solutions is key to securing a sustainable future for our shores and local economies," he said. Read more here.

84 Truckloads of Oyster Shells Shipped from Washington to Restore Chesapeake Bay

In a cross-country effort to replenish the oyster population in Chesapeake Bay, three seafood companies partnered to ship 84 truckloads with millions of Pacific oyster shells from Washington state to Maryland. Since the start of 2024, Pacific Seafood — which is headquartered in Clackamas, Ore. — Madison Bay Seafood and Wittman Wharf Seafood worked together to haul the shells in a 53-foot-long truck to restore the native oyster population — traveling from Pacific Seafood’s processing location in South Bend, Wash. to the restoration site in Toddville, Md. The project comes as the oyster fishery faces a shortage of shells for oysters to grow in the bay after years of harvesting and exporting. The project initially faced skepticism from Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources over concerns about introducing Pacific oysters to Chesapeake Bay; however, research found the shells were compatible to use in the bay and helped the project receive regulatory approval, Pacific Seafood explained. The company said the project marks a “significant milestone” in marine conservation and shows “the power of cross-coastal collaboration.” Read more here

Events & Webinars

June 23-27, 2024

June 24-26, 2024

August 26-29, 2024

October 6-10, 2024

October 7-9, 2024

NOAA Science Seminar Series

NOAA Digital Coast Training Calendar


[NEW] The National Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (EJ TCATC) Launches Website

This newly established website facilitates direct support between communities pursuing environmental and climate justice and resources tailored to meet their specific needs. Key features of the website include detailed program descriptions, regional contact forms for technical assistance centers spanning all areas of the United States, and a curated grant search database. These elements will collectively ensure that communities have the necessary tools to advance their environmental and climate justice endeavors effectively. Visit the website at ejtctac.org

[NEW] NOAA Invites Public Comment on Draft Regional Ocean Partnership Designation Guidance

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) invites public comment on guidance on designating new regional ocean partnerships under the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (16 U.S.C. § 1468) (NDAA). The NDAA authorizes coastal states, Indian Tribes (including Alaska Native villages), and other entities to form new partnerships and to apply to NOAA as a regional ocean partnership. 

The designation guidance is proposed to address the membership, organization, and required elements of new partnerships. NOAA proposes to include the following information: introduction and background; instructions on submitting a new partnership application to NOAA; requirements for new regional ocean partnerships; and funding eligibility. The proposed designation guidance document and instructions for submitting comments may be found in the Federal Register. Comments may be submitted until Thursday, July 11 2024. Following the 30-day public comment period, NOAA will carefully consider comments before issuing the final regional ocean partnership designation guidance.

[NEW] FEMA Webinar Recording Available for “How Hazard Mitigation and Water Resource Planning Flow Together,” held on May 9, 2024

FEMA released a new webinar showing attendees how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of cross-sector planning. Attendees learned how a watershed approach has reduced flooding impacts in Iowa and how the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District integrated green infrastructure into flood mitigation projects. The webinar recording will be posted to FEMA’s YouTube channel in the coming weeks. View the webinar recording as well as previous From Policy to Action webinars here.

White House Announces: National Maritime Day May 22, 2024

President Biden proclaims May 22, 2024 as National Maritime Day, calling upon Americans to observe and to celebrate the United States Merchant Marine and maritime industry with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

FEMA Streamlines Benefit-Cost Analysis

FEMA is streamlining Benefit-Cost Analysis in Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs and Public Assistance mitigation funding to facilitate access to make more communities resilient to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. The discount rate has been reduced from 7% to 3.1% so that Tribal Nations, territories, and local governments can more easily demonstrate cost-effectiveness for hazard mitigation projects. Full Benefit-Cost Analysis is also no longer required for Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant program projects with a total cost of less than $1 million. Further, the pre-calculated benefit amounts for cost-effectiveness in hazard mitigation projects have been updated. You can read more here

GAO Releases New Report on U.S. Territories: Coordinated Federal Approach Needed to Better Address Data Gaps

On May 9, 2024, GAO released a new report outlining gaps in federal data for the U.S. territories (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). GAO found that even when territories are included in federal statistical products, there may be disparities in the timeliness and in the measurement of quality of territorial data relative to the rest of the United States. Several factors contribute to the data gaps, including that statistical products based on sampling of smaller jurisdictions have to sample much higher proportions of the population to achieve the same level of precision as sampling of larger populations. GAO recommended that OMB develop a governmentwide approach for agencies to use to address these data gaps.

The American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) Invites Manuscripts on “Extreme Coastal Events: Lessons Learned” for a Dedicated Issue of ASBPA’s journal Shore & Beach (S&B)

The dedicated issue (to be published in late 2024) invites papers on recent extreme coastal event observations, impact assessments, predictions, or simply valuable lessons learned from projects impacted by these extreme events. Submissions across broad range of topics are encouraged, with the hope that contributions will help develop an improved understanding of extreme events and storm impacts for improving the resilience of coastal communities. Please indicate your interest in submitting a manuscript and/or service as a reviewer via email to managing editor, Elizabeth Manus (mg_editor@asbpa.org) and special issue editors, Tiffany Roberts Briggs (briggst@fau.edu), Lindino Benedet (lbenedet@coastalprotectioneng.com), and Tim Kana (tkana@coastalscience.com). The deadline for submission is Saturday June 15, 2024. More submission information can be found here.

Job Openings

In The States and Territories

[NEW] San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) - Assistant Manager for Environmental Justice

USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources - Special Projects Coordinator

Washington State Department of Ecology - Coastal Engineer

In The Agencies

[NEW] National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO)- Biologist

[NEW] NOAA, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), Physical Sciences Laboratory, Modeling and Data Assimilation (MDA) Division - Research Physical Scientist

[NEW] Department of the Interior, Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region, Office of Environmental Compliance - Ecologist

In NGOs, Industry, and Academia

[NEW] Midwest Environmental Justice Network - Program Director

[NEW] The National Audubon Society - Senior Manager, Coastal Resilience

[NEW] ODNR Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve - Environmental Training & Outreach Specialist

[NEW] FishEye Collaborative - Research Assistant

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council - Marine Debris Fellowship in Microplastics

MACAN (the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network - Fellowship

University of Wisconsin Green Bay - NERR Tribal Engagement Convener

Ocean Conservancy - Manager, Board Relations

Oceana - Illegal Fishing and Transparency Fellow

Job Boards

Office for Coastal Management State Programs

Sea Grant Careers Page


TAMU Natural Resources Job Board

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: mpalmer@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.

Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | cso@coastalstates.org | www.coastalstates.org
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