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:
Women's History Month
Empowering Change in Coastal Management
March is National Women’s History Month which was established to recognize and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of American women and to increase awareness and knowledge of women in U.S. history.

Women's History Month is an opportunity to consciously call out the under-told history of professional women and reflect on how our own coastal zone management field is supporting gender diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.  It is an opportunity for all of us to consider what policies and practices within our own agency or organization may need to change to better support women in coastal studies, in entering the workforce, and in their daily work in the coastal field. Additionally, it is an opportunity to consider what policies and procedures are needed to support women from underserved communities.

Women have played a critical role in the Coastal Management Community and this Women’s History Month we celebrate a Coastal Zone Management pioneer Margaret Davidson.  Read her story here.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
California Has A New Idea For Homes At Risk From Rising Seas: Buy, Rent, Retreat
Property value ebbs and flows, but when it comes to coastal real estate "the trend lines are pretty clear," says California state Sen. Ben Allen, squinting in the sun. "And they're not pretty." Within the span of a 30-year mortgage, more than $100 billion worth of American homes is expected to be at risk of chronic flooding. As the climate warms and oceans rise, narrow strips of sand such as the one Allen is standing on, will be submerged, leaving coastal communities — affluent and not — with the torturous question of how to adjust. Build sea walls? Dump sand? For how long and at what cost? It's expensive to fight the sea. It's expensive not to do so. When property values plummet, so do property taxes. But right now property values here are still high, and Allen wants to put that value to use before it's gone. That's why the 43-year-old Democrat has proposed legislation to create a revolving loan program, allowing California counties and communities to purchase vulnerable coastal properties. The goal would then be to rent those properties out, either to the original homeowner or someone else, and use that money to pay off the loan until the property is no longer safe to live in. Read more

Marine Corps Looks to Stabilize Shore at Sinking Hawaii Range
Rising sea levels has put the Pu’uloa Range Training Facility on Marine Corps Base Hawaii at risk of going underwater ― and has the Marine Corps weighing its options. A 14-year study on potential shoreline erosion laid out three potential erosion rates based on three projected sea level rise scenarios. The lowest amount of sea level rise over the next 14-years was projected at 0.25 feet, which would result in the loss of between 1.4 feet and 2.1 feet of the shoreline, Marine spokesman Capt. Eric Abrams told Marine Corps Times. The highest projected rise was projected at 2.03 feet, which would result in a potential loss of 11.8 feet to 19 feet of the shoreline. “Given the significant coastal erosion along the shoreline, MCBH is exploring multiple stabilization options to ensure PRTF continues to operate as a vitally important piece to Marine Corps readiness in the Pacific,” a statement from the base about the change said. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
‘Bottom-Up’ Plan Underway to Catalogue N.J.’s Vulnerable Coastal Communities
As the Murphy administration works toward its goal of better preparing the state for the impacts of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, the Department of Environmental Protection is increasingly focusing on the roughly 1,800 miles of tidal marshes, estuaries and back bays of New Jersey’s coastal zone. But with well over 100 municipalities in that region, most with their own land use rules and needs, and each with a unique set of environmental challenges, it would be virtually impossible to develop from Trenton alone a comprehensive outline of climate priorities based on urgency and individual vulnerability. To avoid the blind spots that can come from top-down climate policy and funding allocations, a team of researchers from the DEP, Rutgers University, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and other environmental groups is working at the local level to map areas across the state that offer the largest value for net carbon sequestration, ecosystem health, and community resilience — three key priorities in Gov. Phil Murphy’s climate agenda. “Ecosystem projects need landowner and community buy-in and need to be maintained over time to function, just like a garden,” said Liz Semple, a manager in the DEP’s Office of Coastal and Land Use Planning. “We’re looking to identify areas and ultimately projects that will have state, regional or local/nonprofit champions.” Read more

Holden Beach Awarded $15.49 Million to Renourish Beaches Damaged by Hurricane Dorian
The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved $15,496,802 to help the Town of Holden Beach restore sand and vegetation on the Central Reach shoreline damaged by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Funds for the project cover restoration of 555,000 cubic yards of beach sand and stabilization of 80,000 square yards of dune vegetation. FEMA’s share for this project is $11,622,601 and the state’s share is $3,874,201. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Read more
Great Lakes
H2Ohio: Agency Directors Focus on Wetlands, Farmer Subsidies, Replacing Lead Lines
The first full-year report for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s much-publicized H2Ohio water quality initiative is out. Introduced in 2019, the plan has already reaped benefits for Ohio residents and will continue to expand in its scope, according to officials charged with its implementation. The report was offered in a web presentation by Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Laurie Stevenson. Combined, the three agencies will seek $240.85 million in funding during the upcoming two-year budget. House Bill 7, passed in December, will bolster the original H2Ohio legislation, according to officials. Provisions of the bill direct Pelanda to appoint watershed coordinators to each of Ohio’s seven watershed districts. Those coordinators will be responsible for identifying areas where water is impaired – including the sources of pollution – and engaging in planning to restore, protect and manage water resources in their districts. Read more

Macomb and St. Clair Counties Are Teaming Up to Create a Coastal Birding Trail
Southeast Michigan birdwatchers will soon have an easier time locating great places to enjoy their hobby. That's because Macomb and St. Clair counties are teaming up to create a new birding trail that will cover portions of both counties. The project, which doesn't yet have a formal name, won't involve building a physical path. Instead it will be focused on identifying and marking different areas of interest where birds can be found. In addition to the two counties, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and several regional Audubon conservation groups will be assisting with the establishment of the birding trail. Discussions between the two counties eventually led St. Clair County's Metropolitan Planning Commission to apply to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for a $13,200 Coastal Management Program grant to establish and promote a birding trail on the coast of southern Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, and the St. Clair River. The grant was approved by EGLE in October 2020. Read more
Gulf Coast
$163M for 15 state projects in LA
Gov. John Bel Edwards yesterday announced $163 million in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funding from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative (LWI) for 15 flood risk reduction projects and programs in communities throughout the state. A portion of this funding will be allocated toward nonstructural projects in St. Tammany and Vermilion Parishes, which will each receive $10 million of the federal funds, respectively. Read more

Living Shoreline Coming to Pensacola Bay
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced a $9 million project Thursday to construct a living shoreline at White Island. The project is being funded by the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF). The Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project is a large scale living shoreline to be constructed in southwestern Pensacola Bay. Project goals include the creation of approximately 20,000 linear feet of emergent and submerged reef breakwaters and 200 acres of emergent marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation habitat. The Project includes three distinct segments: Site A – White Island, Site B – Naval Air Station Pensacola Eastern Shore, and Site C – Sherman Inlet at NAS Pensacola. Read more
Events & Webinars
DOI Releases Winter 2021 NEWSWAVE
NEWSWAVE is an award-winning quarterly newsletter from the Department of the Interior featuring ocean, Great Lakes and coastal activities across the Bureaus. NEWSWAVE reports on important news and accomplishments for our ocean and coastal resources. In each issue we share new Interior initiatives, exciting science discoveries, policy updates, relevant events and valuable contact information. Special features highlight unique programs, capabilities or resources from the Arctic Ocean to the Remote Pacific Islands. The Surfing Bison feature highlights Interior web pages that will help you find more in-depth information on a wide range of ocean, Great Lakes and coastal topics. Read the Winter 2021 issue here.

NOAA Announces 30-Day Comment Period to Collect Information on More Resilient Fisheries and Protected Resources Due to Climate Change
NOAA is seeking initial public input in response to Section 216(c) of the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (EO 14008) issued on January 27, 2021. Section 216(c) of EO 14008 directs NOAA to collect recommendations on how to make fisheries, including aquaculture, and protected resources more resilient to climate change, including changes in management and conservation measures, and improvements in science, monitoring, and cooperative research. NOAA requests written input from interested parties on how best to achieve the objectives described Section 216(c) of EO 14008. The input provided in response to this RFI and related meetings will inform NOAA’s implementation of their relevant authorities and their work with federal agencies, state and tribal governments, and relevant stakeholders and constituents to ensure more resilient fisheries and protected resources due to climate change.

An all national stakeholder call is scheduled for April 1, 2021 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET The dial in information is: (800) 857-9693 (toll-free); or (630) 395-0354; Passcode: 5473603#

The announcement, supporting materials, and links to the Request for Information (RFI) are all available here. Interested persons are invited to submit comments by email within 30 days to OceanResources.Climate@noaa.gov. For any questions about the RFI or related meetings, please contact Heather Sagar.

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. Three remaining sessions will be held via webinar on the following dates to allow the public to provide input on any provisions in WRDA 2020:
  • March 30, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Ecosystem Restoration and Nuisance Species provisions;
  • April 6, 2021 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT to receive comments on Water Supply and Hydropower provisions; and
  • 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.

NFWF Fishing For Energy RFP
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a partner of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced the 2021 Request for Proposals for the Fishing for Energy Partnership. The Fishing for Energy 2021 Request for Proposals will prioritize projects that:
  1. Maintain an existing port in the program or establish a new port opportunity for fishers to dispose of old, derelict, or unusable fishing gear, including event bins; and
  2. Develop capacity for comprehensive logistics for port communities interested in implementing a long-term bin program in the future, including exploring opportunities for gear recycling, upcycling, or other alternative disposal options. 

The full announcement can be found on here, and the deadline for full proposals is Tuesday, March 30, 2021. If you have any questions about this opportunity please contact Kaity Goldsmith

Coastal and Estuarine Research Foundation Scientific Awards Nominations
Help CERF recognize excellence among colleagues, mentors, and former students and nominate them for a CERF Scientific Award. The nomination deadline is April 7, 2021. Learn more and submit nominations here.
Job Openings
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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