CSO Newsletter
The Coastal States Organization represents the nation’s Coastal States, Territories & Commonwealths on ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resource issues.
Spotlight on Coastal Management
Assisting and funding hazard mitigation in Maryland communities.  
Maryland’s Chesapeake & Coastal Service (CCS) assists coastal communities to address short- and long-term coastal hazards, such as coastal flooding, storm surge, and sea level rise, through the CoastSmart Communities program – an integrated program of funding, data, and technical assistance. [1] CoastSmart delivers essential coastal mapping data through the Coastal Atlas and provides technical assistance and training to municipal governments and private practitioners to implement mitigation practices. The CoastSmart Scorecard helps communities assess risk and plan for mitigation. CCS leverages CZMA § 309 funding with state and EPA funds to support community projects in the Community Resilience Grant Program, which has invested over $1.5 million in 23 counties to develop local flood mitigation plans, update floodplain ordinances, and create a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan for the City of Baltimore.

Next Week (May 21-23) is Maryland’s State of the Coast event in Cambridge, MD. For more information, click here

[1] NOAA Office for Coastal Management, 2016, CoastSmart Communities Reduce Vulnerabilities . https://coast.noaa.gov/states/stories/coastsmart-communities-reduce-vulnerabilities.html
At the Agencies
On May 4, 2018, EPA published its five-year review of the 2012 RWQC as required by BEACH Act amendments to the CWA (2000). The review includes a detailed assessment of the state of the science and advances made since 2010 that support the RWQC and enhance its implementation. On the basis of the review described in the review report, the EPA has decided not to revise the 2012 Recreational Water Criteria during this review cycle. The Agency believes, however, that further research and analysis as identified in the report will contribute to the EPA's future review of the 2012 RWQC. Read more.
Recently, FEMA announced the projects identified for further review to receive Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 17) funding for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) or Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs. For FY17, $250 million in grants funding is available, including $160 million for FMA planning and projects, and $90 million for PDM planning, projects and management costs.
Applicants can review the status of an application on the following pages: 

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Fact Sheet
The FEMA Mitigation Planning program in coordination with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) announces the release of a new fact sheet job, Planning-Related Activities Using Hazard Mitigation Grant Program 7 Percent Funding (May 2018). The new fact sheet encourages the use of planning-related activities funding available from Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). It is intended for state, tribal, and/or local governments to use to improve mitigation plans and leverage related activities to advance mitigation efforts and outcomes. Read more.
Dept. of the Interior
Hurricane Sandy Remapping Project
In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) initiated a project to modernize the maps of approximately 370 Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) units in the nine states along the North Atlantic coast most affected by Hurricane Sandy: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York (Long Island), Rhode Island, and Virginia (comprising 44 percent of the total units and 16 percent of the total acreage within the CBRS).  Read more.

Tribal Resilience and Ocean and Coastal Management and Planning
The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), through the Office of Trust Services, Tribal Resilience Program (Program) hereby solicits proposals from federally recognized tribes to receive grants that support resilience and ocean and coastal management and planning. This program supports tribes preparing for extreme events and harmful environmental trends that impact tribal treaty and trust resources, economies, infrastructure, and human health and safety.  The Program will provide funding for tribal projects that support tribal resilience and ocean and coastal management planning as tribes incorporate science (including Traditional Knowledge) and technical information to prepare for the impacts of extreme events and harmful environmental trends. Read more.
In the States and Regions
West Coast & Pacific Islands
Hawaii Approves Bill Banning Sunscreen Believed To Kill Coral Reefs
On May 1, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill banning the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.  
The legislation prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The Hawaii sunscreen bill now awaits the signature of the governor. The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021. Read more.
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models & Socio-Economic Indicators (GEMS)
Billions of dollars will be devoted to restoring Gulf of Mexico ecosystems over the coming decades. However, there is no common method to assess restoration progress across the many different types of funded projects in the region, making it impossible to understand how different projects are contributing to broader environmental, social, and economic goals. A new project, Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Logic Models and Socio-Economic Indicators (GEMS), led by Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and The Nature Conservancy will address this gap by standardizing measures of restoration.

Funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program, the project offers a collaborative approach to engaging community members, technical experts, and decision makers in developing standard measures of progress that can be used for all types of restoration projects to measure success, compare outcomes, and help to answer the question–—what impact are we having on Gulf environments, economies, and communities? Read more.
East Coast and Caribbean
Regional Adaptation Leadership Award
The ASAP Regional Adaptation Leadership Award (RALA) recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the climate change adaptation field through exceptional leadership. It recognizes the fact that deliberate, proactive adaptation, preparedness and resilience-building is a change process, a deviation from business-as-usual, and a courageous act of doing something new and different. At its heart are individuals who make this change happen, sometimes with very few resources. The RALA recognizes distinguished adaptation leaders who approach their work in a strategic, sophisticated, well informed, inclusive, and effective manner. Read more.

Planning for New Jersey’s Ocean Future, by Carmen Amato, Mayor, Berkeley Township, Article from NJ Municipalities Magazine, the publication of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (njslom.org).
Apply Now to the New Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Challenge
The National Association of Counties, the Association of State Floodplain Managers and the Coastal States Organization have launched the Strengthening Coastal Counties Resilience Challenge - a technical assistance pilot program to help counties identify ways to increase resilience to extreme weather and climate-related hazards across the Gulf of Mexico region. The Challenge is open to teams from Gulf coastal counties with populations of fewer than 250,000. Applications are due Friday, June 15, 2018. Learn more and apply here: www.naco.org/coastalcounties.

Reducing Coastal Risk with Natural Defenses:
The Latest Ecology, Engineering, and Economics of Natural Infrastructure with Mike Beck of The Nature Conservancy and the University of California Santa Cruz.

Tuesday, May 22, 1 pm US EDT/10 am US PDT/5 pm UTC

Wetlands and reefs serve as barriers, buffers, and breakwaters from rising seas, swell, and storm surge. Until recently, it was not possible to put a value on the flood damages – to people and property – that these coastal habitats avert. This is changing rapidly, however, and recent studies are showing surprising results. Salt marshes can reduce annual flood damages by at least 15 percent. Mangroves can reduce annual flood damages to people and property by 25 percent across the entire nation of the Philippines – a nation that sees more super storms and typhoons than almost anywhere else. And coral reefs reduce up to 97 percent of wave energy that would otherwise hit coastlines, averting hundreds of millions of dollars in flood in flood damages every year. The protection from coastal habitats is cost-effective as well, particularly when compared to built or gray infrastructure such as seawalls or dikes. A new study uses insurance industry-based models to show that every $1 spent on restoring marshes and oyster reefs on the American Gulf Coast reduces storm damages by $7. This talk will summarize high-level findings from the latest research on the ecology, engineering, and economics of natural infrastructure. Webinar hosted by the EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe). Register for the webinar here.

National Marine Sanctuary Foundation - Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW)
Registration is now open for CHOW 2018 happening June 5 -7 in Washington, D.C. More information on the events happening and registration can be found here!

Events & Webinars
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: gwilliams@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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