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
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) in the United States! Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island). Throughout the rest of May, Coastal States Organization will use their social media platforms to showcase how the Pacific Islands Coastal Management programs are working to preserve both culture and coast.
Find more information on the work being done by the State Coastal Zone Management Programs on CSO's Publication page: www.coastalstates.org/csopublications/
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
NHDES Coastal Program and Partners Kick Off Four Coastal Resilience Projects to Help Communities Prepare for Sea-level Rise and other Climate Change Impacts
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Coastal Program announces that four new grant projects have officially kicked off, mobilizing over $317,000 to enhance New Hampshire's coastal resilience to current and future flood hazards, including sea-level rise. Selected for funding as part of the NHDES Coastal Program 2018 Resilience Grant Funding Opportunity, the projects will reach several coastal communities to build local capacity and implement on-the-ground construction and restoration efforts. Read more.

Sharing Data Helps Puerto Ricans Rebound After Hurricane Maria
Recent hurricane seasons left many communities wondering if this is this the new normal. Digital infrastructure designed for citizen data collection may help these communities increase resilience. Read more.

New Jersey Climate Change Website
New Jersey is working to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change. So far, its efforts have been successful, with New Jersey’s attainment of the 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal years ahead of schedule. New Jersey is now looking ahead to its 2050 Goal and is accelerating its transition to a low carbon economy through reducing its carbon pollution, expanding its clean energy infrastructure and building resilient communities. Learn more.
West Coast and Pacific
San Francisco Bay: New plan to combat sea level rise
There’s only one San Francisco Bay.

But the Bay Area is made up of nine counties and 101 cities, each with its own politics, local rules and shorelines, differences that can make it complicated to figure out how to protect billions of dollars of highways, airports, sewage treatment plants, homes and offices from the rising seas, surging tides and extreme storms climate change is expected to bring in the years ahead.

A new report released Thursday aims to make that gargantuan challenge a little easier. Read more.

Better way to determine coastal flooding risk
Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a new methodology for building computer models that paves the way to better understanding the flood risks faced by coastal communities.

That's important because towns along the coast are often situated near estuaries, which makes them vulnerable to both storm tide inundation and river flooding. Read more.
Gulf of Mexico
Dune plan is better than wall for Bolivar
The plan unveiled last week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the Bolivar Peninsula from storm surge should have been the one proposed in December. But this is a case of better late than never, and Bolivar residents are undoubtedly relieved to see this logical proposal finally coming forward. It would rely on natural sand dunes to absorb the energy of a surge instead of wall running the partial length of the peninsula.

Dunes are natural and aesthetically pleasing. A Berlin Wall-style barrier is neither. The new plan calls for dunes 8 to 13 feet high, which would help a lot to blunt a hurricane’s force, even though planners admit they could be topped by wave action from a major storm. But no protection system is perfect, and the dunes are much better for many reasons. If a storm reduces them, they can be replenished with more sand, of which there is no shortage offshore. That process is also much more cost-effective than anything involving concrete. Read more.
Great Lakes
Great Lakes Water Levels at 'Precipice of a Disaster' With Flooding Occurring or Imminent in New York, Ohio and Michigan
Recent rainfall has already-high water levels surging in the Great Lakes, contributing to flooding along the lakeshores in parts of Ohio and Michigan, and New York is expected to follow suit in the days ahead.

Areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline are "at the precipice of a disaster," according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as forecasts for additional rain threaten to push water levels past flood level. The worst of the flooding from heavy rain and snowmelt is expected to occur in a matter of days, and officials are concerned that stronger winds late this week into the weekend could churn up potentially damaging waves. Read more.

Cuomo: Crews fortify Lake Ontario shore as water levels rise
Crews will use sandbags and temporary dams to prepare for potential flooding along Lake Ontario, where rising waters caused extensive damage in 2017, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a visit to the area Wednesday.

The worst of the flooding from heavy rain and snow melt is predicted to begin within a week, according to emergency management officials who met with Cuomo during his visit to Olcott in Niagara County. Read more.
Events & Webinars
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Releases Assessments that Identify Target Areas for Coastal Resilience Conservation Projects
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the release of Coastal Resilience Assessments and the creation of a new analytical tool that can identify specific coastal areas with the greatest potential to boost community resilience while also improving habitats for fish and wildlife. Read more.

EPA Guidance about Planning for Natural Disaster Debris
The 2019 “Planning for Natural Disaster Debris” guidance is designed to help all communities (including cities, counties, territories, tribes, etc.) create disaster debris management plans. The guidance assists communities in planning for natural disaster debris before a disaster occurs, including hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, wildfires and winter storms, by providing useful, relevant information that is intended to increase community preparedness and resiliency. Information is included on the following: recommended components of a debris management plan, suggested management options for various natural disaster debris streams, a collection of case studies that highlights how several communities prepared for and managed debris generated by recent natural disasters, resources to consult in planning for natural disasters, and EPA’s recommended pre-incident planning process to help prepare communities for effective disaster debris management.

NFWF Coastal Resilience Workshops
NFWF partnered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling Analysis Center and NatureServe, and in consultation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to conduct eight in-depth Targeted Watershed Assessments. Building on the concepts and methods developed in the Regional Coastal Resilience Assessment, the Targeted Watershed Assessments incorporate local data and knowledge for a more customized assessment. Learn more.

Upcoming Workshops

Webinar: Blue Carbon in the Gulf of Mexico
June 11, 2019 | 2-3pm EST Hear from researchers studying blue carbon habitats in the Gulf of Mexico as they discuss status and trends in mangrove, seagrass, and marsh blue carbon habitat. This webinar will feature findings of two recent publications on Gulf of Mexico blue carbon. Speakers include Dr. Anitra Thorhaug, a leader in tropical seagrass restoration, with experience studying nearshore tropical and subtropical estuarine and coastal systems in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico; and Dr. Jorge López-Portillo, a plant ecologist who works in mangroves along the Gulf coast of Mexico, investigating mangrove forest structure and architecture and the effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Register online at  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5943197196549298187

NOAA Hurricane Awareness Series: Assessing Post-Storm Damage: NOAA Emergency Response Webinar
Date: Tuesday 21 May 2019
Time: 11:00-12:00 AM ET
Presenter(s): Mike Aslaksen, NOAA National Geodetic Survey, and Parks Camp, Tallahassee Weather Forecast Office (NOAA/NWS)

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative  has released a request for project ideas for community projects that increase resilience to sea-level rise and future flooding. The  full request for project ideas  is attached and available online. Assistance is available to help formulate project ideas, find partners and complete submissions. Interested communities may contact Mikaela Heming, the project coordinator, at 228-546-1023 or  m.heming@msstate.edu , for assistance.
Eligibility : This funding opportunity is open to coastal communities, local governments and municipalities, tribes, regional councils/commissions or other groups working on behalf of communities located between the Pearl River and Suwannee River.
Funding Amount : This Resilience to Future Flooding project has $240,000 that will be dispersed between four projects. Ideally, proposed project ideas will range from $40,000-$60,000, and a 39.2% match is required. Projects requiring environmental review will not be funded.
Deadline :  May 24   
Example Projects : Examples include, but are not limited to, a campaign to increase awareness of future flooding risks, data collection to fill knowledge gaps for resilient actions, economic studies on the benefits of future flood adaptation and updating Unified Development Codes or other ordinances/plans to account for future flooding. 

New OceanReports tool brings ocean data to your fingertips
A new web-based interactive tool for ocean mapping and planning created by NOAA and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will give everyone from ocean industries to coastal managers, students, as well as the general public the opportunity to be an ocean explorer from their own computer. Learn more.

Consideration of Project Costs and Benefits in Using Natural Coastal Infrastructure and Associated Challenges
The Corps constructs water resources projects to reduce risks to coastal communities from storm damage, among other things. These projects can involve building hard structures, such as seawalls, to protect against flooding and wave damage. The Corps and some state and local agencies are increasingly considering using natural infrastructure, such as wetlands, to reduce risks from coastal storms and flooding. GAO was asked to review the uses, costs, and benefits of natural coastal infrastructure for the Corps' coastal storm and flood risk management projects. This report describes how the Corps considered costs and benefits for selected projects that used natural infrastructure and   challenges the Corps faces in developing cost and benefit information for using natural infrastructure and steps taken to address them. GAO reviewed Corps guidance; obtained information on projects that used natural infrastructure and received funding from fiscal years 2012 through 2017; randomly selected eight coastal storm and flood risk reduction projects from the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts; and reviewed each project's planning documentation and economic analyses.   Read the full report here .

EPA Recreation Economy for Rural Communities
EPA's Office of Community Revitalization, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Northern Border Regional Commission are offering planning assistance through the new  Recreation Economy for Rural Communities  program.

Partner communities will work with a planning team to foster environmentally friendly community development and Main Street revitalization through the sustainable use of forests or other natural resources.

The application deadline is May 31, 2019.

Learn more about the program and get the application form at  https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/recreation-economy-rural-communities .

NOAA seeks public comment on proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA is considering a national marine sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario to protect historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources, and is holding four public meetings on the proposal.

This is the first step in the designation process, and the public can comment through July 31 on the proposed sanctuary online, by mail, or in person at the public meetings. Learn more here.

Living Shorelines Project Resources Now Available Online
Northeast Regional Ocean Council, Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), The Nature Conservancy, and state coastal management programs throughout the Northeast recently completed work on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded project –  Advancement of Green Infrastructure and Living Shoreline Approaches in the Northeast . During the project period from May 2016 through April 2019, project partners published a  Living Shorelines State of the Practice Report , developed a series of  profiles for living shorelines , evaluated regulatory issues associated with living shoreline practices, hosted workshops, and worked with local communities and stakeholders to advance living shoreline projects. Products and outreach materials from this multi-year effort are available on NROC’s website at:  https://www.northeastoceancouncil.org/committees/coastal-hazards-resilience/living-shorelines-group/advancingls/ . In related news, project team members will host a webinar to share resources, case studies and lessons learned from the project on June 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM (more details coming soon).

National Coastal Resilience Fund 2019 Request for Proposals
Pre-proposal Due Date: Monday, May 20, 2019 11:59 PM EST 
Full Proposal by Invite Only Due Date: Monday, July 22, 2019 11:59 PM EST

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced the National Coastal Resilience Fund for 2019. NFWF will make investments to restore and strengthen natural systems so they can protect coastal communities from the impacts of storms, floods, and other natural hazards and enable them to recover more quickly, while also enhancing habitats for important fish and wildlife populations. Learn more.

National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program
The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program was created to acquire, restore, and enhance wetlands in coastal areas through competitive matching grants to eligible State agencies. The Program is funded by revenues collected from excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, electric motors and sonar, import duties on fishing tackle, yachts and pleasure craft, and a portion of gasoline tax attributable to motorboats and small engines. Revenues are deposited into and appropriated from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

Proposals due: June 28, 2019
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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