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:
Coastal Programs and Resilience Planning
The 34 State and Territory Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Programs are leaders in the development and implementation of coastal adaptation, mitigation, and resilience strategies. CZM Programs are on the ground to support communities at every step along the path to resilience. They have the flexibility to operate across multiple levels of government and are uniquely positioned to link cutting-edge federal data and tools with local communities to address coastal changes and hazards.

Learn more about what resilience planning, adaptation, and mitigation are and what CZM Programs to build resilience for coastal communities here.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
California Weighs First Step In 'Managed Retreat' From Rising Pacific
Parts of Richmond are estimated to be at risk from a three-foot (91 cm) increase in sea levels, even as the waters of the Pacific Ocean along California’s coast are projected to rise by more than twice that due to climate change this century. From building sea walls to nurturing “living” seashores, an array of potential solutions have been discussed by local authorities up and down the coast, but all are expensive and none had come up with a way of addressing the cost - until now. Under a new state bill, a “revolving” fund would be set up to provide soft loans for cities like Richmond to buy vulnerable seaside properties from willing sellers, and then rent them back to the owners or tenants for as long as they remained habitable. The proposal has been billed as the first strategic attempt to address the task of moving coastal cities back from rising seas, and it could also help local government leaders like Butt maintain the stream of revenue with rental income. Read more

Revitalizing Hagåtña: Half-way Milestone Reached In Study For Hagåtña River Project
A study currently being conducted on the Hagåtña River and on ways to prevent flooding in the area is now half-way completed, according to officials. The study, conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will determine the best alternatives for controlling flooding in the village. The hope is that once flooding mitigation measures are put in place, Hagåtña will experience a revitalization boom. Edwin Reyes, administrator for the Guam Coastal Management Program under the Bureau of Statistics and Plans, says that the project will bring life back to village. "One of the biggest achievements we are now at is identifying a locally preferred plan, which is a plan that (the government of Guam) agreed to," Reyes said.Reyes estimates that about 90% of the village is in a special flood hazard area. Hagåtña is also in a 1% AEP floodplain, meaning that there is a 1 in 100 chance that a flood could occur in the area in any year. The review plan approval for the river study states that critical infrastructure in Hagåtña that could potentially be affected by flooding is valued at approximately $28.5 million. Some of the major infrastructure and essential facilities that could be affected are the wastewater treatment plant, the Hagåtña police precinct, the Emergency Operations Center and Homeland Security offices and major transportation systems such as Route 4. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Workshop to Target Storm Risks Along the Rhode Island Shoreline
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state Coastal Resources Management Council will conduct a virtual public workshop Wednesday night to discuss a project aimed at reducing the risk of storm damage by elevating coastal properties in Westerly, Charlestown, Narragansett, and South Kingstown. The project area includes a series of coastal barrier beaches that front seven coastal ponds. The storm risk reduction effort, formally known as the Pawcatuck River Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, follows a final feasibility and environmental assessment study report released in February 2018 that identifies structures potentially eligible for participation in the project. The total value of the existing residential and commercial inventory in the study area is estimated at more than $600 million, according to the report. Read More

DCR Receives $1M Grant to Spur Implementation of Living Shorelines Across Rural Coastal Virginia
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has received a $1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to expand the implementation of living shorelines in Rural Coastal Virginia to reduce coastal erosion and benefit water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. The grant was awarded by NFWF and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant Program, a core program under NFWF’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund promoting community-based efforts to protect and restore the diverse natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay. “Living shorelines are critical to restoring the Chesapeake Bay, and to protecting coastal communities from increased flooding and erosion associated with climate change and sea level rise,” Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Matthew J. Strickler said. “Virginia is grateful for this funding from NFWF and EPA.” DCR, through its Shoreline Erosion Advisory Service, will use the grant to provide financial incentives for the construction of nearly 1,400 feet of new living shorelines in socially vulnerable areas of Rural Coastal Virginia, a 12-county region that covers the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Eastern Shore. This region of the Chesapeake Bay watershed covers tidal portions of the Potomac, Rappahannock and York rivers and many smaller coastal tributaries. Read more
Great Lakes
Corps of Engineers Begin 2021 Duluth-Superior Harbor Maintenance Dredging, Minnesota Point Beach Nourishment
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is set to begin 2021 maintenance dredging and Minnesota Point beach nourishment the week of Aug. 1, 2021. The Corps of Engineers originally planned to dredge and place nearly 100,000 cy. However, they are reducing the amount of material due to stringent protocols and significant safeguards put in place to ensure the material is free from man-made debris for beach nourishment. “Public safety is a top priority for the Corps of Engineers and new requirements will impact the amount of material the contractor can place,” said Project Manager Melissa Bosman. “Our federally-mandated mission is to maintain harbor navigation and we partnered with the City of Duluth to beneficially use the dredged material as beach nourishment along Minnesota Point again this year.” Read more

Comments Requested: Lake Ontario Marine Sanctuary Proposal Moves Forward
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the beginning of a public comment period on its draft environmental impact statement and management plan for the proposed marine sanctuary in eastern Lake Ontario, the next step toward official designation. “Any possible new sanctuary is a big deal for NOAA, the surrounding community and the nation,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “This is the public’s opportunity to weigh in on how to best preserve the rich history of this unique place.” The sanctuary could contain up to 1,786 square miles of Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands region of the St. Lawrence River, depending on the exact boundaries. NOAA is still seeking public input on two different alternatives: one includes both Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands, while the other just includes Lake Ontario. Read more
Gulf Coast
Gov. Edwards Announces Start of Construction on West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project
Gov. Edwards joined the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) along with federal, state, and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony on the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection system. The project will provide 100-year hurricane and storm surge protection to 60,000 Louisianans in St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist parishes. The $760 million project will span 18.5 miles, including 17.5 miles of levees, one mile of T-wall, drainage structures, pump stations, and several non-structural protection measures to form an integrated protection system. The structure will span from the Bonnet Carre Spillway to the Mississippi River Levee near Garyville and provide storm surge protection and improved resilience on the western shores of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Read more

REPI Challenge yields more than $24M for AF installations
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center helped secure more than $24 million to protect mission readiness and the environment at three installations: White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; and Tyndall AFB, Florida. The funds were awarded in June as part of the Department of Defense’s Readiness Environmental Protection Integration Program’s annual REPI Challenge. Each year, the DoD offers funding for projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to protect the military mission and bring eligible partners to the table who can contribute funds to purchase land. This year’s challenge yielded $13.3 million from contributing partners. At Tyndall AFB, a combined $10 million will help shape the Installation of the Future and protect the base’s fighter mission as it prepares for three F-35 squadrons arriving in September 2023 and $5.25 million more from the Nature Conservancy. The project supports a multifaceted approach to improve the resiliency of the installation, including constructing up to 1,000 feet of living shorelines and 3,500 feet of submerged shoreline. Additionally, the project will create 1,500 feet of oyster reef habitat and protect or enhance the shoreline habitat next to Tyndall’s drone runway, a critical base operation. Read more
Events & Webinars
New Report Highlighting Impact of Sediment Management on Barrier Islands, Wildlife, and Ecosystems
the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released “Impacts of Sediment Removal From and Placement in Coastal Barrier Island Systems," a new report which provides resource managers valuable information they can use to evaluate impacts of sediment removal and placement within barrier islands, including those addressed by the Coastal Barrier Resources System. Some of the key findings in the report illustrate how some barrier island sediment management practices can have negative impacts on seafloor habitats, fish and other marine species, beach habitats and dunes, and the coastal sediment supply that ensures barrier island resiliency. Learn more and read the report here.

EDA Announces American Rescue Plan Grant Programs to Support Economic Development, Outdoor Recreation, and Tourism in Communities
The Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will implement a series of programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest the $3 billion it received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to help communities across the country build back better. The EDA investment is the largest economic development initiative from the Department of Commerce in decades. There are six Notice of Funding Opportunities for:
  • Build Back Better Regional Challenge ($1 billion)
  • Good Jobs Challenge ($500 million)
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance Challenge ($100 million)
  • Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Grants ($750 million)
  • Statewide Planning, Research, and Networks Grants ($90 million)
Learn more about these new programs here.

FEMA Hosts Building Private-Public Partnerships Guide Webinar
FEMA has released the “Building Private-Public Partnerships Guide.” The guide provides recommendations and best practices for jurisdictions to establish and maintain a private-public partnership to help coordinate mitigation, response and recovery planning and preparedness. To facilitate the engagement process, FEMA will host a 60-minute engagement webinar at 3 p.m. ET on July 29 to discuss the guide and answer stakeholders’ questions. Register for the webinar here. Read the guide here.

2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary Photo Contest
The 2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest runs from May 29th to September 6th, 2021. The contest has four themes: Sanctuary Views, Sanctuary Life, Sanctuary Recreation, and Sanctuaries at Home. Learn more and submit your photos here.

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship
It’s an exciting two-year fellowship program that will place one graduate student at each of the 29 national estuarine research reserves. Through a research project, fellows address a key reserve management need to help scientists and communities understand coastal challenges that may influence future policy and management strategies. The research reserves represent the apex of estuary science. At these coastal sites, fieldwork, research, and community engagement come together to create the scientific advances that change our communities and our world. Applications are due December 10, 2021. Learn more and apply here.
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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.

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