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:
FEMA Releases New Guide
Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solution: A Guide for Local Communities
FEMA has release a new guide "Releases Building Community Resilience with Nature-Based Solutions: A Guide for Local Communities" to help communities, along with state, territorial, and tribal governments, identify and engage the staff and resources that can play a role in building resilience through nature-based solutions.

The document is not a technical how-to guide for implementation. Instead, it provides information to help local officials make the business case for nature-based solutions; plan for and set policies to support nature-based solutions; mobilize public and private resources for implementation; and understand federal funding opportunities. This new document is the result of exciting and successful collaborations between NOAA and FEMA.

Check out the guide here!
Register Today for the Virtual
2020 National Coastal and Estuarine Summit!
September 29 - October 1, 2020
Join CSO and Restore America's Estuaries September 29 - October 1, 2020 for an in-depth virtual program and the opportunity to network with colleagues, share lessons learned, and hear from experts on the latest in coastal restoration and coastal management!

Early Bird Registration ends in less than a week on August 31, 2020! Register now to save $75 off the regular rate. Don't miss your chance to be part of the biggest Summit ever!

Check out the exciting Summit Program filled with over 350 presenters and speakers which will be available to registrants both live and on-demand!
In the States and Regions
East Coast and Caribbean
Miami-Dade Wants Mangroves and Islands as Storm Protection Instead of 10-foot Walls
The federal government plan to protect Miami-Dade from future storms hinges on a tall, gray wall between the city and Biscayne Bay, but residents have their own vision for how best to keep the water from drowning the Magic City. And it’s much greener. Wednesday was the deadline for public comment on the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed plan to build walls and pumps, elevate homes and install flood gates on the mouths of rivers to keep the coastal county safe from storm surge driven by powerful hurricanes. The projected cost is $4.6 billion. Residents, businesses and governments all shared their thoughts with the Corps, and they pretty much all had two things in common: nobody wants an up to 20-foot high wall along Biscayne Boulevard, and everyone wants more coral reefs, mangroves and living shorelines instead. Read more

Surf City Expects to Spend $25 Million on 6-mile Berm and Dune System
Surf City is expected to pay around $24.9 million for its portion of a 52,150-foot berm and dune system to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from the town’s southern boundary with Topsail Beach to the northern end of Topsail Island. The projected cost for constructing just shy of 10 miles of dune and berm system is approximately $237 million, according to a letter sent by Town Manager Kyle Breuer to Mayor Doug Medlin. U.S. Congress has already appropriated that money to the USACE, according to Breuer. Read more
Great Lakes
Seawalls, Other Barriers Could Have Lasting Impact on Great Lakes After Water Recedes
Desperate measures to protect homes from erosion and high water could have lasting impacts on Great Lakes’ once-natural coastlines that have been hardened with rock and steel. Homeowners, businesses and local governments are fortifying disappearing beaches and dunes with tons of riprap, chunks of concrete and steel seawalls with varying degrees of success. In some instances, they have exacerbated erosion rather than solve it. Read more

Reef Construction Provides A Man-Made Assist for Lake Michigan Fish and Wildlife
A project to restore and connect 1.5 miles of coastal fish habitat is underway from a barge in Lake Michigan at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve. Just offshore, a crane methodically is placing slabs of native limestone, glacial boulders and cobbles, and large woody debris such as tree trunks and root wads on the lake bottom as a man-made assist for fish and wildlife. Read more
West Coast and Pacific
City of Santa Barbara Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Plan for Public Review
The City of Santa Barbara has released a Draft Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Plan for public review. The draft plan identifies areas of the City that are vulnerable to up to 6.6 feet of sea-level rise and recommends actions to adapt over time. While Santa Barbara has experienced only small amounts of sea-level rise to date, the rate of sea-level rise in the region is projected to accelerate significantly in upcoming years. Over time, this will result in beach loss, increased bluff erosion, and intensified tidal and storm flooding in the low-lying areas of the City. Read more

Washington State Floodplain Manager Discusses Program That’s Helping Communities, Environment
As Washington’s statewide floodplain manager, Gordon White works to limit the impacts of flooding across the state, including directing the Floodplains by Design program. Since 2013, the Washington Legislature has appropriated $165 million to fund the program, a state partnership with the Nature Conservancy. The program has reconnected about 2,500 acres of floodplains, protected 500 acres of farmland, restored more than 25 miles of salmon habitat, and removed nearly 700 residences from high-risk flood zones in 38 communities. Read more
Coastal Alabama Projects Getting Over $26 Million in Offshore Oil Leases
Sixteen projects were awarded $26.1 million in the second round of money from offshore oil and gas leases that are funneled back to four states along the Gulf of Mexico for coastline restoration projects. Included in the funding through the Gulf of Mexico Energy and Security Act (GOMESA) program was $2.6 million for the construction of a 44-acre public boat access in Orange Beach at the Intracoastal Waterway. Other projects of note included $3.3 million for a marine science research vessel at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, $3.7 million to fund ongoing sewer upgrades at the Mobile County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority, $3 million to enhance and expand nature parks in Foley, and $3.5 million to implement a Mobile County Commission master plan for public access. Read more

Officials Present Over $6.4M in FEMA Funds for Rockport's Cedar Bayou Restoration
Government representatives have been trying to restore Rockport’s Cedar Bayou since the 1930s. Hurricane Harvey damaged the most recent restoration efforts, causing its closure. But it won’t remain closed for much longer. Engineering company Mott McDonald plans to have the bayou completely restored and open in 2021 with nearly $9 million of mostly grant funds paying for the project. Work is slated to begin later this year or in early 2021. Funds are being supplemented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and about $1 million from Aransas County. Read more
Events & Webinars
New FEMA Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool: Visualize Resilience
FEMA and Argonne National Laboratory created the Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT) to support analysis and visualization to help build community resilience, response, and recovery capabilities. RAPT is an interactive geographic information system (GIS) web-map tool with clickable layers to show the interplay between census-tract population data, infrastructure locations, and hazard data including real-time NWS severe weather! Widgets provide quick analysis of incident areas identifying critical infrastructure and counts of vulnerable populations. RAPT is available here.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Division BRIC and FMA Program Support Materials
FEMA has posted on its website a series of program support materials to serve as educational resources and to assist grant applicants in preparation for the opening of the grant application period. The BRIC resources are available here. The FMA resources are available here.

New Virtual Training Opportunity from NOAA’s Digital Coast
Get technical with a new training from NOAA’s Digital Coast, Working with Lidar. The first in this series of self-guided training modules provides an interactive checklist to verify that you have the information needed to decide if lidar is right for your project, and to identify data gaps. Then, using that information, you will work through a decision tree to make these determinations. The interface records all responses in your personalized project plan.

NOAA Announces Regions for First Two Aquaculture Opportunity Areas under Executive Order on Seafood
NOAA Fisheries announced federal waters off southern California and in the Gulf of Mexico as the first two regions to host Aquaculture Opportunity Areas. The selection of these regions is the first step in a process designed to establish 10 Aquaculture Opportunity Areas nationwide by 2025. These two regions were selected for future aquaculture opportunity area locations based on the already available spatial analysis data and current industry interest in developing sustainable aquaculture operations in the region. Learn more here.

National Estuaries Week Photo Contest 2020
In celebration of National Estuaries Week, which takes place September 19 - 26, 2020, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management is hosting a photo contest. Send in your best photos from the national estuarine research reserves that display the beauty of the reserves, critters that live there, and the people who work and play there. Submissions are due Aug. 31, 2020. Learn more and submit your photos here.

NOAA Citizen Science Strategy public Comment Period
Public participation in science, otherwise known as citizen science, is a rapidly growing field that expands NOAA’s ability to observe, predict, and understand the environment. A new strategy provides a path for the NOAA to fully leverage the power of the crowd in support of agency mission areas. NOAA is requesting public comment on the strategy until August 31st. Learn more and provide comment here

EPA Requests Applications for $6 Million Grant to Monitor Contaminants in Great Lakes Fish
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applications under a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant program focused on monitoring contaminants in Great Lakes fish. Approximately $6 million is available through the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program to fund one project over five years. The deadline for applications is Sep. 21, 2020. Learn more here.

NOAA RESTORE Science Program Grants
The NOAA RESTORE Science Program is making approximately $2.5 million available for this competition to fund approximately 20 planning projects that will run for one year each. This competition will provide natural resource managers, researchers, and other stakeholders with funding to plan a research project that informs a specific management decision impacting natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. A second competition for funding to execute and apply actionable science will follow this competition. These two competitions will be independent of one another. The deadline for applications is Dec. 15, 2020. See the full announcement 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.

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