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
Supporting Mid-Atlantic fisheries with the world’s largest and most successful eelgrass restoration project in Virginia
The Virginia Coastal Management Program partnered with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and others to restore aquatic resources on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The project team has strategically distributed over 71 million eelgrass seeds since 2000. Those seeds have since grown to cover over 9,000 acres where there had been none since the 1930s when hurricanes and an eelgrass disease wiped out a crucial portion of Virginia eelgrass beds. These eelgrass beds provide critical habitat for commercially important juvenile fish such as menhaden, herring, shad, spot, croaker, weakfish, red drum, and silver perch, as well as blue crabs. They also improve coastal water quality by absorbing nutrients and trapping fine sediments, sequestering CO2, and protecting shorelines from erosion by absorbing wave energy. Additionally, the CZM program worked with VIMS and others to reintroduce bay scallops into the eelgrass beds. Over 200,000 bay scallops have been reared to maturity and the wild population is now estimated at over 78,000. These natural resources are critical to the economies of the Eastern Shore’s rural coastal communities. 
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
Corps regulatory helps preserve and protect “Living Shorelines”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Regulatory Branch is doing its part to keep coastal wetlands from disappearing permanently. The Wilmington District is in the process of developing a Regional General Permit (RGP) to authorize the construction of marsh sill structures such as oyster reefs or rock formations. Read more.

Florida regulator pegs insured Michael losses at $4.9bn
Total re/insured losses resulting from Hurricane Michael in Florida are estimated to be approximately $4.9 billion, according to data compiled by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR).

The state regulator’s estimate is based on information from claims data filed by insurers, and shows that a total of 136,873 claims have been registered so far, with 71.1% now closed. Read more.
West Coast and Pacific
Ige appoints veteran planner to Hawaii Public Utilities Commission
Gov. David Ige has appointed Leo R. Asuncion, Jr., a planning program administrator in the state Office of Planning, to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Asuncion replaces Randy Iwase, who was the board’s chair and who retired at the end of last year. Commissioner James Griffin was appointed to replace Iwase as chair in January; Jennifer Potter is the third member of the commission. Read more.
Gulf of Mexico
Corps announces review and comment period for environmental document
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, today released a Draft Environmental Assessment titled. “Louisiana Coastal Area (LCA) Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Program, Barataria Bay Waterway at Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.” This environmental assessment covers a proposal to place fill material in the narrow corridor of wetlands that separate Bayou Perot and Bayou Rigolettes in Jefferson Parish. Read more.

Governor Edwards Appoints Bren Haase as CPRA Executive Director
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards yesterday announced the appointment of Bren Haase as Executive Director of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA). 

“Bren is unquestionably an individual with a distinguished conservation record, in both his professional body of work and personal passion for coastal protection and conservation in Louisiana,” stated Gov. Edwards. “Bren has my complete confidence, my utmost respect, and my full support.” Read more.
Great Lakes
Living with algal blooms: How one Michigan town manages its water
Like many coastal communities in the Great Lakes Basin, Monroe, Michigan, relies on water drawn directly from one of the five Great Lakes: Erie.

Chris Knight, the superintendent of Monroe’s water treatment plant, oversees the production and daily delivery of drinking water to 48,000 customers in the city and nearby communities.

They work in a facility built in the 1920s. The plant draws, on average, 7 to 7.5 million gallons of water directly from Lake Erie per day. On any given day, 85 to 90 percent of that water is distributed to customers. Read more.
Army Corps releases crucial guide for reducing flood risk and increasing resilience
This week, the Army Corps of Engineers formally released an important resource guide, “Engineering with Nature: An Atlas.” This isn’t your typical government issued atlas of maps and figures. It’s an important first step toward broadening understanding, consideration and acceptance of natural infrastructure as a flood risk reduction and resilience strategy. Read more.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rulemaking: Step Two - Revise
On December 11, 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army (the agencies) proposed a revised definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register (FR) on February 14, 2019 and will be open for a 60-day public comment period. The public comment period will close on April 15, 2019
The public is invited to submit written comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2018-0149, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal:  https://www.regulations.gov . General guidance on making effective comments is available at EPA's Commenting on EPA Dockets.

Building Regional Expertise to Advance Resilient Coastlines in San Diego
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 3:00:00 PM EST - 4:00:00 PM EST
NOAA Coastal Resilience Grants help coastal communities become better prepared to withstand coastal storms. This webinar is an installment in a series designed to share lessons learned from these projects.

The focus of this webinar is the Resilient Coastlines project, led by the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, alongside the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The project advanced coastal resilience in San Diego by developing locally relevant legal, policy, economic, and storm modeling tools, and connecting these resources to local leadership through trainings and facilitated regional dialogues. Tune in to our webinar to learn about the innovative approaches—in particular, the project’s regional economic assessment.

1 hour of certification maintenance credits for this webinar have been approved by the American Institute of Certified Planners. Learn more.
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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