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:
Restoration Dollars Bring Six Times the Return on Investment
Industrial pollution degraded Michigan’s Muskegon Lake, but a wetland restoration and shoreline stabilization project is enhancing the lake’s fishery and bringing new prosperity. Researchers projected in 2011 that an initial $10 million in restoration funds—made possible by NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Habitat Conservation with support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—would yield a six-to-one return on investment. A 2020 reexamination shows that these economic projections are spot-on and happening in real time.

The 2020 study revealed that the total value of shoreline improvements, based on home sale prices, is an estimated $7.9 million. Researchers tie this rise in value to the restoration made possible by NOAA’s investment. In addition, the researchers found that the restoration’s recreational benefits bring in an estimated $27.9 million in value each year, a much higher figure than the 2011 estimate of $2.8 million annually. The reasons for this excellent return are many, such as prompting downtown investments and inspiring even more restoration projects.

Learn more about this restoration project and its economic impacts here.
In the States and Regions
West Coast and Pacific
Columbia River: State of the Estuary Report
The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership released the State of the Columbia River Estuary Report. The group describes itself as a non-profit, a National Estuary Program, and a collection of dedicated scientists, educators, and community members who are passionate about the Columbia River. Every five years, The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership examines five broad indicators of health for the lower Columbia River and estuary: water quality, land use, habitat, endangered species, and community connections like education and stewardship. This State of the Estuary Report is a look at what has changed from 2015 to today. Read more

DLNR News Release: Pathway to 30×30: DAR Releases Roadmap Highlighting the Holomua: Marine 30×30 Initiative
The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is releasing Holomua: Marine 30×30, a place-based approach to enhance nearshore fisheries and improve fishing opportunities. This is DAR’s nearshore strategic plan to restore marine resources that support traditional Hawaiian practices, the island economy, and the livelihoods of many residents. The Roadmap to Holomua: Marine 30×30 outlines programs and activities by DAR and its partners to achieve effective management of nearshore waters with at least 30% established as marine management areas by 2030. Read more
Great Lakes
Ducks Unlimited, H2Ohio boost Ohio wetlands and water quality
Ducks Unlimited has joined with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and more than 40 other organizations to implement H2Ohio, a data-driven water quality plan to reduce harmful algal blooms, improve wastewater infrastructure and prevent lead contamination across Ohio. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio plan includes agriculture groups, conservation organizations, universities, local and state governments and the private sector. The Ohio General Assembly invested $172 million in the plan for the first two years to find targeted solutions to water quality improvement. A major component of the plan is the restoration and enhancement of wetlands, which filter nutrients before reaching waterways and therefore reduce the impact of algae blooms. In the first phase of funding, the H2Ohio program has allocated $7.1 million to Ducks Unlimited for five wetland conservation projects. Read more

As Lake Michigan Beaches Erode, Millions of Dollars Have Been Poured Into Temporary Solutions
As the wind whipped across the top of the Big Sable Point lighthouse, one of the most famous and beloved on the Great Lakes, Jim Gallie pointed to the disappearing beach: “It’s been progressively getting worse.” Now the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is spending $130,000 to recap the seawall and place new stone barriers at its base. The hope is that the reinforcements will slow erosion, save the beach, protect the base of the lighthouse and preserve the low-lying dunes. “If it wasn’t for that seawall,” said Gallie, the park manager in Ludington, “those dunes would be gone.” Read more
Gulf Coast
Louisiana Hopes to Add Estuary to Federal Research Program
Louisiana has started a selection process to identify part of its coastline the state hopes can be added to the National Estuary Research Reserve program. If approved, the area would become a site for research projects aimed at better understanding the chosen estuary — an area where the tidal reach of ocean or Gulf waters meets the flow of water from a river. The reserve would also serve as a base for educating students and the general public on the importance of estuary features, including fisheries and wildlife. Read more

Land Deal to Open Public Access to Mobile Waterfront
Alabama’s port city has long lacked public access to much of its waterfront because of shipping wharves and industry along the Mobile River and Mobile Bay, but a new deal could open up more space for residents and tourists to get near the water. Mobile officials and Gov. Kay Ivey announced a partnership between the city and the state to purchase bayfront property near downtown owned by the University of South Alabama Foundation. Mayor Sandy Stimpson told a news conference the agreement will allow for the creation of public access along the Mobile Bay waterfront and preservations of wetlands. Read more
East Coast and Caribbean
Sea Level Rise Could Flood Thousands of Miami's Affordable Housing Spots, Research Shows
New research shows that Miami's affordable housing — already in short supply — is at risk of flooding from sea level rise in the coming decades. The University of Miami found that more than half of all affordable housing in Miami-Dade county lies below Miami's average elevation of 7 feet above sea level. Read more

DNREC Soliciting Grant Applications for Projects to Improve Water Quality in Delaware
Delawareans — along with government agencies and non-profit organizations throughout the state — can help support Delaware’s continuing quest for clean water by taking advantage of an annual grant opportunity administered by the Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control and funded through the federal Clean Water Act. Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source grant funding for Delaware of $425,000 was recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with additional funds expected to be released to the state in 2021. DNREC is soliciting — and encouraging — proposals for the Section 319 grants awarded for projects that reduce Delaware’s nonpoint source (NPS) pollution and improve water quality, chiefly by reducing nutrients and sediment that drain or leach into impaired Delaware waters. Read More
Events & Webinars
Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Support
The Chesapeake Bay Trust has been designated to receive federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Chesapeake Bay Program Goal Implementation Team Project Initiative. The work funded by this initiative advances outcomes identified in the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Each year, certain outcomes are chosen by the Chesapeake Bay Program as top priorities to address, and these stretch across all Goal Implementation Teams (GIT) and workgroups. The deadline for applications is January 22, 2021. Learn more about the twelve scopes of work and apply here.

The application period for FEMA’s fiscal year 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grants under the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) programs is now open. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the FEMA Grants Outcomes (GO) system. All applications must be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 29, 2021. For FY20, a total of $660 million in funding is available for FMA and BRIC. Visit the FMA and BRIC web pages to find helpful resources.

NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship Applications Are Open!
Are you interested in a scholarship and paid summer internship with NOAA? Consider applying for the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship or the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship. Applications are due February 1, 2021. Learn more here.

NOAA Sea Grant & Ocean Acidification Program Funding Opportunity: Shellfish Aquaculture Partnerships
The National Sea Grant Office and the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program are funding a joint competition to fund proposals that seek to establish, continue, and/or expand collaborations between researchers and the shellfish aquaculture industry. Specifically, applications to this competition should utilize new or existing research/industry partnerships to study how ocean and coastal acidification in combination with other stressors impacts shellfish aquaculture. Applications must include at least one researcher and one shellfish grower acting as co-Principal Investigators, and the proposed work must utilize a co-production of knowledge framework. Total funding for this competition includes up to $2,000,000 in federal funds to support 2-6 projects. Each project will be funded at the approximate level of $100,000 - $300,000 per year for 1-3 years. Applications are due March 16, 2021. Learn more here.
Job Openings

Job Boards

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: rkeylon@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.
Coastal States Organization | 50 F Street. NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC 20001 | 202-508-3860 | cso@coastalstates.org | www.coastalstates.org