Leo Asuncion welcomes members and takes roll call.

Members present: Leo Asuncion (HI); Mike Friis (WI); Brian Lynn (WA); Steve Couture (NH); Kathleen Leyden (ME); Fran Castro (CNMI); Ronda Wuycheck (MI); Kevin Claridge (FL); Jill Andrews (GA).  

CSO staff present: Mary Munson; Bradley Watson; Grant Williams; Norma Longhi; John Ryan-Henry

Approval of minutes from February 27, 2017

Brian Lynn moves to approve the February minutes; Ronda Wuycheck seconds the motion; minutes are approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report & Development

Steve Couture reviews the report included in the Treasurer’s Report and states that expenses are on track. Mr. Lynn asks about the Coastal Celebration expense line, and Mary Munson explains that CSO did not have to use the budgeted funds due to the number of other sponsors and the low cost of the room.

Norma Longhi updates members on current dues payments and shares that New York and California have submitted their dues payment.

Announcements Members & Staff

Bradley Watson shares that a request was made to CSO and ASBPA by the U.S. Senate Environmental Public Works Committee to help craft a request for a study to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) focusing on the economic value of natural coastal infrastructure. He adds that CSO and ASBPA contributed several suggestions, and he recently learned that most of the comments made by CSO is being incorporate in the request.

Mr. Lynn discusses the need to appoint a West Coast Regional Representative and offers to reach out to folks in the region. Mr. Asuncion thanks Mr. Lynn and agrees with his plan of action.

Ms. Wuycheck updates members on the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study and states her appreciation for how the process and facilitation between the Corps and states are being done.

Mr. Couture announces the start of a possible dredge project in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts that is based on the beneficial use pilot language current in WRDA. Mr. Watson shares that he has been communicating with Mr. Carlisle on the joint proposal and that he is attempting to assist as much as possible.

Kevin Claridge shares that he attended the Gulf of Mexico Alliance meeting; which was very successful. He reveals that the next Coral Reef Task Force meeting will be in Fort Lauderdale, on August 7 -12

Chair’s Initiative Update – Strategic Planning Retreat

Mr. Asuncion discusses the upcoming board retreat and asks members to review the draft agenda and questions presented by the meeting facilitator. He asks members to supply their answers by April 21st. Mr. Couture requests additional details about the agenda and inquires about the possibility of inviting partners to participate. Discussion follows about inviting CSO partners. Fran Castro suggests the design of a survey where CSO partners and members can have an input and participate. She volunteers to send a draft sample for members’ review. Ms. Munson states that she will send an invite to closer partners and get back to members by Friday.

Hill report

  • Friends Letter status

Grant Williams discusses a possible government shut down and updates members on the status of the Friends Letter, stating that the next step will be to make a priority list and send to individuals in specific states. Mr. Asuncion comments on the possible positive outcomes of the letter and thanks CSO staff for their efforts.

  • Appropriations Committee Testimony

Mr. Williams asks members to review the FY 18 Witness Testimony draft. He adds that the House is not holding an outside witness hearing, but will be accepting submissions and that the deadline is end of April. The Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee deadline is mid-May. He asks that comments be submitted to directly to him by April 21st.

  • Update on Dear Colleague

Mr. Williams discusses the Dear Colleague letter and states that the Senate wants to wait to issue the letter until the final President’s budget is released.

  • Update on Hill visits

Mr. Williams reports that recent Hill meetings went very well. He adds that the main thrust is to continue to highlight the importance of coastal programs and demonstrate that these programs are of bi-partisan importance. Mr. Lynn asks if there are any other insights about coastal programs being disclosed. Mr. Williams states that regrettably he does not have any rational explanations on the reasons why programs are being targeted. Mr. Williams also informs members about a dedicated page on CSO’s website where members can engage and take action on CZMA issues.

  • Other – (e.g., Digital Coast Act)

Mr. Williams shares that the Digital Coast Act has been re-introduced. He also provides an update on coastal non-point and says that there is an opportunity to discuss current issues with the program and possible solutions. Mr. Watson adds that CSO and ASBPA, at joint meeting, discussed other relevant issues on the 319 program and CZARA.

NOAA OCM Grant Allocations

Ms. Munson updates members on the most recent OCM call. Discussion follows about CSO adding its signature to another Hill letter. Mr. Williams states that he will follow-up with NERRA.

Work Group – project updates

Mr. Watson discusses the toolkit project and shares that a full draft document will be ready for review soon.

Project Developments & Updates

Great Lakes Study

Mr. Watson describes the Great Lakes Study project and shares that much of the 306 and 309 grant budget can be used as a match for projects subject to approval. He adds that states are gathering a non-binding letter of intent to be used on FY2019 budget. Mr Watson asks members to review and approve the attached letter of support from CSO. Mr. Asuncion recommends the approval of the letter. The letter of support is approved unanimously.

  • Coalition Meeting

Mr. Watson updates members on the upcoming CSO Coalition meeting. He adds that the discussion will be focus on ways to collaborate on coastal advocacy.

Meeting Planning

  • Fall Meeting

Mr. Asuncion reminds members about the Fall meeting planning committee invite and asks members to join if possible.

  • RAE/CSO Coastal Summit

Mr. Asuncion discusses the announcement on RAE/CSO partnership on the 2018 Summit.


Mr. Asuncion thanks the Executive Committee and adjourns the meeting at 4:30 pm.  The next EC meeting is scheduled for May 3, 2017.