Leo Asuncion welcomes members and takes roll call.

Members present: Leo Asuncion (HI); Brian Lynn (WA); Steve Couture (NH); Patty Snow (OR); Janice Castro (CNMI); Matt Fleming (MD); Jill Andrews (GA)

CSO staff present: Bradley Watson; Grant Williams; Norma Longhi; John Ryan-Henry; Mike Molnar

Approval of minutes from October 16, 2017

Steve Couture moves to approve the October minutes; Jill Andrews seconds the motion; minutes are approved unanimously.

Treasurer Report

Budget v. Actual and 2016 Audit Review

Mr. Couture reviews the materials included in the Treasurer’s Report and states that expenses are on track. As for income, he notes a deficit and explains the likely main reasons, including lack of renewal of Army Corps contract. Brian Lynn asks if there is a need to touch the reserves. Mr. Couture and Bradley Watson explain that final numbers will not really be available until February as the year needs time to close out across accounts.

Mr. Couture shares that he had a chance to review the 2016 Audit report, and that there were no issues.

Announcements and Welcome of New Regional Representatives

Mr. Asuncion welcomes the newly elected Regional Representatives to the CSO Executive Committee. He briefly discusses their roles and asks others for input. Mr. Lynn shares his experience as a former Regional Representative.

Mr. Lynn reveals that the newly appointed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, may be visiting the Washington State. Matt Fleming suggests that this may be a good opportunity to showcase coastal partnerships as a whole and asks for additional details in the hopes that Maryland can host Rear Admiral Gallaudet in the future. Mr. Lynn replies by saying that he will share more information once available. 

Chairs Initiative Update

Mr. Asuncion reminds members about the CSO Strategic Plan survey that is open until January 1st. He adds that up to this point, only four members have completed the survey and restates the importance of moving the initiative forward. Mike Molnar states that the survey is short and that it shouldn’t take more than 15 mins to be completed.

Hill Report

Grant Williams reports that at this point a government shutdown is still possible but not likely. He also shares that the current tax cut reform bill is moving forward and it is expected to pass.    

CSO Appropriations Request Discussion

Mr. Williams reports that CSO has had two successful FY19 Appropriations Strategy calls and that a third call is scheduled for tomorrow. He reiterates the strategy goals and adds that the group is working to refine CSO’s appropriations message. Mr. Williams adds that NOAA OCM is also supportive of the approach overall.

Update on NOAA National CZM Strategic plan  

Mr. Molnar reports that NOAA OCM received additional feedback about its strategic plan from members and thanked CSO’s efforts and assistance. Mr. Couture asks if there is another round of follow-up before the Program Managers Meeting.  Mr. Molnar confirms and adds that NOAA is currently working on a draft plan internally.

Work Group Updates

  • Coastal NPS Work Group

Mr. Williams shares that the next Work Group call is scheduled for January 8th, and that the discussion will focus on outstanding management measures.

  • CSO Strategic Communications Plan Discussion

Mr. Molnar updates members on CSO’s communications plan and states that in this current phase the Work Group is reviewing the messaging of different materials. 

  • CRS Green Guide Update

John Ryan-Henry shares that on November 27, CSO and ASFPM held the last of four CRS Green Guide webinars and that over one thousand attendees registered and over 700 participated on each. Mr. Ryan-Henry also shares that CSO and ASFPM will share a Digital Coast Fellow that will focus on supporting CSO and coastal program CRS efforts and will be able to harness the Green Guide through their work.

RAE/CSO Coastal Summit

Mr. Watson informs members that CSO continues its fundraising and outreach to other organizations for the RAE-CSO 9th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management. Mr. Molnar mentions that the call for proposals is open and that proposals are due April 6, 2018. He also adds that he has been coordinating with NOAA on topics for regional proposals to highlight CZM programs.

Fellow Announcements

Mr. Ryan-Henry announces that Bridget Cotti-Rausch will be joining CSO in February 2018 as a Knauss Coastal Management Fellow in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW).

Winter Meeting Discussion

Mr. Asuncion reviews the draft agenda and points out the new meeting format on the guest day. Mr. Watson adds that the new format allows for better interactions between members and speakers. Mr. Watson also mentions that some speakers’ invitation have been sent out.

Other Items

Ms. Andrews asks if CSO staff have any information or updates about new hurricane supplemental monies. Mr. Williams replies by stating that no progress has been made.


Mr. Asuncion thanks the Executive Committee and adjourns the meeting at 4:05pm.  The next EC meeting is scheduled for January 10, 2018.