CSO Members,

I’m thrilled to begin this note by sharing the news that Rachel Keylon is joining CSO as the Federal Affairs Director. In this role, Rachel will drive CSO’s legislative strategy and will also lead CSO’s communications efforts. Prior to joining CSO, Rachel worked at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where she focused on strategic planning, performance management, budget formulation, legislative policy, and communications. Past work includes coordinating federal interagency collaboration on ocean research and education at the National Oceanographic Partnership Program, as well as policy and legislative affairs for several ocean and coastal non-profits and on Capitol Hill.  Rachel holds a B.A. in Biology from Occidental College and a M.S. in Zoology and a graduate certificate in Ocean Policy from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is also currently pursuing a J.D. in the evening program at American University. Rachel’s new email is rkeylon@coastalstates.org and her phone is 202-508-3862.

CSO Member Requests:

1) ADA and Permitting: A CSO member is interested to hear from any states that have experience with the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state permitting requirements. If your program has experience with a permit applicant seeking an exemption or variance from a permit requirement under the ADA, or with health-related confidentiality as a part of the exemption/variance request, please reach out by email to John Ryan-Henry (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org) with your experience, advice, or information by Wednesday, July 31. We will pass along any information to the inquiring member.

2) Public Access Requirements: A partner organization has reached out to CSO seeking examples of public access requirements in state coastal management programs. Does your program require a certain number of parking spaces per length or area of beach? Please share any relevant regulations or requirements with John Ryan-Henry (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org) at your convenience.

From the Hill: The most recent news on the Hill is that a budget deal may be close. If one is reached and signed by the president, we are hearing that the Senate Appropriations Committee may hold markups in in early September. As a reminder, the House Appropriations Committee has the CZ line at $81 Million in their FY20 bill, up $5.5 million from FY19. There are, of course, many hurdles yet to come before a new appropriation is possible for CZ, however, the news of a possible budget deal is encouraging.

On Tuesday, July 23rd, Mike Friis of the Wisconsin coastal program testified in front of the Senate Commerce Committee on working waterfront and related issues. CSO staff was in attendance and Mike did an outstanding job of showcasing the great work of his program – and serving as an ambassador for the great work of coastal programs nationwide. Hearing info and the archived webcast can be found here.

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee held a mark-up on a range of bills, including the ROP Authorization bill that was introduced in the Senate last week. We have posted this introduced bill, as well as CSO comments on previous iterations, and other relevant markup documents here on the CSO members only website. During this mark up, the Committee adopted an amendment from Senator Wicker that can be found here. The changes in this amendment reflect many of the suggested edits submitted by CSO! We are appreciative to Senator Wicker’s staff for considering and adopting many of these proposed edits.

Tomorrow, the House Natural Resource Committee, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife will hold a legislative hearing on a range of bills, including some that would amend the CZMA. More information on the hearing, including how to watch, can be found here.

Finally, as is noted in the broader CSO Newsletter, ASBPA Executive Director, Derek Brockbank, testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure committee in the hearing “Water Resources Development Acts: Status of Implementation and Addressing Future Needs.” See the Written ASBPA testimony here, which includes contributions from and highlights the work of the Washington coastal program. We appreciate Derek and ASBPA reaching out to our members for input based on his appreciation for their work on these issues, and further for recognizing that work in his testimony.

CSO 2019 Fall Meeting: The CSO Fall Meeting Planning Committee will hold its first meeting tomorrow to discuss the agenda, logistics, and topic areas to be covered. If you want to join this group (that will meet 3-4 times before the meeting) please email bwatson@coastalstates.org. As a reminder, the 2019 CSO Fall Meeting is in South Padre Island, Texas, from November 4-8. The venue is Pearl South Padre Hotel & Resorts and member registration can be found here and a bare bones preliminary agenda has been emailed out already. Please contact nlonghi@coastalstates.org if you need it resent. 

CSO Work Group Updates:

Coastal Nonpoint Work Group:  The full work group convened on Monday, July 15 to share updates, experience, and insights with a focus on Roads, Highways, and Bridges management measures. Notes and materials will be shared on the work group page shortly. The Conditionally Approved States subgroup will hold its next call on Tuesday, August 27. The tentative focus for the call will be the requirements for voluntary implementation approaches for management measures; please reach out with any feedback or ideas for this topic. The next full work group meeting will be Monday, September 9. John Ryan-Henry (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org) has come on as staff point of contact for the work group; please contact him with any questions or concerns.

Communications Work Group: The Communications Work Group continues work on the Federal Consistency Fact Sheet and is starting work on a Beneficial Use Fact Sheet. We would like to include state / territory examples of Beneficial Use of Dredged Materials and the role CZ Programs played. To add some visual flair – photos of those projects would be nice. Please send an email to mmolnar@coastalstates.org if you have an item you would like to highlight.

We continue our efforts to improve our mutual Social Media presence. If you have projects or events that you would like to highlight – please send a brief description of the item (including web links to information, and photos) to mmolnar@coastalstates.org Also, please be sure to follow/like our social media pages.

Other Updates:

Public Comment Opportunity: NOAA has released a draft version of the 2020-2026 NOAA Research and Development (R&D) Plan. The draft is open for public comment until Monday, August 26. NOAA has requested that coastal management programs provide feedback on the draft and share it with their state and regional coastal networks. Please send comments to noaa.rdplan@noaa.gov.

CRS Resources Update: The CRS Users Group Directory is now available for Members under the CRS Resources portion of the member’s only website.

Thank you for reading another edition of the CSO Member’s Only Newsletter! I hope everyone is enjoying a safe summer.

Regards,

Bradley Watson
Executive Director
Coastal States Organization