CSO Members,

Thanks for reading another edition of the CSO Newsletter Members Only Section. Please see the below Members Only announcements and information.

We are thrilled that our CSO 2019 Fall Meeting will have the CSO Membership back in the Gulf Coast! We will meet in South Padre Island, Texas from November 4-8, 2019. More information to come soon, but please hold the dates on your calendar.


From The Hill: The House, in an attempt to avoid a shutdown this year, is planning to hold votes on FY2020 appropriations “minibuses” over the next several weeks. A “minibus” is a smaller omnibus package of appropriations bills and the House hopes by taking this route they can work through all 12 appropriations bills in a timely manner. However, the Senate and administration have not endorsed this approach and with the absence of the president’s border wall funding in the bills, there will undoubtedly be further negotiations later in the year.

The House Natural Resources Committee also looks to be more active in the coming months as they continue to look at bipartisan bills that stalled last congress as well as new priorities. CSO will be monitoring these bills closely and is working closely with Committee staff on legislation, hearings, and additional information as needed.

Proposed ROP Authorization Bill Update: CSO has complied our member and staff comments on the version 2 of the proposed ROP authorizing legislation. The draft bill, consolidated CSO edits, and cover page for edits are on the members only website.

CSO Work Group Updates:

Coastal Nonpoint Work Group:  CSO’s next call with the conditionally approved states is coming up in two weeks (June 25, 2019 at 3pm ET). During this meeting, CSO’s new coastal nonpoint staff lead, John Ryan-Henry, will be introduced, Bradley will facilitate a discussion around NOAA participation on work group calls, and states will be asked to provide a status update on the coastal nonpoint programs. All questions about this meeting should be directed to John Ryan-Henry (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org).

Communications Work Group: The Communications Work Group continues work on the Federal Consistency Fact Sheet. We have draft text for the front and we would like to include state / territory examples of where Federal Consistency: 1) improved timelines, and/or 2) resulted in a better project or environmental outcome. Of course 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.

June is Oceans Month – Your program can tag in on Social Media to highlight work your program is doing / funding – use #30DaysofOcean and #CoastalManagement.

Reminder – if your program uses social media – Please follow the CSO pages and re-share, retweet, repost our posts. We post items that benefit the overall CZM community and need your help to ensure that we reach as large of an audience as possible. We thank you in advance for your assistance. The CSO social media pages are: @CoastalStatesOrganization  @coastalstates_cso  @Coastal_States

Other Updates:

NFWF Regional Coastal Assessments: NFWF is continuing work on the Regional Coastal Assessments that they began a few years ago. The new Phase II Assessments will include: Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. CSO is providing NFWF with names and contact information for the programs in the new focus area.

Send CSO your FEMA feedback: Thank you to all the members who provided responses to our survey of member insights and priorities regarding FEMA’s mitigation programs. View the results here. Numerous external partners, including FEMA, NOAA, and EPA, have expressed strong interest in this feedback material and some are using coastal states’ input to inform their own feedback to FEMA on the development of the new BRIC program. CSO staff will use this information for BRIC feedback and to guide our hazard mitigation engagement work going forward. For those who have not completed the survey– if you have responses or material you want us to share with FEMA in our ongoing engagement, you can still complete the questionnaire or reach out to John Ryan-Henry (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org).

BRIC Feedback Opportunity: DEADLINE JULY 15. FEMA is informally soliciting stakeholder input on the development of the Building Resilient Communities and Infrastructure (BRIC) program. FEMA has asked a series of 10 prompts regarding program design. This is an opportunity to highlight state priorities and concerns early during the drafting process, before a draft guidance document is released for formal public comment this Fall. Comments will be accepted through July 15, on IdeaScale at https://fema.ideascale.com/a/campaign-home/61112 or by email at BUILDBRIC@fema.dhs.gov. FEMA will also be hosting four webinars in June regarding different aspects of the new BRIC program. Webinar times and details are available here and on the members only calendar.

CSO is continuing to engage FEMA and external partners to develop input for the BRIC development process, and will release more information as the comment period continues.

Great Lakes Shoreline Habitat Assessment: CSO staff started work on the Great Lakes Shoreline Habitat Assessment project. The work is funded by EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds by way of NOAA. Mike Molnar will attend the Great Lakes Regional Meeting in Ashland, Wisconsin June 17-20 to discuss this project in greater detail with partners.

Pew blog announces interest in CZMA: The Pew Charitable Trusts stated in a blog post yesterday that the CZMA is an important tool for protecting coastal resources and that Pew “will encourage greater use of” SAMPs and NERRs “to help support these critical environments” through a new coastal preservation campaign. This campaign announcement follows the saltmarsh engagement survey that Pew shared with CSO members last month. Read the blog post here.

Webinar Announcements:

(1) Webinars on the Community Rating System: The CRS Webinar Series provides training opportunities to communities that are not yet participating in the Community Rating System or local government staff that are new to the CRS, and to local government staff with experience in the CRS. The Series includes basic introductory sessions and more advanced topics, most averaging about an hour in length. Register here and see topics and dates below.

June 18 Credit for Drainage System Maintenance (Activity 540)
June 19 Preparing an Annual Recertification
July 16 Developing a Repetitive Loss Area Analysis
July 17 Flood Warning & Response (Activity 610)

(2)  NCA4 Webinar series: NOAA and USGCRP will be hosting a weekly webinar series highlighting findings from the Fourth National Climate Assessment on Tuesdays throughout the summer as a part of the OneNOAA Science Seminar Series. Webinars will be held Tuesday from 12p to 1p EDT, starting next week, June 18, with “Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in a Changing Climate: An Overview of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.” Register for the first webinar here, and see the full webinar series here.

(3) CSO-OCM Series Recordings: CSO has been co-hosting a webinar series with NOAA OCM aimed at connecting you and your staff to relevant Digital Coast resources since December 2018. Thanks for all of your participation in the last few months! For those of you that haven’t been able to participate, you can find recordings of parts 1-4 of this webinar series online at coastalstates.org/webinars. Please contact Bridget Faust with any questions.

Thank you for reading another edition of the CSO Member’s only newsletter and please be in touch with myself or relevant staff on any of the items above. To close, I want to share the below thoughts from Bridget Faust as her term comes to an end as a CSO-OCM fellow. Bridget has been a tremendous asset to CSO and our members and we are glad she will stay close in her next endeavor.

From Bridget Faust: After 14 months with CSO, my fellowship sadly concludes at the end of the month. Thankfully, this isn’t goodbye or even see you later; it’s see you on the other side. Starting on July 15th, I will serve as a Coastal Management Specialist for CSS on contract with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. I will also be permanently relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which as many of you know, is home for me. Though my job title and location are changing, the things I’ll be working on are largely staying the same, so you’ll still be hearing from me about the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program and the National CZM Strategic Plan. While I am sad to take off my CSO “hat,” I’m grateful that I’ll be able to continue my work with each of you in the coming months. Working with CSO’s members has been the highlight of my fellowship. Since week one, I’ve been struck by your kindness, candor, and dedication to the sound management of our nation’s coasts. So thank you for sharing your time, energy, and insights with me. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. See you at CSO’s Fall Meeting in Texas!


Bradley Watson
Executive Director
Coastal States Organization