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 to announce that our CSO 2019 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 will follow but please hold the dates on your calendar.

 

Regards,

 

Bradley

 

From The Hill:

Congress is back in session following their Easter recess with a number of items needing consideration as well as a number of new issues.

 

On disaster funding, Senate Republicans have proposed giving Puerto Rico easier access to appropriated disaster relief funds, which would stand by the administration’s opposition to new expenditures for Puerto Rico. However, Senate Democrats have not yet responded and the Trump Administration may oppose the approach.

 

For FY2020 appropriations, we anticipate the House and Senate versions of the subcommittee bills to be released sometime in May, keeping with the overall goal of a regular appropriations process. Senate Republicans are also hoping to get the White House to agree to raising budget caps for FY2020 to avoid sequestration, which would occur if a continuing resolution is used as the FY2019 budget exceeds the cap enacted for FY2020 under the Budget Control Act. Further complicating things, the administration has already requested an additional $4.5 billion for border security, all but guaranteeing we will see the same sort of fight that led to a government shutdown at the end of last year.

 

On the long awaited infrastructure package, President Trump met with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer earlier in the week to discuss a proposal and came away with a goal of $2 trillion. This is simply a number that was agreed to and no mechanism to pay for it has been discussed. The smart bet is that both sides will have their preferred method of paying for this, Democrats wanting to undo some of the tax cuts and Republicans wanting to roll back entitlement spending, which will be completely dead on arrival for the other side and nothing will get accomplished. But with the 2020 elections approaching rapidly, maybe something can be worked out.

 

OCS Updates:

 

ANPR: – CSO submitted comments to NOAA on Thursday, April 25 in response to its federal consistency ANPR. These comments represent a national consensus developed through ongoing discussion and multiple rounds of revision. We are glad to see that a number of states are submitting comments from the program, AG, and/or governor level, presenting a strong national showing of the importance of this issue. CSO will continue to monitor the ANPR comment docket and provide updates through the OCS page on the CSO members only website. We will remain engaged with CSO members, NOAA, and national partners on future developments in this rulemaking process.

 

Leasing Program:  The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, April 25 that the Interior Department has indefinitely postponed the release of its Proposed 2019-2024 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program. DOI will wait to see the outcome of appeals to a March federal court ruling reinstating drilling bans in Alaska issued by the Obama Administration and overturned by the Trump Administration. Those appeals will also affect drilling bans in the Atlantic, and therefore DOI’s plans to open new areas of the OCS to oil and gas development. UPDATE: Oil industry trade media report that DOI disputes WSJ’s reporting.

 

More information on OCS oil and gas issues is available on the members only site. Please reach out to John Ryan-Henry with questions or concerns (jryan-henry@coastalstates.org).

 

CSO Work Group Updates:

 

Coastal Nonpoint Work Group: CSO’s Coastal Nonpoint work group will meet on Monday, May 13th at 2pm to discuss the New and Operating OSDS Management Measures. An agenda and meeting notes will be shared with work group members this week, so be on the lookout for more information soon. Please contact Bridget Faust (bfaust@coastalstates.org) if you have questions.

 

Communications Work Group: The Communications Work Group remains active. They reviewed and finalized the Extreme Events Fact Sheet format on the last call, and set the work plan for the year. The next Fact Sheet up is on Federal Consistency. Development of this fact sheet further highlights the effectiveness and importance of the process. Please send any questions or thoughts to mmolnar@coastalstates.org.

 

Remember that May is Wetlands Month. Your program can tag in on Social Media to highlight work your program is doing / funding – use #WetlandsMonth.

 

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

 

 

Coastal Hazards Planning and Adaptation Work Group:  CSO would like to respond to a request from the Staff of Senator Whitehouse for information on the utility of the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund “to support programs and activities intended to better understand and ocean and coastal resources and coastal infrastructure” (16 USC Ch. 94). As Staff work to re-write the bill, they want to clarify the niche for these funds within the landscape of other federal resources. To assist in this process, we would like to help the staff learn about your 1) on-the-ground priorities and 2) how this fund can be complementary to existing programs. With your help, we hope to identify the gaps in established federal funding opportunities in order to improve this program to the benefit of coastal states and territories.

 

If you haven’t had the chance, please take a few moments to fill out this Surveyalso available on the CHPA Work Group webpage, by Tuesday, May 7 (6 questions, estimated time to complete is less than 5 minutes). Your answers will be synthesized and compiled by CSO Staff and shared to allow for any needed clarifications or additional feedback. Please contact Grant (gwilliams@coastalstates.org) or Bri (bcotti-rausch@coastalstates.org) with any questions regarding this opportunity. Thank you for your time and assistance – your feedback is key to this initiative!

 

*Each CSO Work Group has a dedicated page on the CSO Members Only website.

 

Other Updates:

 

FEMA Feedback Opportunity: Following up our conversation with FEMA at the CSO Winter Meeting Guest Day, we are collecting feedback from coastal states to provide to the FEMA staff that are developing the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program. Please complete this questionnaire (download requires log-in) about your FEMA hazard mitigation funding and technical assistance experiences and priorities and send it to John Ryan-Henry at jryan-henry@coastalstates.org by Wednesday, May 8, 2019. We will use your answers to share directly with FEMA and to provide a basis for a continuing CSO engagement strategy on hazard mitigation priorities. We understand that this is a lengthy ask, but the timing of the new BRIC program development gives us a unique opportunity to address major issues in coastal hazard mitigation at the national level. These responses from states will carry the weight of on-the-ground experience and expertise with FEMA decision makers.

 

CSO EJ Survey Request: Thanks to those who have already filled out his survey. For those who have not, this is a friendly reminder to please fill-out the brief survey on environmental justice (EJ) in the CZM Programs (link below). Thank you to those who have already responded- your answers have been very informative! This survey will help CSO develop an understanding of what states are already doing in this arena, highlight the accomplishments, and share resources with Coastal Programs’ EJ initiatives. Thank you in advanced for your time and assistance!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F29ZF5M

 

CSO Community Rating System (CRS) Resources Page: CSO supports its members in identifying community and regional issues, needs and interests, and connecting members and communities to national resources around the National Floodplain Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) to meet those needs. To that end, the CRS Resources Workgroup Page was created to display relevant resources and information for Members based on state CRS priorities.  Please see it on the members only website.

 

APA Engagement Inquiry: CSO is working with the American Planning Association to increase collaboration between coastal programs and state APA chapters. Are you a member of the APA or a state chapter? Have you or your program partnered with your state APA chapter on shared priorities? We are looking to better understand our members’ level of engagement, and identify success stories of collaboration. Please reach out to John Ryan-Henry at jryan-henry@coastalstates.org to share your experiences.

 

Webinar Announcements:

 

(1)) Digital Coast Resources for Coastal Managers, Part 5: Introduction to a Framework for Ecosystem Services Projects (Tuesday, May 28th, 2-3pm ET)

Many coastal managers are interested in integrating information on the benefits that ecosystems provide into management decisions, yet are unsure of where to begin. To address this need, NOAA developed a new training designed to introduce participants to a framework for incorporating ecosystem services considerations into projects.  During this webinar, participants will be introduced to some foundational concepts and terminology, get an overview of the training, learn how others have integrated ecosystem services considerations into their projects, and more! Register now to receive updates and follow up materials.

 

(2) CSO & Ducks Unlimited Webinar: CSO and Ducks Unlimited plan to have an informational webinar on May 21 from 3-4pm Eastern for the combined memberships of each organization. The purpose is to provide a brief overview of current work and opportunities to engage and utilize resources of each organization to further the coastal mission. More details to be shared in the near future.

 

(3) Participate in one of the upcoming EPA and USCG outreach events to learn more about the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA): The EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard are hosting two webinars and a listening session in May to discuss a new law, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA). VIDA is a new law written to streamline the patchwork of existing federal, state, and local requirements for the commercial vessel community by establishing new standards and requirements for the management of discharges incidental to the normal operation of a vessel. To learn more about these public engagement opportunities, visit EPA’s website. Webinars are available on May 7, 2019 and May 15, 2019 for participants to learn about what the EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard are doing in response to a recent law requiring the establishment of new standards and requirements for the management of commercial vessel discharges. You must register in advance: May 7, 2019: Registration & May 15, 2019: Registration

 

(4) Rapanos v. United States: Implications for the Future of Wetlands Protection

An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar: Join ELI and 30th Annual National Wetland Awards winners in exploring the implications of Rapanos and the proposed new WOTUS rule for the future of wetlands. These expert panelists will offer their perspectives on Rapanos, the proposed rule, and the implications for the future of wetlands conservation, landowner stewardship, and wetlands program development. Panelists will also explore how landowners can work closely with state agencies to protect wetlands while also advancing landowners’ business goals. Finally, panelists will discuss how to effectively communicate to stakeholders the benefits of wetlands to clean water and other water resources with the goal of establishing and retaining sustainable wetland programs.

 

When: May 7, 2019 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST

Where: Environmental Law Institute, 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 700

Webinar: Register here (you will need to make a free ELI account to register for this event – takes less than 5 minutes)

 

(5)  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.

 

In other news, CSO continues to work with USACE on planning and policy items. These include the South Atlantic Coastal Study to ensure CZ programs are engaged in the development process, and the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study as the group further refines the project goals and scope. We also continue to engage on priority issue like regional sediment management and the beneficial use of dredged material, amongst other items.

 

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.

 

Regards,

 

Bradley Watson

Executive Director

Coastal States Organization