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Coastal Hazards Commission
March 13, 2006 Meeting Summary
Jim O'Connell, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant Office and Barnstable County Extension, provided a comprehensive overview of coastal hazards issues in Massachusetts entitled Coastal Hazards: What's the problem and how did we get into this situation? Rich Zingarelli, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and a Commission member, then presented background on Massachusetts State Hazard Planning and, in particular, focused on strategies that the Commonwealth uses to plan for and respond to coastal hazards. Christine Player from Vine Associates complemented the earlier presentations by focusing on Coastal Engineering Structures in Massachusetts and describing a pilot project that she recently completed for DCR that inventoried and rated the condition of approximately 18 state owned coastal engineering structures including seawalls, groins and bulkheads. The presentations by Zingarelli and Player will be available on the website soon.
Following these presentations, the Commission discussed many of the topics from the presentations and asked the speakers questions. Key issues that arose during discussion include:
Susan suggested to the group that after the next meeting we break up into issue-based working groups to explore these issues and others in greater detail and begin developing strategies to respond the priority issues. The recommended Working Groups are: Policy (strategies that indirectly influence coastal hazard management); Planning and Regulation (strategies that seek to minimize, reduce or avoid potential coastal hazards impacts); Protection (strategies that seek to minimize or eliminate existing or imminent coastal hazards impacts); Hazards Information (strategies that identify emergency planning/management, scientific information); and 20-Year Coastal Infrastructure Plan (prioritization of coastal structure maintenance and repairs). This last proposed Working Group was added after the meeting to address the focused nature of the work.
Commission members will be asked to participate in any groups of interest. In addition, outside expertise will be invited to participate in appropriate groups. Staff will be dedicated to each Working Group to research, collate, and draft summaries and recommendations as is deemed necessary by the group.
Commission members were asked to e-mail Susan Snow-Cotter with the name of an alternate for themselves in case they can not attend a Commission meeting.
At the request of Representative Eric Turkington, the next meeting will focus on Beach Nourishment/Sand Mining. CZM will prepare background material summarizing the state's history with these activities for presentation at the meeting. Representatives from the Winthrop and Siasconset projects as well as the Division of Marine Fisheries will be asked to present to the Commission. Consultants from the Siasconset project will also provide an overview of beach nourishment/sandmining experience from elsewhere in the country.
The next meeting will be held on Monday, April 10 at the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Office in Scituate from 11 a.m. to 2.p.m. Prior to the meeting (at 10 a m ) Representative Frank Hynes and Senator Robert Hedlund will lead a brief site visit of Peggoty Beach which is en route to the meeting location. More details on this meeting will be sent in early April.
CZM has added a section to its website dedicated to the work of the Commission. We will use this site to post meeting summaries, advance notice of meetings, reading materials and eventually draft recommendations. Go to http://www.mass.gov/czm/chc.