Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly email update from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). This update provides information on major CZM initiatives, available tools and publications, upcoming workshops and events, grants, contracting opportunities, job openings, coastal legislation, and other news of interest to people working on coastal issues. More information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found online at http://www.mass.gov/czm/. If you have suggestions on how to make CZ-Mail more useful, would like to add your name to the mailing list, or would like to have your name removed, please email your request to CZ-Mail@state.ma.us.
All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.
CZM to Serve as Gulf of Maine Council Secretariat
On June 6, CZM Director Tom Skinner will accept the Gulf of Maine Council gavel, designating the start of Massachusetts’ tenure as Council Secretariat. For the next year, Massachusetts will serve as the administrative lead for the Council, helping to implement its mission to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine that allows for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was established in 1989 to foster cross-border cooperation among government, academic, and private groups on issues that affect the Gulf, which extends from Nantucket to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. One of the highlights of the Massachusetts tenure will be a forum on ocean zoning, to be held in Boston in December. For more information on this and other activities, see the Council website at: www.gulfofmaine.org.
CZM Awarded Grant to Inventory Coastal Structures on Cape Cod
CZM was recently awarded a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center to develop a Coastal Structure Inventory of Cape Cod. Every few years, severe coastal storms cause property damage along the Massachusetts coast. State and local agencies are overwhelmed with emergency re-building permits following such storms, and the reconstruction permitting process is hampered by the lack of consistent information on the pre-storm condition, size, and use of coastal structures. In the few areas where this information exists, it is only available at the local level and in paper form. The Coastal Structure Inventory and its electronic database will greatly improve the ability of local and state permitting agencies to make rapid and informed decisions regarding rebuilding. CZM will be hiring a Project Manager and a GIS Fellow to carry out this work (see Job Postings below for Project Manager position). In addition, Cape Cod municipal staff will be volunteering to help with field work and logistics. For further information or to volunteer to assist in this important project, email Truman Henson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CZM Welcomes Coastal Fellow
In August, CZM will welcome Megan Tyrell as our fourth Coastal Services Center Fellow. For her two-year fellowship project she will coordinate existing benthic habitat mapping done in Massachusetts and develop a suite of tools for coastal managers to use for managing marine habitat. Currently, Megan is finalizing her dissertation at the University of New Hampshire on the impacts of the introduced Green Crab and Asian Shore Crab on the community structure of the northern New England rocky intertidal zone. For more information on the project, email email@example.com.
COASTSWEEP Is Coming
The 15th annual COASTSWEEP, the statewide beach cleanup organized by CZM, will kickoff on Saturday, September 21. Every year cleanups are led by a dedicated group of local coordinators who in 2001 organized over 4,000 volunteers, collecting almost 70,000 pounds of trash and marine debris from 190 locations. COASTSWEEP is part of an international campaign organized by the The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC (website: www.oceanconservancy.org).
Participants all over the world collect marine debris and record the types of trash they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. If you are interested in organizing a cleanup or sponsoring the event, email the CZM COASTSWEEP Coordinator (who will be starting work later this month) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want more information about COASTSWEEP, and/or would like to volunteer for a cleanup, check out the CZM website at: www.mass.gov/czm/coastsweep.htm.
Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants Available - CZM announces that funding is available under the Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) Grant Program to eligible municipalities to clean existing stormwater discharges from municipal roadways, identify sources of stormwater pollution and design remediation solutions, and mitigate discharges from vessels. Proposals are due by July 21, 2002. For the complete Request for Proposals, see: http://www.comm-pass.com.
New Coastal ACEC Grant Program - CZM is pleased to announce the Coastal Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Grant Program, which will provide funding to groups working in the 14 designated coastal ACECs to encourage and support stewardship activities at the local, regional, or ecosystem level. Grants can be used to implement planning, outreach, and monitoring projects, such as creating a barrier beach management plan, assessing local bylaws and regulations, making brochures and interpretive signs, or initiating a volunteer water quality monitoring program. CZM is administering the grants in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) ACEC program. The maximum grant award will be $10,000. The Request for Responses, which will describe eligible applicants, selection criteria, and project types, will be posted on the CZM website soon at www.mass.gov/czm/jobsandgrants.htm. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for more information.
Coastal Structures Inventory Project Manager - CZM will soon be posting a one-year position for Project Manager for the Coastal Structures Inventory Project. The project will develop an inventory of structures on the coast of Cape Cod to improve the state and local governments’ ability to make rapid and accurate storm-related permitting decisions. The system will build on an existing data management system, the Massachusetts Ocean Resource Information System (MORIS), and will include tools for viewing photographs and information about coastal structures. If you are interested, check the CZM website’s job posting section at: www.mass.gov/czm/jobsandgrants.htm.
Call for Papers for Beaches Conference - Northeast Beaches: A Balancing Act is designed to stimulate discussion among the various coastal interest groups concerned with the welfare and health of our coasts. The conference will be held at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on October 24-26, 2002, with a pre-conference field trip on October 23. Researchers, managers, consultants, and coastal stewards will present papers on the following issues to foster a creative and open dialogue: coastal habitat, beach management, coastal access, coastal processes, water quality, dredging, beach nourishment, and beach economics. The organizing committee is soliciting papers for presentation at the conference. Interested authors should submit a two-page, single-spaced abstract (electronic versions, preferably in Microsoft Word, 12 pt.), including figures by June 14, 2002 to: email@example.com. For updated conference information see the conference web page at: http://attila.stevens-tech.edu/~therring/nsbpa.html. For registration information contact Dr. Thomas Herrington, Davidson Laboratory, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ 07030, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ocean Commission Hearing in Boston - The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy is undertaking an 18-month study to make recommendations to the President and Congress for a national ocean policy for the United States. The Commission’s Northeast Regional Meeting will be held in Boston, July 22-24. For more on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, see its website at: www.oceancommission.gov/.
- The Wetlands Health Assessment Toolbox (WHAT) team, a partnership of CZM, the Massachusetts Bays Program, and Salem Sound 2000, is holding a series of workshops throughout this spring and summer. The workshops will train volunteers on salt marsh monitoring techniques focusing on vegetation, fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, land use, water chemistry, tidal influence, and birds. For more information on the WHAT training workshops, email email@example.com or call Britta Magnusen at (978) 741-7900.
Technical Report Evaluating Innovative Stormwater Treatment Technologies - This CZM report evaluates two StormTreat™ System (STS) installations that were designed to mitigate storm drain pollution impacting shellfish beds in Wychmere Harbor in Harwich and an area of the Jones River in Gloucester. STS is an innovative stormwater treatment technology designed to use a combination of sedimentation, filtration, and constructed wetlands to remove a wide range of contaminants from stormwater runoff. The report summarizes 1998 and 1999 field studies that found that the systems were installed and/or sited improperly. Detailed data are given in the report, along with numerous recommendations to improve design, installation, and maintenance of these systems, as well as to perform future evaluations of their effectiveness. For a PDF copy, go to www.mass.gov/czm/masection319npsproject9502.pdf.
NMFS Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research - In April, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a five-year Strategic Plan for Fisheries Research. The plan outlines NMFS' proposed research efforts on fisheries, habitat, and protected species, outlining specific NOAA priorities including expanding stock assessments, collecting comprehensive biological species data, and improving evaluation of social and economic impacts of fishing regulations on coastal communities. For more on the plan, and to download a copy, see www.st.nmfs.gov/st2/strategic_plan.html.
Stellwagen Bank Mapping Website - The Coastal and Marine Geology Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA agencies (including the National Marine Sanctuary System, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Undersea Research Program, and the Office of Coast Survey) have developed the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Mapping Project and website at http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/stellwagen/index.html. The site includes images of geologic features on Stellwagen Bank; seabed photographs; and sea floor maps, mapping publications, and posters.
Still Available - These products and publications, listed in previous CZ-Mails, are still available:
- CZM is distributing 10,000 free bilge socks that remove oil, diesel, and other petroleum products from bilge water, preventing their discharge into the marine environment. For a bilge sock, email your request and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2002 Boater Guide to Tides and Pumpout Facilities, a wallet-sized pamphlet printed on waterproof paper, contains pumpout information and a tide chart for Massachusetts. For a copy, email your request and mailing address to email@example.com. For an electronic copy of the 2002 pumpout list, go to www.mass.gov/czm/potoc.htm.
- CZM’s Coastlines newsletter is being transformed into a periodic magazine, and the first edition will be released this June. To add your name to the Coastlines mailing list, email CZM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see the CZM website sometime in June for the new Coastlines magazine online.
- "Coastal zone management: it’s the wave of the future" is the slogan featured on a window decal produced by CZM. If you’d like one, email your request and mailing address email@example.com.
Project Review Highlights
CZM Releases Draft EIR for New Bedford/Fairhaven Dredged Material Management - CZM, in cooperation with New Bedford and Fairhaven, is proposing a Dredged Materials Management Plan (DMMP) for New Bedford Harbor. The Maguire Group, at the direction of CZM, developed a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the project. The DEIR includes an analysis of alternative upland and aquatic dredged material disposal sites and alternative technologies to treat sediments that are unsuitable for unconfined open water disposal (UDM). The DEIR identifies two proposed preferred alternatives for disposal of UDM, consisting of two Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) sites. CZM is proposing these two preferred alternatives for public input through Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) process. The proposed preferred alternatives will be evaluated by additional site-specific analysis in the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), subject to comments received on the DEIR. For a copy of the DEIR, see www.mass.gov/czm/nb_dmmp_deir.htm. CZM has filed the DEIR with the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act Unit for public comment. The comment period closes June 7.
CZM to Participate in Development of Long-Term Dredged Material Disposal Site for Rhode Island Sound - The State of Rhode Island and the U.S. Congress have asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate one or more long-term dredged material disposal sites in the Rhode Island region. The Corps and EPA are consequently developing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess the need for a disposal site(s) and evaluate all potential management alternatives, including beneficial use, upland management, alternative technologies, aquatic disposal, and no action. Because areas within Massachusetts waters will be included in the alternatives analysis, CZM has agreed to be a Participating Agency and will review project materials and provide detailed comments on all aspects of the EIS that may affect the Massachusetts coastal zone. For more on the site designation process, go to www.nae.usace.army.mil/, select “Projects” on the right-hand navigation bar, and then select the “Rhode Island Long Term Disposal Site Evaluation Project” entry. For information on the EPA ocean disposal program see www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/dmmp/index.html.
Federal Consistency Review on the Web - The CZM website includes information on the project review and the federal consistency review processes in Massachusetts, including CZM Program Policies, a sample consistency certification, and the Coastal Zone Management Program Federal Consistency Review Regulations. A Massachusetts Coastal Permitting Agency Directory is also included. See www.mass.gov/czm/fcr/index.htm.
MEPA Review on the Web - For more information on state environmental review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, including a listing of all projects currently in review, see the MEPA Unit website at www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/index.htm.
State FY03 Budget Engrossed in House - The House concluded its budget deliberations in May. The original proposal cut over $30 million from the operating accounts of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) and its agencies, which represented roughly a 30% cut from Fiscal Year 2002 levels. Despite the difficult fiscal situation that the state is facing, the final House budget restored most of the funding cuts to EOEA. Nearly $13 million was restored to environmental accounts, though the total appropriation from the House budget still represents a significant reduction in funding. While total operating spending for the environment represents less than 1% of the entire state budget, our programs are vitally important for maintaining our quality of life in Massachusetts and are heavily relied upon by municipalities, the private sector, and the public.
Environmental Bond Update - Section 2F of H. 4213 was redrafted by the House Committee on Long Term Debt and reported out favorably by the Committee on February 13, 2002 as H. 4909. H. 4909 reduced the original amount filed in H. 4213 from $750 million to $625 million and is currently before the House Committee on Rules. On April 11, 2002 the Senate engrossed S. 2319, An Act Providing for the Preservation and Improvement of the Environmental Assets of the Commonwealth, totaling $945.3 million. The environmental bond bill must now be enacted in the House and then reconciled with the Senate bill before it can be sent to the Governor to be signed into law. The bill must reach the Governor’s desk before the Legislature’s formal session ends July 31, 2002.
For News on Federal Legislation - The Coastal States Organization (CSO) publishes a weekly report of legislative, policy, and program developments at the federal level. For online versions of this report, see www.sso.org/cso/wklydev.htm.
Other Items of Interest
The Clean Beaches Council Certifies Five Massachusetts Beaches as Clean and Safe - Each year, the nonprofit Clean Beaches Council releases a list of beaches that they have officially certified for public safety, cleanliness, and environmental quality. The five Massachusetts beaches to make this exclusive list are all part of the Cape Cod National Seashore: Coast Guard Beach, Herring Cove Beach, Marconi Beach, Nauset Light Beach, and Race Point Beach. To be evaluated for this “Blue Wave Certification,” an entity must sponsor the beach and fill out application materials. For more on the program, see www.cleanbeaches.org.
Canadian Proposal to Protect Right Whales in the Bay of Fundy - To help protect highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whales from ship strikes, the Canadian Government is proposing to shift ship traffic lanes in the Bay of Fundy from an area with the highest whale density to an area with lower density. Transport Canada, the agency proposing the change, is seeking input and/or information from mariners, fish harvesters, other interested parties, and the public on the proposed lane adjustment. See www.tc.gc.ca/atl/marine/fundy_e.htm for more information.
Gulf of Maine Expedition Update - Check out www.gomexpedition.org/ for updates on the progress of the kayakers journeying around the entire Gulf of Maine, from Provincetown to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia.
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant
to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA17OZ1125.
This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and
do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA
or any of its sub-agencies.