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.
Last month, in our inaugural edition of CZ-Mail, we inadvertently sent this email with all subscribers’ addresses visible. A couple of people took advantage of our error by sending emails to the entire list. We apologize for this “spam” and have eliminated the problem. This month, and from now on, you will be getting CZ-Mail without risk of other unwanted emails. Thank you for your patience!
DEM and CZM Release Almost $70,000 in Coastal Access Grants
As part of the Coastal Access Program, which supports local and regional projects that improve and enhance the general public’s recreational access to the coast, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and CZM awarded 11 grants this spring, totaling almost $70,000. The projects generally consist of research, inventory, and planning initiatives; small-scale physical improvements; and educational activities. The funded projects are:
- Town of Wareham, Coastal Access Inventory & Enhancement Study - $8,043.
- Town of Hingham, Hingham Coastal Link - $7,500.
- Barnstable County, AmeriCorps~Cape Cod Coastal Access Municipal Assistance Program - $5,000.
- Town of Hull, Weir River Estuary Kayak/Canoe Launch - $5,300.
- The Wildlands Trust, Cow Tent Hill Preserve Public Access Project - $8,050.
- Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, The South Bay Harbor Trail - $5,000.
- Saugus River Watershed Council, Guide to Public Access & Natural Resources of the Saugus River Watershed - $5,000.
- Town of Barnstable, Long Beach Conservation Area Boardwalk and Fencing Project - $4,500.
- The Boston Harbor Association, HarborWalk: Inner City Youth Access Project - $5,000.
- City of Revere, Partnership for a New Revere Beach - $10,000.
- Courageous Sailing Center, Access Improvement Plan for Pier 4 - $5,860.
CZM’s Program Plan Has Been Updated
The Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Plan, which describes the Commonwealth’s vision for its coastal resources and the steps for realizing that vision, was officially updated this winter. This plan is a complete overview of the CZM Program and includes CZM’s history, policies, regulatory role, programs, and services, as well as the inter-relationship of the CZM program and other government environmental agencies. This information is useful to a variety of audiences, including federal, state, and local officials and agencies; proponents of projects affecting the Massachusetts coast; and interested members of the public. For a copy, see the CZM website at www.mass.gov/czm/plan/czm_management_plan.htm.
Boat Meadow Creek Restoration Project Complete
To restore the wetland at the junction of the Boat Meadow Creek and the Cape Cod Rail Trail on the Eastham/Orleans border, an undersized, failing culvert was removed and a new 4x6 foot pre-cast culvert was installed. CZM worked with DEM through the Cape Cod Rail Trail improvement effort to complete this project, with financial support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service) and the GROWetlands Initiative (the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership of the Massachusetts Wetlands Restoration Program), as well as CZM and DEM. CZM will continue to monitor this site for long-term restoration progress. Congratulations to all those that made this project a reality, and as you travel the Rail Trail this summer, look for the sign explaining the project.
Reminder - The following grant rounds, announced in the last CZ-Mail, are coming up soon:
- Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grant Program administered by CZM provides communities in the coastal watershed with funds to reduce transportation-related nonpoint pollution sources, specifically stormwater runoff from roadways and sewage from boats. About $600,000 is available for the 2002 grant round and the Request for Responses (RFRs) will be released on June 1. For more information, email Stephen.McKenna@state.ma.us (for communities from Hingham south) or email Robin.Lacey@state.ma.us (for communities from Weymouth north).
- Through the 4 the Environment Grant Program, CZM assists and encourages municipalities to replace traditional 2-stroke outboard motorboat engines with cleaner, more efficient 4-stroke engines or new 2-stroke engines that meet the same environmental standards. The RFR for these grants is expected to be released in mid-May. For more on how to apply for these grants, email Stephen.McKenna@state.ma.us.
Wetlands Health Assessment Training - The Wetlands Health Assessment Toolbox (WHAT) team, a partnership between 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.
Reminder - These workshops, announced in the April CZ-Mail, are still open:
· The Coastal Hazards Workshop Series introduces the latest scientific and management tools on a variety of coastal hazard issues including coastal development, shore protection, and hazard mitigation. Workshops are scheduled through June 8. See the CZM website at http://www.mass.gov/czm/hazards/index.htm for details.
· North Shore Botany Training, which includes classroom and field sessions on the identification of numerous trees and plants for wetland delineations, begins June 6. Space is very limited, so to register or obtain additional information, email Andrea.Cooper@state.ma.us or call CZM North Shore Regional Office at (978) 281-3972.
Wave of the Future Decal - “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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State of Our Environment 2002 - This year’s annual The State of Our Environment report, published by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), focuses on Community Preservation and various approaches to one of the greatest environmental issues facing our state today - sprawl. See the EOEA website at www.mass.gov/envir/ for this publication.
Southeastern Massachusetts Index Monitoring Well Network - Soil survey information is available for Southeastern Massachusetts at http://nesoil.com. This site also features a link to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soil survey information for the rest of New England. A new component of this website is under development, which includes data from a network of shallow (generally less than 10 feet deep) soil monitoring wells installed on various soil types, geologic deposits, and landforms in Plymouth and Bristol Counties. The wells monitor seasonal water table fluctuations to help town Boards of Health and Health Agents guide onsite wastewater disposal system location, design, and permitting. The wells also provide important soil data, such as depth to seasonal high water table and period of time of the water table, which is collected and published in County Soil Survey Reports. Buzzards Bay data will also be available soon. This program is a joint effort between NRCS, CZM, the Buzzards Bay Project, and local towns. To check out this new site, see http://nesoil.com/obswell/.
Soil Attribute Site - This related website allows you to create interpretive soil maps for septic systems and show soil parent material. The site also links to soil map unit descriptions. This information is not available on the soil attribute tables from the MassGIS soils data or NRCS Soil Survey Geographic data. To use the site, see http://nesoil.com/gis/join.htm.
National Coastal Condition Report - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water and Office of Research and Development have released the National Coastal Condition Report, which describes the overall condition of the U.S. coastal waters as fair to poor, varying from region to region. A paper copy of the report (EPA620-R-01-005) is available by calling 800-490-9198, or can be downloaded at www.epa.gov/owow/oceans/nccr/. A fact sheet summarizing the report is also available at this website or by calling the same telephone number and requesting EPA842-F-02-001.
Coastal Research and Monitoring Strategy - EPA has also issued a Coastal Research and Monitoring Strategy that assesses national needs for coastal research and monitoring and recommends an integrated framework for protecting vital coastal resources. The Strategy is available at www.cleanwater.gov/coastalresearch/.
Coastal Sprawl: The Effects of Urban Design on Aquatic Ecosystems in the United States - This report, released by the Pew Oceans Commission, links development along the coast to the declining health of aquatic habitats and presents new strategies and tools that communities may use to preserve the same ecosystems that attract residents, tourists, and businesses to these areas. See www.pewoceans.org/oceanfacts/2002/04/12/fact_25649.asp for more information and to download a PDF version of the document.
Still Available - These products and publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, 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 Robin.Lacey@state.ma.us.
- 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.
Project Review Highlights
A great deal of CZM's project review work is incorporated into comments on proposed projects offered to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Unit. CZM uses these comment opportunities to provide technical assistance to applicants and to highlight project components that may not be consistent with CZM's program policies. Periodically, CZM will post MEPA comments on our website, including the following:
- Cape Wind - Cape Wind Associates is proposing a 170-machine, 420 megawatt (MW) wind farm on Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound. CZM’s comments on this project are available at: www.mass.gov/czm/capewindmepacomments.pdf.
- HubLine - The HubLine, proposed by Algonquin Gas Transmission Company, is a 29.73-mile, 30-inch high-pressure pipeline bringing natural gas supplies from the fields off of Sable Island, Canada, to Boston-area markets. The pipeline is to interconnect with a Maritimes & Northeast 30-inch pipeline at Beverly Harbor and will run through western Massachusetts Bay to the Sithe Fore River electrical generating station in Weymouth. A 24-inch lateral pipeline is also proposed to Deer Island. See www.mass.gov/czm/hubline.htm for CZM’s comments to MEPA and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on this project.
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 MEPA, including a listing of all projects currently in review, see the MEPA Unit website at www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/index.htm.
More on the Environmental Bond Bill - On April 12, the Massachusetts Senate enacted the Environmental Bond Bill, and this new bill will now move to the House for consideration. Meanwhile, another version of the bill was reported favorably by the House Committee on Long-Term Debt and is awaiting action. As reported in the last CZ-Mail, the original bill filed by Governor Swift last June included $750 million in authorization for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA). The bill enacted by the Senate funds all of these proposed accounts, and added additional funding for specific projects that bring the bill to over $945 million. For more on the bill and its status, see the Coalition for the Environmental Bond website at www.massland.org.
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
Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy - These two commissions are working concurrently to address ocean issues nationwide. The Pew Oceans Commission is an independent group of American leaders conducting a national dialogue on the policies needed to restore and protect living marine resources in U.S. waters. After reviewing the best scientific information available and speaking with people from around the country, this commission will make its formal recommendations in a report to Congress and the nation in Fall 2002. See www.pewoceans.org/ for more on the Pew Oceans Commission. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, established through the Oceans Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-256), includes 16 members charged with undertaking an 18-month study and making recommendations to the President and Congress for a national ocean policy for the United States. Specifically, the Commission is to provide recommendations for a coordinated and comprehensive national ocean policy on a broad range of issues, ranging from the stewardship of marine resources and pollution prevention to enhancing and supporting marine science, commerce, and transportation. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for news on the Commission’s Northeast Regional Meeting, which will be held in Boston, July 22-24. For more on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, see their website at: www.oceancommission.gov/.
Gulf of Maine Expedition - On May 4, a group of kayakers will depart from Provincetown on a journey around the entire Gulf of Maine, ultimately reaching Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. On May 18, they’ll stop in Boston for the expedition’s first “Gulf of Maine Day” to help celebrate National Safe Boating Week and the season’s opening of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and U.S. Power Squadron. To find out more about the expedition and to track their progress around this important and vast sea-within-a-sea, check out their website at: www.gomexpedition.org/.
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.