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.Note to current CZ-Mail subscribers: Due to technical problems, please sign up again for CZ-Mail.
All links on this web page were current and working on the date of publication.
Gulf of Maine Council Hosts Ocean Zoning Forum
On December 4, 2002 at the Federal Reserve Bank on Atlantic Avenue in Boston, the Gulf of Maine Council will host an Ocean Zoning Forum. The objective of the forum is to begin discussions on how ocean zoning can further the Gulf of Maine Council's goals on marine resource sustainability. Panels consist of experts from both the United States and Canada. Examples of ocean zoning from Edgartown, Massachusetts, to the Florida Keys will be highlighted. For more information see the Gulf of Maine Council website http://www.gulfofmaine.org/new.htm and click on the Ocean Zoning Forum.
Swift Administration Announces $565,815 in Stormwater Grants for Massachusetts Coastal Communities
Environmental Affairs Secretary Bob Durand announced the Swift Administration's award of $565,815 in grants to Massachusetts communities under the Coastal Pollution Remediation (CPR) program. The ten (10) grant recipients are Barnstable, Bourne, Ipswich, Nantucket, Oak Bluffs, Plymouth, Provincetown, Salisbury, Sandwich, and Yarmouth. Funding will be used to identify and clean up sources of stormwater road runoff and other nonpoint source pollution to important coastal areas, such as swimming beaches and shellfish beds. CZM will be soliciting applications for next year's grant round in May, 2003. Communities that have identified a stormwater pollution problem and are interested in developing a proposal for the next grant round are encouraged to contact the appropriate CPR Program Coordinator or CZM regional office. For more information see the CZM website at: http://www.mass.gov/czm/cprgp.htm
Massachusetts Fisheries Institute (MFI) created
The Massachusetts Fisheries Institute is a new cooperative venture between the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and the University of Massachusetts. The mission of the MFI is to promote sustainable fisheries by providing timely information and guidance to protect, conserve and manage marine and coastal resources. The focus of the Institute will be to develop innovative and practical fisheries management applications contributing to scientific understanding, management and economic growth and sustainability of our oceans and the communities of Massachusetts that border the ocean. For more information on the MFI see the Division of Marine Fisheries website.
New Staff at CZM
Megan Tyrrell - Megan is a NOAA Coastal Services Center Fellow working to compile marine habitat data, habitat maps, and any type of mapping that has been done for Massachusetts marine waters. Megan is also writing a Marine Habitat Management Strategic Plan for Massachusetts. She attended graduate school at the University of New Hampshire where she studied the impacts of two introduced crab species (the green crab, Carcinus maenas, and the Asian Shore Crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus)
Maura Christhilf - Maura is the CZM Grant Manager responsible for tracking our NOAA grant funds, standardizing RFRs and contracts, and coordinating CZM fiscal management with the EOEA fiscal office. Maura comes to CZM from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where she served as a special assistant to the Secretary's Chief of Staff. In this position, among other things, she managed and tracked the $50 million annual budget for the land conservation program. Prior to EOEA, she served in the Governor's office in Maryland.
"CPR Plus" - A New Grants Program for Nonpoint Source (NPS) Control Efforts in Coastal Watersheds - CZM is launching the CPR Plus: Coastal NPS Control Grants Program. "CPR Plus" complements our successful Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) grant program by expanding the types of qualified projects and eligible applicants. "CPR Plus" will provide grants to public and not-for-profit organizations to address a wide array of coastal nonpoint source pollution problems. The three general categories of CPR Plus NPS control projects within coastal watersheds are:
Design and implementation of structural NPS best management practices (BMPs);
Assessment, identification, and characterization of nonpoint sources; and
Development of transferable tools (or non-structural BMPs), such as guidance documents, model by-laws, and land use planning strategies to improve NPS control and management.
CZM is encouraging CPR Plus grant applications from these priority issue areas for the first funding round:
- Clean marinas and recreational boating-projects that deal directly with NPS pollution from marina and boat operation, as well as marina siting and design. Included in this priority issue area are projects that take discrete steps towards the designation of No Discharge Areas.
- Improved management of septic systems-projects that develop or advance a municipalities' ability to more effectively manage permit decisions for the installation of new systems, track maintenance and upgrades, and identify existing systems-especially substandard or failing systems.
- Nutrient, sediments, and bacteria management-a general category for projects that directly address known eutrophication, sedimentation, or bacteriological NPS problems.
Any public or not-for-profit entity will be eligible to apply. There will be a match requirement, currently anticipated to be 25%. The RFR will be available from the CZM website at http://www.mass.gov/czm/cprplus.htm and is posted on the Comm-PASS website at: www.comm-pass.com/.
Habitat Restoration Grants -The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment has posted a Request for Proposals for the Habitat Restoration Grants Program. This grant offering is the second year of a three-year partnership between the US Association of Delegates to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) Community-based Restoration Program. The purpose of this partnership is to further the Council's goal of habitat restoration and to support a strategic approach to marine, coastal and riverine habitat restoration within Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. The partnership is inviting eligible organizations to compete for funding made available through this grant. Proposals must be received no later than November 15, 2002. For more information see http://www.mass.gov/czm/jobsandgrants.htm
National Whale Conservation Fund Request for Proposals - The National Whale Conservation Fund (NWCF) was established to support research, management, conservation and education/outreach activities related to the conservation, and recovery of whales. The NWCF is a special project of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established by Congress in 1984. The Foundation operates the Fund under the direction of the National Whale Conservation Fund Advisory Council, a panel of conservation leaders and representatives of cooperating entities. Project funding priorities include:
- Ship strike mitigation to reduce right whale interactions via technology or other acceptable means, developing better understanding of right whale behavior and responses to approaching vessels, develop a merchant mariner training curriculum;
- Enforcement as it applies to individual or cooperative states;
- Gear investigation and testing to reduce entanglement;
- Disentanglement activities which will reduce mortality and/or serious injury of entangled whales; and
- Education and outreach programs to fishermen, mariners, recreational vessel operators (commercial and private), and the general public to facilitate reduction of gear interactions.
Proposals are due on December 4, 2002. For more information go to http://www.nfwf.org/programs/WhaleFund.htm
Invasive Species Conference - The Northeast Region of the National Estuary Program presents Eyes on the Estuaries - Detecting and Preventing Marine Invasive Species in the Northeast, will be held November 14 - 15, 2002 at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. Next to habitat destruction, introduced species are believed to be the leading cause of decreased biological diversity in the US and worldwide. New invaders continue to threaten our coastal watersheds. Marine invaders can enter through a variety of pathways that are difficult to monitor and control. Since marine ecosystems are essentially borderless, an introduced species can easily spread from estuary to estuary, state to state. Regional coordination and cooperation is essential In order to effectively prevent and control future marine introductions. During this conference, participants will hear about the current status of marine invasive species in the Northeast and the efforts underway to control their introduction. Current monitoring efforts will be highlighted to stimulate discussion of a regional monitoring network for marine invasive species. For a complete conference agenda please visit http://www.massbays.org/.
Personal Watercraft (PWC) Management Guide: a Comprehensive Reference Handbook - In this document, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center, has collected and evaluated scientifically valid environmental, safety and management data to support the responsible development of public policy regarding the management of PWC. For more information, please see our publications website at http://www.mass.gov/czm/publications.htm
CZM's New Shoreline Change Maps Are on the Web - Shoreline change maps, accompanying data, and all supporting technical documents from CZM's update of the Historic Shoreline Change Project are now on the CZM website and a browser developed by the Massachusetts Geographic Information System (MassGIS). The 1:10,000 scale shoreline change maps and accompanying data tables show the relative positions of four or five historic shorelines and depict the long-term change rate at 40-meter (approximately 131-feet) intervals along the shore. See http://www.mass.gov/czm/hazards/shoreline_change/shorelinechangeproject.htm.
Salt Marsh Monitoring Handbook - The Volunteer's Handbook for Monitoring New England Salt Marshes helps local volunteer groups collect and record data on salt marsh health in a consistent and scientifically sound manner. This 100+ page handbook includes chapters on salt marsh monitoring, New England salt marshes, study design, and monitoring plants, invertebrates, fishes and crabs, birds, salinity, and tidal hydrology. For an electronic copy of the handbook, see http://www.mass.gov/czm/volunteermarshmonitoring.htm. To order a hard copy, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Review Highlights
Federal Consistency Review of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits - CZM has begun reviewing EPA's General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems. CZM has completed its review of the Marine Industrial Park Dry Dock #4 discharge to Boston Harbor, the Twin Rivers Technologies once-through cooling discharge to Town River and stormwater discharge to Weymouth Fore River, and the Citgo Petroleum stormwater discharge in Braintree to the Weymouth Fore River. After attending site visits and working with the proponents and permit writers on specific conditions, CZM found all permits to be consistent with its Program Policies. Ongoing NPDES permit reviews include: Modification of the South Essex Sewer District permit to discharge to Salem Harbor (issues include scope and length of a benthic monitoring program around the outfall diffuser); Gillette's industrial wastewater discharge to Fort Point Channel (the outstanding issue is the scope of a monitoring plan to measure Gillette's thermal impact on the channel and its impact to fish larvae through entrainment at its intake structure); and the Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. and Hubline Pipeline hydrostatic testing water and biocide discharge to Weymouth estuary (the ongoing issue is the protocol for neutralizing the biocide agent used in the hydrostatic test water before it is discharged to the estuary). CZM also commented on the draft NPDES permit for Brayton Point. Station's once-through cooling water discharge. CZM is working with EPA and DEP on addressing the scientific comments (related to biological effects and habitat degradation) submitted in response to this landmark permit.
Boundary Review of the Mystic River Designated Port Area - CZM has released the draft boundary review of the Mystic River Designated Port Area for public review and comment. The boundary review evaluates the Charlestown side of the Mystic River and recommends that the DPA be reconfigured to exclude three properties currently in the DPA. The public comment period closes November 8, 2002. For a full copy of the report, please call (617) 626-1212 or go to http://www.mass.gov/czm/publications.htm and scroll to Regulatory Decisions, Reports and Notices.
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 http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/index.htm
In the News
Here are links to newspaper articles from the last month on coastal issues:
Other Items of Interest
National - NOAA's Marine Protected Area Center Debuts Electronic Listserve Newsletter -Joseph Uravitch, Director of the National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center, premiered the Center's first issue of an electronic newsletter called Connections that will be issued monthly via electronic listserve. The newsletter is being provided in response to requests for current information about the work of the Center. The Center, established by Presidential decree in 2002, was charged with developing a framework for a national system of MPAs. The Center also was directed to provide federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments with the information, technologies, and strategies to support a national MPA system.
You can subscribe to the MPA newsletter by sending an email message to email@example.com with: subscribe mpacenterconnection in the subject line. Do not include any other information in the body of the message. For general information about the National MPA Center go to http://mpa.gov.
Atlantic Coast - Good News for Atlantic Swordfish- After many years of strict management measures for North Atlantic swordfish, the stock is almost rebuilt, according to a scientific assessment conducted last month in Madrid, Spain, for the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The current assessment shows that growth in the biomass has surpassed expectations, increasing from a level of 65 percent of its healthy stock size to 94 percent in just four years. See press release at: http://www.publicaffairs.noaa.gov/releases2002/oct02/noaa02131.html