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.
Romney Announces Ocean Management Task Force
On March 25, Governor Mitt Romney announced that he is creating a Task Force on Ocean Management to examine ways to close the gaps in Massachusetts ocean use policies. “Right now, private projects in public waters happen on a ‘first-come, first-serve’ basis,” Romney said. “This is the first in the nation approach to creating sound ocean management policies.” Under Romney’s plan, the Task Force will advise Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ellen Roy Herzfelder on new management and planning regulations for projects in state ocean waters. These regulations would protect and manage ocean resources in a manner that maximizes public use, utility, and enjoyment, while minimizing impacts on ecosystems. State ocean waters, generally extending to three miles offshore, are owned by the Commonwealth and held in trust for its citizens. Currently, the state lacks the ability to do offshore planning, and therefore is only able to review private project proposals in a reactive manner. Recent proposals in ocean waters off Massachusetts have revealed significant gaps in state and federal authority to permit offshore uses and lease open space. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for updates on this initiative.
New Division of Marine Fisheries Regulations
New Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) regulations will take effect on March 28. These include amendments to commercial cod regulations; black sea bass trip limits and seasons; approval of tautog as a quota-managed species; and amendments to the commercial lobster regulations. For more information about fisheries in Massachusetts, see the DMF website.
Riverways News’ Special Issue on Resources and Grants - The March 16 edition of Riverways News, published by the Riverways Program within the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement, focuses on grant programs for watershed management initiatives and similar programs. For more information, go to the Riverways website.
Cooperative Research on Fishing Gear - The Northeast Consortium (University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) invites Planning Letters for cooperative research and selective fishing gear development projects. Proposed projects should: involve commercial fishermen and/or commercial fishing vessels; address issues in fisheries and fisheries management, fishing gear technologies, and/or coastal ocean processes; and focus on the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. Planning Letters, which are due by April 23, will be used to identify projects for further development with a full proposal. For more information, see http://www.northeastconsortium.org/RFP_03.html.
National Whale Conservation Fund General Grants - The National Whale Conservation Fund supports research, management, conservation, and education/outreach activities related to the conservation and recovery of whales. The Fund is accepting applications for funding for the 2003 grant cycle, and priority will be given to projects that address human threats to endangered whales of United States waters (i.e., fishing gear entanglement, ship/whale collisions, noise, habitat degradation, contaminants, etc.). Applications must be postmarked by May 12. For details, see http://www.nfwf.org/programs/whale_general.htm.
Harmful Algal Blooms Program - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking proposals for targeted research and regional intensive monitoring of harmful algal blooms. Proposals must be received by June 3. See http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar
20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-4895.htm for more information.
Gulf of Maine Action Grants - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is requesting applications for Action Grants (formerly called Implementation Grants). These grants fund local initiatives in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia that support the Council's priority goals of protecting and restoring coastal and marine habitat, protecting human health and ecosystem integrity, and encouraging sustainable maritime activities. Applications must be postmarked by May 10. See http://www.gulfofmaine.org/rfp_action_grants_2003.htm for the grant announcement.
Spring Edition of the Gulf of Maine Times - Read about some of the region’s most extraordinary stewards in the Gulf of Maine Times at http://www.gulfofmaine.org/times. They include Dr. Moira Brown of the Center for Coastal Studies, Don Rice and Jim Todd of Nova Scotia’s Tobeatic Wilderness Committee, and a host of land and marine conservationists, educators, and watershed organizations. Other features include a profile of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and its unique approach to land protection, and an overview of ocean mapping technologies and their uses to date in the Gulf of Maine and Atlantic Canadian waters. For paper copies of the Spring 2003 edition email email@example.com.
Coastal ACEC Boundary Clarification - Massachusetts Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Program has completed an intensive review and clarification for six coastal ACEC boundaries on Cape Cod. These ACEC boundaries can now be shown more accurately on USGS base maps using current Geographic Information Systems mapping applications, as well as on statewide digital data sources. In addition, written boundary descriptions have also been updated. For more, see http://www.mass.gov/dcr/stewardship/acec/boundary.htm.
Plans, Bylaws, and Ordinances Inventory - The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs’ Community Preservation Home Page now includes a Plans, Bylaws, and Ordinances Inventory. This feature is designed to be an ongoing catalogue of community planning techniques in each town and city in the Commonwealth. For each community, the database includes resource and zoning maps, bylaws and other ordinances, buildout analyses, and other information. For a description of the inventory and to link to the database see: http://commpres.env.state.ma.us/NewsLetter/e-Letter.asp?FileName=March03.htm.
Coastal Training Program Kickoff - The Massachusetts Coastal Training Program (CTP) is a strategic new approach to providing support, training, and information to communities so they can better manage the coastal resources so vital to their economies and way of life. An event to kick-off this first-in-the-nation initiative will be held at 1:00 on April 29 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Clark Hall. Ellen Roy Herzfelder, Secretary of Environmental Affairs, is the keynote speaker for the event. Massachusetts CTP is coordinated by the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR), in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant Program (WHOI Sea Grant). For more information about CTP and the event, see the WBNERR website at http://www.waquoitbayreserve.org/.
Lowell Lecture Series - Starting on April 9, the New England Aquarium is hosting a series of Wednesday-evening lectures in its Immersion Theater, which is part of the Exploration Center on the ground floor of the Boston Harbor Garage. This Lowell Lecture Series focuses on what individuals can do to protect the environment and topics to be covered include: biodiversity, behavioral change, and buying power. For details, see http://www.neaq.org/scilearn/lecture/index.html.
Public Hearings on Division of Marine Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Commission Regulatory Proposals - On April 14, 16, and 17, the Division of Marine Fisheries and Marine Fisheries Commission are holding public hearings on the following regulatory proposals: increasing commercial lobster minimum size; amending commercial and recreational striped bass regulations; amending the commercial scup regulations regarding summer quota; and requiring at least a 6 ˝-inch mesh size only in the cod-end of the net bus, allowing at least 6-inch mesh in the remainder of the net. For more information about fisheries in Massachusetts, see the DMF website.
Reminder: Regional Marine Monitoring Forums - CZM is holding a Regional Coastal Forum Series to integrate research, monitoring, and management experience to help assess the environmental status of the Commonwealth’s coastal waters. Regional forums are planned for the North Coastal Region, Boston Harbor, South Coastal Region (including Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod Bay), Buzzards Bay, and Mount Hope Bay. The following two forums are scheduled for May:
- The Buzzards Bay Forum on May 3. For information, email Tony Williams, the Coalition for Buzzards Bay Monitoring Coordinator at Williams@savebuzzardsbay.org.
- The Mount Hope Bay Forum on May 10, following the joint meeting being held by the New England Estuaries Society and the Southern New England Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. See http://www.neers.org/main/meetings/announcement.html for details.
Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for specifics on these and the other regional forums.
Great Marsh Environmental Economics Project - The North Shore’s Great Marsh Coalition seeks a candidate to implement an economic research project to help quantify the fiscal benefits of the region, including an analysis of shellfishing, recreation, tourism, and real estate values. The project budget is $4,000 and deliverables include: (1) data about the direct and indirect economic benefits of Great Marsh resources to local communities; and (2) summaries of the findings in formats appropriate for different audiences (e.g., report, brochure, fact sheet, graphics, etc). The closing date for applications is April 28. For a full posting, email Katie Lund at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outreach Coordinator/Policy Planner - The Massachusetts Bays Program is seeking an Outreach Coordinator/Policy Planner to coordinate its general outreach program and assist in program management and policy coordination. The application deadline for this federally funded position has been extended to April 3. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website.
CZMA Reauthorization - The federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) is currently up for reauthorization. CZMA provides states the funding and the opportunity to develop and maintain state coastal management plans, creating a voluntary program that 34 coastal and Great Lakes states have chosen to pursue. CZMA also enables states to develop programs and plans to meet their specific needs and fit their governmental structure. In addition, CZMA gives states the authority to review federal projects, and projects receiving federal licenses and permits, to ensure that they abide by a state's coastal zone management plan. For updates on this and other important pieces of federal legislation, see http://www.sso.org/cso/Key%20Legislation.htm.
Renewable Energy in Coastal Zone Amendment to CZMA - On March 11, Representatives Delahunt and Saxton introduced the Coastal Zone Renewable Energy Promotion Act of 2003 (H.R. 1183). The bill would encourage states to amend their coastal management plans to include policies and procedures that address these issues. For more information and a copy of the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov and use the search engine.
In the News
Here are links to newspaper articles from the last month on coastal issues: (Articles may only be available for a limited time.)
- Airship-based sensors tracking right whales (DCMilitary.com, 3/27/03).
- Company files for windmill permits (Gloucester Daily Times, 3/26/03)
- Horseshoe Shoal clears early review: A draft of the Army Corps of Engineers' environmental impact statement is scheduled as early as May (Cape Cod Times, 3/13/03).
- As scallopers head out, critics want more rules (Cape Cod Times, 3/10/03).
- Delahunt aims to tighten rules: Bill would affect off-shore planes (Cape Cod Times, 3/7/03).
- Overuse, disease hurt N.E. lobster industry (Boston Globe, 3/7/03).
- Drought experts still urge caution (Boston Globe, 3/6/03).
- Whales win right-of-way in Atlantic shipping lanes (National Geographic Magazine, 3/5/03).
- Fishery scientists: Net rigging OK, stock goals not (Cape Cod Times, 3/4/03).
- Nantucket's open question (Boston Globe, 3/2/03).
Other Items of Interest
Gulf of Maine’s David Keeley Receives Jones Award - David Keeley, Director of the Maine State Planning Office, has been awarded the prestigious Walter B. Jones Memorial and NOAA Excellence Award for Coastal Steward of the Year. David was primarily recognized for his work in conceiving, developing, and sustaining the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. Now entering its 14th year, the Council is a voluntary regional governance structure that includes the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Congratulations David!
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.