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.
President’s Day Storm-Lots of Snow, Luckily Little Coastal Impact
The snowstorm of February 17 and 18 was one for the record books when it came to snowfall, but fortunately the coastal impacts were not of historic proportions. The official snow total was 27.5 inches at Logan Airport, topping the old record of 27.1 inches from the Blizzard of ’78. (Editor’s note: The actual snowfall from this storm did not top the Blizzard of ‘78. Today, snowfall is measured incrementally to adjust for the compaction that occurs as the snow piles up. If the Blizzard of ’78 were measured this way, the totals would have been more like 40 inches!) State emergency management workers, including Joe Pelczarski from CZM, were called to report to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Operations Center by noon on February 17, where they monitored the storm. Joe kept an eye on the storm surge, which was forecasted to be 1-2 feet on top of the astronomical high tide of 11.3 feet, and was expected to continue for three tide cycles starting about midnight Monday night. Luckily, the winds were weaker than expected, generating a storm surge of only ½ to ¾ of a foot, well below the threshold for damage.
Mystic River Designated Port Area Decision Appealed
Three Charlestown businesses have appealed CZM’s Mystic River Designated Port Area (DPA) boundary decision, issued in December 2002. (For the decision, see: http://www.mass.gov/czm/mysticriverdpadd.pdf.) The appeals have been filed in Superior Court under the Administrative Procedures Act. CZM is responsible for managing the planning component of the DPA program, which includes mapping interpretations and the periodic review of DPA boundaries. The purpose of the DPA boundary review process is to determine whether the boundary should remain as is or should be modified to promote state tidelands policy objectives related to DPAs (i.e., to preserve and promote maritime industry). CZM's decision on the Mystic River DPA modified the boundary to remove three properties from the DPA. CZM conditioned the removal to require commitments by the three properties necessary for the development of an industrial transportation route to connect DPA businesses with interstate truck and rail routes. The Plaintiffs, businesses located in the DPA, argue that CZM does not have the discretion to condition the decision in such a manner. The case is currently scheduled to be heard in April.
Snow Disposal Guidance
Finding a place to dispose of collected snow poses a challenge to municipalities and businesses when clearing roads, parking lots, bridges, and sidewalks. Because this snow is contaminated with road salt, sand, litter, and automotive pollutants such as oil, however, it can threaten public health and the environment if disposed of improperly. As the snow melts, pollutants are transported into surface water or through the soil where they may eventually reach the groundwater, contaminating water supplies and harming aquatic life. In addition, sand washed into water bodies can create sand bars or fill in wetlands and ponds, impacting aquatic life and causing flooding. To address these issues, the Department of Environmental Protection has developed snow removal guidelines. For a copy, see http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/laws/snowdisp.htm.
New Marine-Only Weather Radio Broadcast
In February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) installed a weather transmitter in Gloucester that exclusively transmits information relevant to mariners. This is the first marine-only transmitter on the East Coast and is intended to improve boating safety by providing more frequent updates of weather forecasts, sea conditions, and warnings. Like all NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts, current weather information is provided 24 hours a day and can be picked up on radios that receive very high frequency (VHF) broadcasts. See http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/box/nwr2.shtml for details.
Gulf of Maine Action Grants - This month, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment will be 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. Stay posted to the CZM website at http://www.mass.gov/czm/jobsandgrants.htm for the grant announcement.
Ocean Zoning for the Gulf of Maine - In December 2002, CZM, as Secretariat to the Gulf of Maine Council for the Marine Environment hosted a one-day Ocean Zoning Forum. The Forum, sponsored by NOAA's Marine Protected Areas Program, was designed to explore different approaches to spatially explicit ocean use management. As human uses of our marine waters continue to expand, managers and the public are looking for ways to better manage this public resource. A report on ocean zoning was produced to provide background and context for Forum participants. This report can be found at http://www.mass.gov/czm/oceanzoningreport.pdf.
Law and Policy Digest - The Sea Grant Law Center has released the second issue of Law and Policy Digest, a bi-annual online publication providing abstracts of recently published law review articles and policy research. Topics covered range from maritime law to aquaculture to capacity building. For more information, visit http://www.olemiss.edu/orgs/SGLC/Digest/digest.htm.
Phase II Stormwater Permits - The Buzzards Bay Project (BBP) has developed a web page to help municipalities comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Phase II Stormwater Management Regulations. These rules require municipalities to submit permit applications for stormwater discharges from municipally owned roadways and municipal "industrial" sites like waste transfer stations and Public Works garages. The BBP site explains the program and provides links to important related information. See http://www.buzzardsbay.org/phase2.htm for more.
Sea Levels Online - NOAA’s National Ocean Service has released a new website that provides mean sea level rise rates for 117 sampling locations along the U.S. coast, including three sites in Massachusetts (Boston, Woods Hole, and Nantucket). See http://www.co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.shtml.
NOAA Magazine - NOAA publishes a monthly online magazine with detailed articles on topics that have been in the headlines. Check it out at http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/.
Aquatic Invasive Species and the Pet Trade - Attention all pet store owners, aquarium club members, and aquatic pet owners! The waters of northeastern North America are being transformed by invasive aquatic plants, fish, invertebrates, and other organisms from around the world. These plants and animals, which may be introduced both intentionally and accidentally, can irrevocably alter native ecosystems. Once "invaders" are established in a new ecosystem where their common predators do not exist, they can harm native species by eating their food, preying on them, transmitting diseases, or simply outgrowing them. To find out what you can do to stop this problem, attend an “Aquatic Invasive Species and the Pet Trade” meeting. Meetings will be held from 1:00-3:00 pm on both March 6 and 7 at the New England Aquarium's Conference and Education Center in Boston. For details, see http://www.neans.org/ais_pettrade.htm.
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 or click here .
- The Mount Hope Bay Forum on May 10, following the joint meeting being held by the New England Estuarine Research 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.
Cape Cod Windfarm Meeting - The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), an independent economic development organization that promotes renewable energy in the Commonwealth, is holding a series of meetings on the issues associated with the offshore windfarm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. The next meeting will be held on March 12 at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. For details on this meeting, as well as documentation from previous meetings, see http://wind.raabassociates.org/schedule.asp.
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. This federally funded position closes on March 12. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website.
Additional Positions to Be Posted in March - CZM expects to post the following federally funded positions in March: Chapter 91 Enforcement and Policy Specialist, Harbor Planning Coordinator, and a Coastal Geologist/Oceanographer to assist in mapping the South Essex Ocean Sanctuary between Cape Ann and Boston. The complete postings will be available on the CZM website at http://www.mass.gov/czm/jobsandgrants.htm.
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.)
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.