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.
Ocean Management Task Force
Environmental Affairs Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder is soliciting nominations for membership on the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force. The purpose of this Task Force is to recommend specific measures to strengthen management of ocean resources along the Massachusetts coast. Over the next several months, this Task Force will: (1) identify information gaps and existing administrative and legislative ocean management tools; (2) recommend principles for a state-wide ocean management framework; (3) recommend administrative and legislative changes to implement an ocean management initiative; and (4) initiate the first of several regional ocean management planning procedures. Individuals interested in serving on the Task Force should send a cover letter and a résumé to: Tom Skinner, Director, Office of Coastal Zone Management, 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114. Cover letters and résumés must be received by Friday, May 9, 2003, at 4:00 p.m.
Oil Spill in Buzzards Bay
A tanker barge containing 4.1 million gallons of Number 6 fuel oil started leaking sometime on the night of April 27. The U.S. Coast Guard directed the tanker to anchor in central Buzzards Bay to assist in containment. More than 14,000 gallons were spilled, generating a slick 13 miles long and two miles wide. As a precaution, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries closed Buzzards Bay to shellfishing. For updated reports on the oil spill, and for information on how to volunteer to assist in cleanup, see the Buzzards Bay Project website at http://www.buzzardsbay.org/oilspill-4-28-03.htm.
East Boston Designated Port Area Boundary Review
On April 23, CZM announced its final boundary review decision for the East Boston Designated Port Area (DPA). The decision modifies the DPA boundary to exclude a property on New Street. For a copy of the decision see http://www.mass.gov/czm/ebdpadecision.pdf.
Comments on Winergy Wind Turbine Projects Due by May 16
A series of offshore renewable energy developments proposed by Winergy LLC is undergoing a coordinated review under Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The MEPA unit is conducting the state review and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting the federal review. Comments on the project are due by May 16. For more on the project and the review process, as well as information on how to comment, see the MEPA website.
DMF Receives Right Whale Grant
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and its collaborators were recently awarded $497,825 by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to support the Commonwealth's Right Whale Conservation Program, which includes right whale surveillance and monitoring in Cape Cod Bay Critical Habitat and intensive studies to modify fishing gear to reduce risk of entanglement. This is the largest award received by DMF for its Right Whale Conservation Program since its inception in 1997. For more information about fisheries in Massachusetts, see the DMF website.
DMF Extends Whale-Safe Fishing Rules
The continued presence of at least 15 right whales in Cape Cod Bay has prompted DMF to extend the Cape Cod Bay fishing restrictions set to expire on April 30 another 9 days. Moreover, all vessel operators in the southern and eastern portion of the bay are advised to reduce speed, post lookouts, and proceed with caution to avoid colliding with this highly endangered whale. For the most recent updates on right whale locations, see the Right Whale Sighting Advisory System at http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/reportsRW_NE/03/rw_survey04_03.html. For more information about fisheries in Massachusetts, see the DMF website.
Amendment 13 of the Northeast Multi-Species Fishery Management Plan
The essential fish habitat component of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Amendment 13 of the multi-species fishery management plan for the Northeast is available for public comment through July 2. For a copy of the draft amendment and DEIS see the New England Fishery Management Council website at: http://www.nefmc.org/index.htm. Written comments should be sent to Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950, or via fax to (978) 465-3116. Also, one copy of the comments should be sent to the Department of Commerce, NOAA Office of Strategic Planning, Room 6121, 14th & Constitution, NW, Washington, DC 20230.
Atlantic States Funding for Right Whale Recovery - 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 (cetaceans). The “Atlantic States Funding for Right Whale Recovery” is a partnership of NWCF and NOAA Fisheries (previously known as the National Marine Fisheries Service [NMFS]). This program funds projects that have a strong likelihood of reducing death and serious injury to right whales through the development or implementation of recovery plan tasks. Any Atlantic coast state government agency is eligible for funding, and applications are due by June 2. Required forms and additional information are available at http://www.nfwf.org/programs/whale_right.htm.
Right Whale Grant Program - NOAA Fisheries is accepting applications for competitive grants to fund research on North Atlantic right whales. Applications must be postmarked by June 16. For the Federal Register notice describing the grant program and application requirements, see http://www.nero.noaa.gov/whaletrp/RtWhaleFRNfnl.pdf.
Reminders: The following grant opportunities posted in the April CZ-Mail are still available:
NOAA Strategic Plan - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Strategic Plan for 2003-2008, entitled New Priorities for the 21st Century, is now available online at http://www.osp.noaa.gov/docs/NOAA_Final_Strategic_Plan_March31st.pdf. This 23-page document, which was developed after consultation with more than 1,000 interested individuals and NOAA employees, establishes NOAA priorities for the next five years, specifically elevating ecosystem management and climate science as top priorities.
NOAA Fisheries Reports - The 2002 stock assessment reports from NOAA Fisheries are available. For information, see http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/prot_res/PR2/Stock_Assessment_Program/sars.html. In addition, NOAA Fisheries’ biennial Endangered Species Act report to Congress is available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/PR3/biennial.html.
New Gulf of Maine Council Website - The Gulf of Maine Council recently completed a new easier-to-navigate website. Check it out at: http://www.gulfofmaine.org, and please fill out the User Survey. The Council’s web-improvement efforts will continue this summer when it unveils the fully redesigned and updated site, which will include a rebuilt database, a new directory of Gulf-wide NGOs, and dozens of new "knowledgebase" pages designed to provide accurate, up-to-date, and easy to find information about Gulf-wide issues.
Improved NOAA Website - NOAA launched its new website design on April 21. Improvements include a front-page link to the latest U.S. weather conditions, as well as pages on beach temperatures, navigation charts, drought and fire weather information, and the latest satellite images of world events. Check it out at http://www.noaa.gov/.
Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials - The University of Connecticut maintains a website as part of its Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials program that provides information on the relationship between land use and natural resource protection. The site includes fact sheets and manuals on stormwater management, case studies, and links to additional information. See http://nemo.uconn.edu/index.htm.
Coastal Engineering Manual Workshop - This one-day workshop will be held on June 9 at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and will provide an introduction and overview of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers new Coastal Engineering Manual, taught by authors of the manual’s key sections. The workshop is geared toward coastal engineers, geologists, and other coastal practitioners. For more information, email email@example.com and ask for the PDF workshop announcement flyer.
Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium and Boston Harbor Educators Conference - This four-day event will connect educators, field scientists, and resource managers in exploring Boston Harbor and the Harbor Islands. On October 4, the Massachusetts Marine Educators will hold its annual conference, which will focus on Boston Harbor; October 5 will be devoted to expeditions of Boston Harbor and the Islands; October 6 will be a workshop on a research agenda for the Boston Harbor Islands; and the Science Symposium will be held on October 7. For details, including a call for papers for the Science Symposium (due May 7), see http://www.bostonislands.com/science/index.html.
Fishermen/Scientist Habitat Research Partnership Session - NOAA Fisheries, in cooperation with the New England Fishery Management Council, is holding two sessions in New England for fishermen and scientists to help identify and prioritize cooperative habitat research projects. Sessions will be held on May 12 in Portland, ME, and on May 16 in New Bedford, MA. For more information about fisheries in Massachusetts, see the DMF website.
Coastal Zone 03 - The biennial Coastal Zone conference series is the premier international gathering of ocean and coastal management professionals, attracting more than 1,200 participants from around the world. This year’s symposium, entitled Coastal Zone Management Through Time, will be held on July 13-17 in Baltimore, MD. For information see http://www.csc.noaa.gov/cz2003/index.html.
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.
Additional forums will be held this fall. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for specifics.
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.)
Other Items of Interest
Active Hurricane Season Predicted - Now that the snow has finally ended (we think), it’s time to start thinking about hurricane season. Dr. William Gray of Colorado State University, world-renowned hurricane forecaster, indicates that 2003 is shaping up as an active year. On average, we see almost 10 tropical storms each year in the Atlantic. This year, Gray’s April predictions call for 12 named tropical storms, 8 of these hurricanes, and 3 of these major hurricanes (at least a Category 3). This forecast, which will be updated May 31, is available at the Colorado State University website at http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2003/april2003/. For more on hurricanes in Massachusetts, see the Summer 2002 edition of Coastlines at http://www.mass.gov/czm/coastlines/index.htm. (Editor’s note: Already, a tropical storm has sprung up in the Atlantic, more than a month before the June 1 start of hurricane season. Tropical Storm Ana, the first named storm of the year and the first to develop in April since record-keeping started in 1871, formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on April 22--a reminder that east coast residents should pay attention throughout the season.)
CZ Tip for May
Plant a Vegetated Buffer - Stormwater--rain and snow melt that runs over the ground, picking up sediments and other pollutants along the way--can significantly impact coastal waters. Planting native vegetation on your property, particularly a forest, shrubs, and/or field border along a wetland or waterway is a great way to reduce stormwater pollution and improve wildlife habitat. For more on the benefits of vegetated buffers, as well as links to information on natural landscape design and planting, see the CZM website at: http://www.mass.gov/czm/tips/vegetatedbuffers.htm.
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.