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.
On March 23, the Ocean Management Task Force announced its recommendations to Environmental Affairs Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder, presenting a two volume report (Waves of Change: The Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force Report and Recommendations and The Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force Technical Report), which is available online (click here). The report provides 16 recommendations, including support for state legislation that would provide legal authority to the Commonwealth, in consultation with municipalities, to designate certain areas within state waters for specific purposes such as industrial use or natural resource conservation. The report also encourages greater cooperation between state and federal agencies, recognizing that many ocean issues are shared across state and federal ocean boundaries. With the work of the Task Force completed, Secretary Herzfelder has announced a 30-day comment period to gather public input and examine next steps. Comments are due by April 23. For details on how to comment, click here.
Secretary Approves Boston's Fort Point Channel Harbor Plan
On March 8, Environmental Affairs Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder approved the City of Boston's Fort Point Channel Phase II Municipal Harbor Plan, which will lead to major redevelopment along Fort Point Channel. The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), the City's planning and development arm, advanced the plan, a major component of which is a proposal by Equity Office Properties to develop a 33-story, 942,000-square-foot mixed-use building for the Russia Wharf property on Fort Point Channel. This proposal includes 22 floors of office space, residential lofts, a hotel, and pledges to preserve the exteriors of three historic buildings. The Secretary's approval sets enforceable conditions used by the Department of Environmental Protection in licensing waterfront projects under the waterways regulations of Chapter 91. The Secretary's decision ensures public access commitments by approving elements of the Fort Point Channel Watersheet Activation Plan, a public-private blueprint developed by the BRA and abutter groups to transform the historically industrial waters of Fort Point into a vibrant public destination. The Secretary's approval requires Russia Wharf to contribute $500,000 to the final design and construction of the Children's Museum Park and an additional $1,650,000 to support other projects identified in the activation plan. For links to a PDF copy of the full Secretary's decision, as well as the City's harbor plan, click here.
Barnstable Receives Grant for Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project
The Town of Barnstable will receive $117,675 for construction of the Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Community-Based Restoration Project (NOAA-CRP) Grant. CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program has worked closely with Barnstable to provide technical assistance and help in securing a total of $1,300,000 in funding and in-kind services, of which more than $950,000 is from non-state (federal, non-profit, corporate, public and private partnerships) sources.
Ocean Commission Report to Be Released in April
The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy will release its Preliminary Report on April 20 for review by the nation's governors and other interested parties. The purpose of the report is for the Commission to make recommendations to the President and Congress for a coordinated and comprehensive national ocean policy. For an electronic copy, instructions for submitting comments, and more on the Commission, click here.
EOEA Moves Back
While CZM is remaining at 251 Causeway Street, the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Unit (MEPA), and the Office of Technical Assistance have moved to 100 Cambridge Street--our former home at the Saltonstall Building. The mailing address there is 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114. Telephone and fax numbers and email addresses have not changed. (Again, CZM has not moved and our contact information has not changed. When sending mail or deliveries to CZM, our address is 251 Causeway Street, Suite 800, Boston, MA 02114.)
Senate Committee Adopts Law of the Sea
On February 25, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (Treaty Document 103-39), which now moves to the Senate floor, where it must be approved by a two-thirds majority. It has been nearly 22 years since the treaty was originally signed, and to date almost 140 countries have ratified it. The treaty provides a framework of ocean management by delineating offshore jurisdictions; outlines a marine protection program; and requires countries to address ocean dumping, vessel pollution, and pollution from offshore activities. For details on the treaty, click here.
Right Whale Research Grants - The Right Whale Research Grant Program, administered by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), funds research aimed at conserving and/or monitoring these endangered whales. Proposals must be postmarked by April 12. For details, click here.
Reminders - The following grant listed in the last CZ-Mail is still open:
- Fisheries Research - The Northeast Consortium has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) soliciting Planning Letters for projects that: involve commercial fishermen and/or commercial fishing vessels; address issues in fisheries and fisheries management, fishing gear technologies, and/or coastal ocean processes; and concentrate on the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. Planning Letters are due April 7 and full proposals are due June 30. (Proposals will not be accepted without an approved planning letter.) For a PDF copy of the RFP, click here.
NMFS Extends Comment Period on Potential Revisions to Essential Fish Habitat Guidelines - NMFS is extending the comment period to April 26 for its proposed revisions to the Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) guidelines. For the Federal Register notice announcing the extension, click here.
Open Space Planning and Funding Publications - Planning for Wildlife: Improving Wildlife through Better Open Space and Recreational Plans and Conserving Open Space: A Guide for Obtaining Funding are both available from the Manomet Center for Conservation Resources. Click here for links to the PDFs.
Generic Ecological Assessment Endpoints for Ecological Risk Assessment - Ecological risk assessment is a process for evaluating the likelihood that adverse ecological effects may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure to one or more stressors. A critical early step in conducting an ecological risk assessment is to select assessment endpoints. In this document, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes the general principles of generic ecological assessment endpoints. For links to the PDF, click here.
Future Climate Change and Regional Fisheries - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently released this report, which discusses the issues of global change and global warming and potential impacts on fishery systems. Click here for links to the PDF document.
One-Stop Calendar for Town Boards - Hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Extension, Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Program, and the Local Capacity Building Project, townboard.org provides up-to-date information on relevant training and educational opportunities in Massachusetts and the region, with a focus on land-use issues. This site has a detailed calendar section and an online form for submitting events. See www.townboard.org/.
Coastal Monitoring Program Intern - Salem Sound Coastwatch is seeking a spring/summer intern to assist in the coordination of its coastal monitoring programs, working most closely with the Clean Beaches & Streams Program, which aims to prioritize stormwater outfall sites. Applications must be received by April 21. For details, click here.
New Law Requires Licenses for Vessel Pilots - H. 4104, An Act Relating to Pilots of Vessels, was signed by Governor Romney on March 25 and is now Chapter 50 of the Acts of 2004. The legislation amends licensing provisions for pilots of vessels carrying unlimited gross tons upon oceans with a U.S. Coast Guard First Class Pilot endorsement for the waters of Cape Cod Bay, Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay, Nantucket, or Vineyard Sounds. The Act will soon be available at http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw04/index.htm.
Massachusetts Bays Symposium--Registration Deadline! - State of the Bays 2004, hosted by the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), will be held on May 6 and 7 in Boston. The Symposium will bring together coastal experts from throughout the region to describe the current conditions of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, review 10 years of progress, and strengthen scientific partnerships to take future actions needed to protect and enhance the coastal health and heritage of the Bays. The deadline for registration is April 30. For more information and the registration form, click here.
Organic Spring Lawn Care - On April 13, the Marblehead Pesticide Awareness Committee is sponsoring Simple Steps Towards Organic Spring Lawn Care: A Class for Homeowners. The class will be held at the Lynnfield Town Hall from 7:00-9:00 p.m. For details, click here.
Ocean Zoning Workshop - On May 10-11 Ocean Zoning: Can It Work in the Northwest Atlantic? will be held at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The workshop is designed to explore the concept and effectiveness of ocean zoning as a tool for integrated management of marine resources and activities. It will provide an important opportunity for marine resource managers, policy makers, ocean users, and stakeholders with an interest in integrated ocean management to learn from ocean zoning experiences internationally and to consider its application to the Northwest Atlantic region, including waters off Atlantic Canada and New England. For further information, click here.
Cape Cod Maritime History Symposium - The Cape Cod Maritime Research Association is presenting the 8th Annual Cape Cod Maritime History Symposium on May 14 at the Sheraton Hyannis Resort. Presentations will be given by the Falmouth Historical Society, the United States Life-Saving Heritage Association, Greg Moore of the Center for Coastal Studies, among others. The symposium is $45 per person; pre-registration is required by May 10. For more information, please visit the symposium's website.
Spring Meeting of the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel - This meeting will be held on May 17-18 in Newport, Rhode Island. For details and a link to a draft agenda, click here.
The Coastal Society's 19th Biennial Conference - Entitled Measure for Measure: How Do We Gauge Coastal Stewardship?, this conference will be held on May 23-26 in Newport, Rhode Island. The focus is on how coastal managers, resource users, law and policy makers, educators and students, and others measure and assess coastal resources, functions, and human impacts. For details, click here.
Call for Posters for Northeast Regional Bycatch Workshop - Bycatch in Northeast Fisheries: Moving Forward will be held in Wakefield on June 29-July 1 for those interested in both research and public policy aspects of reducing "bycatch." The deadline for submission of poster abstracts is April 16. For details on the workshop or how to submit an abstract, click here.
Reminders: The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
- On April 26-29, the Coastal Ocean Institute at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is hosting a forum consisting of a 2-day science meeting/short course and a 2-day workshop, entitled The Moving Shoreline: Coastal Change in Response to Rising Sea Level. For details, see the Coastal Ocean Institute events page.
- The Gulf of Maine Summit will be held October 26-29 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and is open to interested citizens, businesses, and organizations from around the Gulf of Maine, who will discuss current environmental conditions and trends in the area, develop a consensus of indicators of environmental quality, and design an action plan and build partnerships to move forward. See the Summit website for details.
- The Massachusetts Coastal Training Program maintains a calendar of workshops and other training events for coastal decision makers and others interested in managing the coastal zone. For more information, see http://www.coastaltraining.org/events/index.htm.
Other Items of Interest
Volunteer for the Coast! - Spring is here, and if the coast is calling, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer to protect and preserve coastal resources. For a list of links to volunteer opportunities, see the NOAA Volunteering for the Coast web page.
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant
to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA03NOS4190087.
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.