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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.
CZM Director Resigns
After more than five years as CZM Director, Tom Skinner has announced his resignation, effective September 3, to take a position with a consulting firm. During Tom's tenure, CZM increased efforts to respond to emerging coastal issues, redefine its regulatory role, and improve public outreach strategies. Most recently, CZM played a leading role with the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force, which announced its recommendations to Environmental Affairs Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder on March 23, presenting a two volume report. Tom also oversaw the implementation of new municipal harbor planning regulations, and led CZM's efforts to approve city of Boston harbor plans that will shape future waterfront development in South Boston, Fort Point Channel, and East Boston. Under Tom's direction, CZM has taken a proactive role in encouraging appropriate development along urban waterfronts, supporting CZM's mandate to protect Designated Port Areas with enhanced technical assistance to existing and prospective businesses. During his tenure, the Wetlands Restoration Program has been incorporated into the CZM program, merging staff expertise in wetlands ecology with corporate support for restoration projects. The Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources has also joined CZM, bringing a new cultural and historic dimension to the program. Tom also oversaw a dramatic change in the CZM communications program, with the quarterly Coastlines newsletter being replaced with an periodic magazine and the monthly CZ-Mail. On the national level, Tom served as the Vice Chair of the Coastal States Organization and Secretariat of the Gulf of Maine Council during 2002 and 2003, and actively represented Massachusetts on numerous regional and national boards. CZM Assistant Director, Susan Snow-Cotter, who played a leading role in the Ocean Management Initiative and has been with CZM for 10 years, will be serving as Acting Director. All of us at CZM wish Tom the best!
National policy is also moving forward. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recently held a public meeting approving its Draft Final Report. Once printed, the report will be delivered to Congress and the President. The President then has 90 days to consult with state governments and other stakeholders and submit proposals to Congress to implement or respond to the report's recommendations. The press release, summary of changes, and summaries of public, tribal leader, and governor comments are available on the Ocean Commission's website.
DCR Receives $1 Million for Ipswich River Watershed
Also, the Nashua River watershed received $770,000 for water quality protection efforts through the EPA grant program. This grant will help the Nashua River Watershed Association protect valuable drinking water resources and surface water quality in an area where groundwater and surface water are closely linked. For the EPA press release announcing the Nashua River award, click here. Learn more about DCR's Division of Water Supply Protection initiatives.
Tools for Boosting Commonwealth Capital Score for State Funding Applications
The Commonwealth Capital program awards higher scores to communities that have adopted (or make a commitment to adopt) zoning for cluster development, such as "Open Space Residential Design" (OSRD), or Low Impact Development techniques. OSRD Special Permit and Site Plan model bylaws and associated regulations are available on the CZM Publications page under "Miscellaneous." To learn about the Buzzards Bay project, and for LID information, PowerPoint presentations, and links, click here. OSRD PowerPoint presentations are available on CD by contacting CZM Smart Growth Coordinator Andrea Cooper at email@example.com.
ACEC Resource Management Guidelines Approved
New CZM Wetlands Restoration Program Website
Proposal for Offshore LNG Facility Announced
CICEET Announces Funding Recipients
Self-Help and Land and Water Conservation Grants - Massachusetts Department of Conservation Services has opened its 2005 grant round for the Self-Help, Urban Self-Help, and Federal Land and Water Conservation funding programs. The Self-Help program provides funding to conservation commissions for conservation land purchases. The Urban Self-Help program provides funding to cities and towns for the acquisition, construction, and renovation of parks. The Land and Water Conservation Fund offers federal funds to state or local agencies for conservation or parks projects that feature outdoor recreation as the primary use. Applications are due October 1. For the application, grant announcement, and letter from the Secretary of Environmental Affairs, click here.
Nancy Foster Scholarship Program - Applications are being taken for the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, for up to four scholarships. The program supports independent graduate-level studies in oceanography, marine biology, or maritime archaeology, and in particular, by women and minority group members. For more scholarship information, click here or go to NOAA's Foster Scholars page.
NOAA Strategic Plan - NOAA is drafting a strategic plan for 2005 to 2011 that will build upon the NOAA Strategic Plan for 2003-2008 and will reflect new priorities and recent changes to NOAA operations. The public comment deadline is August 27. For a copy of the draft strategic plan, including a "coffee table" version, and details how to comment, click here.
Cape Cod National Seashore Hunting Policy - The National Park Service is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the current hunting policy and potential alternative policies for the Cape Cod National Seashore and is accepting comments. For more information see the Cape Cod National Seashore's management plan. For the notice, go to the Federal Register, and enter "34397" in Quick Search. The EIS will be issued in December 2004, and a second public comment period will follow.
Taunton River's Brightman Street Bridge Schedule Deviation - In response to requests from the town of Somerset and the Massachusetts State Police to mitigate motor vehicle traffic delays, the U.S. Coast Guard has changed drawbridge operation for a 90-day test period, from July 1 to September 28, at the Brightman Street Bridge in Somerset. During this time the bridge will not open for pleasure craft traffic between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For the notice, go to the Federal Register, and enter "35244" in Quick Search.
Geospatial Data Framework Development - The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) is currently conducting a public review of framework data standards developed through the Geospatial One-Stop Initiative. Data standards would establish common requirements to facilitate information exchange for seven themes of geospatial data fundamental to a variety of geographic information systems applications. Inquiries about the framework data standards and the FGDC public review should be addressed to Julie Binder Maitra, FGDC Standards Coordinator at U.S. Geological Survey, 590 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192, by telephone at (703) 648-4627, by fax at (703) 648-5755, or by email to FGDC Standards Coordinator.
Gulf of Maine Atlantic Salmon Draft Recovery Plan Available - The Draft Recovery Plan for the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment of Atlantic Salmon is now available. NMFS and FWS are soliciting public comment until September 16. A copy of the draft recovery plan is available on the NMFS website under "Recent News." For the notice, go to the Federal Register, and enter "34184" in Quick Search.
Reminders - The following public comment period listed in the last CZ-Mail is still open:
Sea Grant Woods Hole Beachcomber's Companion - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has created the Beachcomber's Companion as the ultimate guide for beach adventures. The guide, available in October, is composed of 50 full-color marine invertebrate identification cards, a species checklist with marking pencil, mesh collection bag, and beach bag clip. For more information, click here.
EPA Smart Growth Report - EPA has released Protecting Water Resources with Smart Growth, a 120-page report to assist state and local governments and water quality professionals in achieving smart growth and water quality goals. Smart growth strategies avoid loss of woodlands, meadowlands, and wetlands and reduce runoff. To receive a free copy of the report, contact EPA by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (800) 490-9198 and request EPA publication 231-R-04-002. For a PDF copy of the report and more information click here.
EPA's Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns - EPA has produced Getting in Step: A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns to engage stakeholders in watershed maintenance and restoration activities. The 100-page guide and 35-minute companion video is available on EPA's website.
Reminders - The following product listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
EPA's New Beaches Website - EPA is now reorganizing much of its online information around topics rather than programs. EPA's new beaches website includes information about planning beach excursions, learning about beach conditions, and reading about what EPA is doing to clean and protect the nation's beaches.
NOAA Portfields and New Bedford Pilot Project - Portfields is a NOAA-led federal interagency effort focusing on the redevelopment of brownfields in port and harbor areas, with the goal of developing environmentally sound port facilities. The website outlines the federal commitment to portfields; follows the path of three pilot portfields projects; and offers factsheets, web-based tools, and pilot project resources. The port of New Bedford was one of the three pilot projects selected. As a pilot, New Bedford will receive resources to expedite planning and implementation of brownfields cleanup and redevelopment. To read more about the New Bedford portfield and pilot project, click here. Also, New Bedford recently received a $200,000 EPA grant to remediate contaminated soils at a site along the Acushnet River that the city and its portfields partners will redevelop as a public waterfront park. Click here for more information.
NOAA Online Smart Growth Techniques Tool - NOAA has developed a website for communities and planners to explore alternatives for coastal development. The Alternatives for Coastal Development site allows users to run three hypothetical development options. Some of the concepts the new tool incorporates are the impact of green space on water runoff, property values, quality of life, and more.
NOAA Estuaries Restoration Website - NOAA recently developed the National Estuaries Restoration Inventory (NERI) as an online tool to monitor Estuary Restoration Act projects and other estuary restoration projects implemented around the country. The NERI website provides details on techniques and monitoring results. Federal, state, local, and private-sector projects aimed at restoring ecosystem benefits to estuaries and associated habitats may be submitted.
Connecticut's New Online Coastal Access Guide - The new Connecticut Coastal Access Guide website is the Internet version of the 2001 Connecticut Coastal Access Guide. The site offers detailed descriptions of 285 public sites for fishing, boating, swimming, and observing wildlife along Connecticut's shoreline.
Maryland Launches New BMP Tracking Website - Maryland has developed a program and tracking website for restoration and nonpoint source pollution implementation efforts. BMPs tracked include urban acreage, agricultural acreage, and resource protection and improvements footage, which include shoreline erosion control projects and stream restoration. For the BMP implementation tracking reports, click here. The website also provides a link to Maryland's watershed restoration action strategies and supporting documents.
Outdoorswomen at the Beach Workshop - MassWildlife is hosting an outdoor, coastal workshop for women 18 and older at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on September 11 on Plum Island in Newburyport. Activities include birding, sea kayaking, surf fishing, clamming, and tide pool ecology sessions. The registration deadline is September 1.
Watershed Conservation Conference at UMASS - The University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting the Watershed Conservation 2004 Water Resources, Ecosystems, and People conference September 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for information and registration.
Promoting Clean Jobs & Neighborhood Change Conference - The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs Office of Technical Assistance (OTA) and Environmental Justice teams are holding a conference on September 18 at Holy Cross College in Worcester. The conference, titled Promoting Clean Jobs & Neighborhood Change: Building Economic and Environmental Justice, is focused on clean manufacturing and how it can be used to improve the local economy and minimize impacts to health and the environment and will feature speaker presentations, exhibits, and workshops on green technology, partnerships with businesses, and attracting green business with local government and other funding sources. More information is available on the OTA website.
Reminders: The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
Other Items of Interest
Beach Water Quality Information Online - Looking for information on Department of Conservation and Recreation beach water quality? Check out a live report of water quality and water temperature data. Information about Charles River water quality is also available.
Coastal Training Program Information Page - The Coastal Training Program has a new Information and Opportunities website with details on workshops, products, and funding opportunities.
Gulf of Maine Indicators Survey - The Gulf of Maine Council is conducting a survey of regional indicators until August 15. Indicators, such as management issues, will be used to summarize a region's complex coastal and marine status and to communicate about regional coastal area trends.
Final Rule for Cooling Water Intake Structures Promulgated - The final rule, published in the Federal Register in July, addresses the environmental consequences of power plant intakes that withdraw more than 50 million gallons of water per day, protecting fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life. Specifically, the new rule will protect aquatic organisms from being trapped on intake screens or drawn through the cooling systems. For more information, click here.