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EOEA Secretary Herzfelder Assumes New Role
In early July, Ellen Roy Herzfelder, Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), stepped aside as Secretary, and will maintain a role in Governor Romney's administration as a special advisor. Herzfelder's legacy will include championing the nation's first comprehensive approach to managing ocean resources—the Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative. In her leading role, Secretary Herzfelder charged the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force with developing recommendations, which were released in the 2004 Waves of Change report. For more information on this pioneering effort, go to the Ocean Management Initiative website. CZM wishes the best to Ellen in her new role and are very thankful for the priority that she has placed on coastal and ocean issues.
Stephen Pritchard Sworn in as New Environmental Affairs Secretary
On July 12, Stephen R. Pritchard was sworn in as the new EOEA Secretary, filling the position held by Ellen Roy Herzfelder since 2003. Pritchard has been serving as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) since February. Prior to the DCR assignment he was Chief Operating Officer for Secretary Herzfelder where he worked on key initiatives, including ocean management. For more information about Secretary Pritchard and EOEA, go to the EOEA website.
Ocean Management Legislation Hearing Held
A well-attended hearing on the proposed Ocean Management legislation (H2602 and S-529) was held on July 18 before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. Environmental Affairs Secretary Steve Pritchard was pleased with the bipartisan testimony given in support of the legislation throughout the hearing, which went on until early evening. EOEA, Senator Robert O'Leary (Cape and Islands), and interested parties pledged to work together toward development of a bill that provides maximum protection to the Commonwealth's valuable ocean resources. Co-chair of the committee, Senator Pamela Resor (Middlesex and Worcester), indicated that she is looking forward to this collaboration. For more information on the proposed legislation, go to the Ocean Management Initiative website.
Record Red Tide Bloom Subsiding
Since July 1, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has reopened portions of state waters for harvesting, sale, and possession of shellfish. Go to the DMF website for the latest information about the red tide bloom in Massachusetts, including opening notices, an up to date map of the open areas, and a red tide information page containing details about current and planned monitoring and response efforts. Go to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Red Tide in New England" website for additional regional information.
Hurricane Season Is Here!
On June 1, the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season began. It has already been an active season with seven named storms, and it is only August. So far, the northeast has been far removed from the storms' paths, but these powerful cyclones can impact Massachusetts, so it is best to be prepared. Check out CZM's Hurricane Preparedness Kit for detailed information about hurricanes, past and present, and how to prepare for an approaching storm. Also the 2002 issue of Coastlines, the CZM magazine, focuses on hurricanes and the potential impacts to Massachusetts.
Coastal ACEC Grants Announced
CZM has awarded four recipients funding through the Coastal Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Grant Program, which provides funding to groups working on stewardship projects in coastal ACECs. The following four projects were selected for this year's awards because of the benefit to resource management, stewardship, and partnerships within coastal ACECs.
On September 15, Howard "Bud" Ris, will take the helm as President and CEO of the New England Aquarium (NEA). Mr. Ris is currently a senior fellow in the Center for Global Insight at the World Economic Forum, and was the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists from 1984 to 2003. In his new role, Ris is assigned to provide the overall leadership, vision, and direction to the Aquarium's multi-faceted marine conservation efforts that include waterfront exhibit space, education programs with teachers and students, marine animal rescue efforts in New England and ocean research projects around the world. Go to the New England Aquarium website for more information.
Coastal Monitoring Grants Program - Thanks to the financial support from EOEA, CZM is seeking applications for the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program. Recognizing that sound data and information are vital to the management, protection, and restoration of important coastal habitats and natural resources, the Coastal Monitoring Grants Program funds environmental monitoring and assessment efforts in coastal wetlands and water bodies. Grants may be used by monitoring groups, organizations, or firms to monitor water quality, track changes in populations of introduced species, and assess impacts to wetlands. To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 06 CZM 01." Proposals are due by September 16.
Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grants Program - CZM is seeking applications for the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grants Program (Coastal NPS). The program provides funding to Massachusetts public and non-profit organizations (cities and towns, regional planning agencies, watershed organizations, and public schools, etc.) for the assessment and characterization of nonpoint source pollution (NPS), development of transferable management tools for NPS control, and implementation of unique demonstration projects that utilize NPS best management practices. All applicants are subject to the Commonwealth Capital (ComCap) criteria. To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 06 CZM 02." Proposals are due by September 16.
Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants Program - CZM is seeking applications for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grants Program (CPR). The CPR program provides funding to municipalities located in the Greater Massachusetts Coastal Watershed for the assessment and remediation of stormwater pollution from paved surfaces, and the installation of boat pumpout facilities. All applicants are subject to the Commonwealth Capital (ComCap) criteria. To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 06 CZM 03." Proposals are due by September 16.
NOAA Announces Two Funding Opportunities - The NOAA Restoration Center's Community-Based Restoration Program provides funds for individual grassroots marine habitat restoration projects that will benefit living marine resources including anadromous fish species, commercial and recreational resources, and endangered and threatened species. The Center's Marine Debris Program provides funds for the implementation of locally driven, community-based marine debris prevention and removal projects that will benefit coastal habitat, waterways, and NOAA trust resources including anadromous fish. For more information about both programs, go to the Restoration Center's Website. Proposals are due by October 12.
Reminders - The following funding opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
General Water Quality and Habitat Monitoring QAPP - CZM has issued a Request for Responses (RFR) for the development of a General Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for water quality, wetland, and invasive species monitoring efforts. This General QAPP will be used by recipients of CZM's Coastal Monitoring Grants as a foundation for developing their own study designs and quality assurance protocols. The General QAPP and accompanying guidance documents will be designed to reduce the planning requirements on grant recipients, while ensuring that high quality, defensible data are collected as a result of each funded project. To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 06 CZM 04." Proposals are due by August 17.
Massachusetts Bays Symposium Proceedings - In May 2004, the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) hosted the Massachusetts Bays Symposium in Boston—the first such symposium for the region in 10 years, which brought together experts to describe the current conditions of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, review progress made in protecting and restoring the Bays, and strengthen scientific partnerships. The proceedings are now available on the MBP website. For hardcopies, contact Peter Hanlon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Marine Science and Technology Industry in New England - The Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts has released this comprehensive study that provides an analysis of this industry in New England. For information and to download the report, go to the Donahue Institute website.
Still Available - These CZM/EOEA products and publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
Coast Guide Online! - Just in time for the really hot weather, CZM has developed an easy-to-use online guide to beaches and coastal spots on the North Shore and in and around Boston. Based on CZM's Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore publication, the website includes detailed, printable maps and brief descriptions of coastal areas that are open to the public. Specifically, sites within Boston Inner Harbor, Dorchester Bay-Quincy, North Gloucester, and Plum Island & Vicinity are now online. The sites range from small boat landings to bustling urban docks to wildlife refuge areas and site descriptions include facilities available, parking information, and, when applicable, hours of operation. For those looking for more places to explore, use the order form to request the printed Coast Guide, which includes almost 400 coastal sites from Salisbury to Hingham. Go to the Coast Guide website for the online version of Coast Guide and the order form.
EPA Ocean and Coastal Programs Website - EPA's Ocean and Coastal Protection Unit administers federal programs to protect marine and estuarine waters in New England. The unit's responsibilities include regulating the disposal of dredged material, vessel sewage, and other wastes; managing the six National Estuary Programs in New England; coordinating state and local beach programs; conducting environmental impact reviews of federal activities in coastal waters; and assisting with the issuance of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for discharges that may affect marine water quality.
LID Toolkit Web Page - The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has developed a Massachusetts Low Impact Development (LID) Toolkit web page that provides a set of materials designed to help citizens, public officials, and developers implement LID—strategies that use careful site design and decentralized stormwater management to reduce the environmental footprint of new growth. An LID approach improves water quality, minimizes the need for expensive pipe-and-pond stormwater systems, and creates more attractive developments. The web page includes a set of three LID brochures; frequently asked questions about LID; a discussion of stormwater and LID bylaws, and local code issues; an LID slide show; fact sheets; and other resources.
Assistance for States on Growth Issues - On July 12, EPA announced the new Governors Institute on Community Design. The Institute is led by three former governors, Christie Whitman (New Jersey--also former EPA Administrator), Parris Glendening (Maryland) and Angus King (Maine), and will allow leaders to share innovations; deliberate tough, "big picture" questions; and develop cost effective solutions appropriate for their states. In the coming year, the Institute will conduct workshops to pair governors and their cabinets with top planning experts to identify strategies that spur smarter development that serves the economy, public health, and the environment.
Grants.gov - Grants.gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies. Grants.gov is the single access point for over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies.
Coastal Projects Under CZM Review
Weaver's Cove LNG Project Receives FERC Approval - On June 30, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the Weaver's Cove Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Fall River by a 3-1 vote. The proposed project includes construction and operation of a 200,000 cubic meter LNG storage tank, a dock, and LNG off-loading facility, and requires the dredging of approximately 2.5 to 3 million cubic yards of material from the Taunton River to allow tankers to access the facility. The project is still undergoing review by the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA), through which the proponent has been required to submit a supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report. FERC's decision on the Weaver's Cove project is available on the FERC website.
Cape Wind Project Files Notice of Project Change - The Cape Wind Energy project has filed a Notice of Project Change (NPC) with the MEPA Office describing changes to the layout of the proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound. As noted in the MEPA Certificate on the Draft Environmental Impact Report, a recent change to the state boundary in Nantucket Sound caused some of the proposed wind turbines to be located within state waters, which would be prohibited under the Ocean Sanctuaries Act. According to the NPC, approximately 10 proposed wind turbines have been relocated from state to federal waters. In addition, for reasons unrelated to the boundary change, 20 proposed wind turbines have been moved to avoid possible impacts to underwater archaeological resources, and other turbines have been moved to avoid fishing impacts and away from commercial vessel traffic in the main channel. The Secretary's Certificate on the NPC is expected to be issued in August and will be summarized in the September CZ-Mail. The project will be undergoing further public review when the Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement is filed.
Draft Pathogen TMDL Reports Available for Public Comment - The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced the availability of, for public comment, Draft Pathogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Reports for a number of coastal watersheds. To meet federal Clean Water Act guidelines, DEP has developed and adopted a TMDL strategy to improve the overall water quality of the state's waters. Copies of the reports, a further explanation of the TMDL Program, and more information about submitting comments, including deadlines, are available on the DEP website.
Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan Comment Period Extended - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and NOAA have extended the public comment period for the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan by 30 days to August 22, to allow the public a full 60 days to submit comments. To submit comments, send an e-mail to email@example.com. Include the RIN 0648-AS01 in the subject line of the message.
Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations for Areas of Marshfield - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting technical information or comments on the proposed Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and proposed BFE modifications for areas of Marshfield. The BFEs are the basis for the floodplain management measures that a community must adopt to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The proposed BFEs are available for inspection at Marshfield Town Hall. For additional information, contact FEMA's Doug Bellomo at (202) 646-2903.
Reminders - The following public comment period listed in the last CZ-Mail is still open:
COASTSWEEP 2005 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute of UMass Boston, will kickoff its 18th year on Saturday, September 17. Volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out in large numbers each year for this event, which is part of an international campaign organized by The Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC. Participants all over the world collect marine debris and record the types of trash they find. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. For more information, or to get involved, go to the COASTSWEEP website.
Antique & Classic Boat Festival - Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 23rd Antique and Classic Boat Festival on August 19-21. The festival will include exhibits, artists, crafts, and entertainment.
Coastal Society Conference - Call for Papers - The Coastal Society's 20th Biennial International Conference, Charting a New Course: Shaping Solutions for the Coasts, will be held May 13-18, 2006, in St. Pete Beach, Florida. For information on submitting abstracts for papers, posters, 3-4 person Panel Sessions, or workshops, see "Call for Papers" on the Coastal Society Conference website. Abstracts are due September 23.
Plastics in the Marine Environment Conference - Approximately 60-80 percent of marine debris in the world's oceans emanates from land-based sources. To address this important pollutant of the oceans, the Plastic Debris: Rivers to Sea conference will be held on September 7-9, in Redondo Beach, CA.
Flood Risk Management Conference - The Floodplain Management Association (FMA) will host its 2005 Annual Conference, Flood Risk Management: Structural and Nonstructural Solutions. How Much Is Enough? on September 6-9 in Sacramento, CA. The conference explores flood risk management methods and policies, including an examination of flood control financing and cost/benefit analysis.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Call for Awards Nominations - The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment is calling for nominations for two annual recognition awards. The Gulf of Maine Council Visionary Awards are given to two individuals, businesses, or organizations within each state and province bordering the Gulf, to recognize innovation, creativity, and commitment to protecting the marine environment. The Longard Volunteer Award is given to an outstanding volunteer within the Gulf watershed who has made significant contributions to conserving or managing the Gulf's resources. The deadline for nominations is September 2. Go to the Council's website for further information and to download the nomination forms.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Mitchell River - The Coast Guard has changed the drawbridge operation regulations that govern the operation of the Chatham Highway Bridge, mile 0.2, across the Mitchell River at Chatham. This final rule requires that from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., from May 1 through October 31, a one-hour advance notice be given for a bridge opening. This rulemaking also changes the on-call contact information. This action is expected to better meet the reasonable needs of navigation.