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Welcome to CZ-Mail, the monthly email newsletter 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 at http://www.mass.gov/czm/. If you have suggestions on making CZ-Mail more useful, would like your name added to the mailing list, or would like 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.
Babb-Brott Appointed as MEPA Director
Stephen R. Pritchard, Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA), has appointed Deerin Babb-Brott as Director of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office. Babb-Brott, who has served as Acting MEPA Director since March, was previously with CZM since 1992, most recently serving as the Assistant Director for Planning and Coastal Development. MEPA serves as the lead agency for the Commonwealth's environmental review process, establishes the scope of what will be included in such reviews, evaluates the adequacy of reports, interprets regulations, and reviews project changes.
Smart Growth Grants
EOEA has awarded 82 communities grants to assist with land use planning and smart growth efforts. In total, nearly $1.5 million in funding has been awarded in this round of EOEA's Smart Growth Technical Assistance Grant Program. Grants will assist municipalities with a wide range of projects that serve to protect natural resources and promote smart growth. While some planning activities are funded, the vast majority of these grants will result in subdivision or zoning changes, site-specific plans, or other modifications to existing development practices that will help direct where and how growth takes place. For more information about the awards, contact Kurt Gaertner, Director of Sustainable Development at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also for more smart growth information, check out CZM's Coastal Smart Growth Website.
Coastal Monitoring Grants Awarded
CZM has awarded Coastal Monitoring Grants totaling $90,000 to nine organizations for the collection of coastal water quality data. 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.
Coastal ACEC Grant Award Ceremony
On November 15, Secretary Pritchard hosted an event at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum to honor the 2005 Coastal Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) Stewardship Grant recipients. ACEC stewardship involves a proactive approach to resource management that uses education, networking, research, planning, land protection, and regulatory and technical tools. The Coastal ACEC Stewardship Grant Program was established by CZM in 2002 in its cooperative role with the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In the past four years CZM has awarded $85,000 to a variety of dedicated communities and organizations.
In February, 2004, the furniture retailer IKEA proposed a 366,275 square foot store in Stoughton. CZM does not typically review and comment on projects that are far outside of the coastal zone, but this project provided an opportunity to implement Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in a high visibility site. CZM and other members of the LID Working Group agreed that incorporating a green roof into the IKEA design could capture and filter up to 75 percent of the rooftop runoff, significantly reducing the land area needed for traditional stormwater management devices, meaning that 30 percent of the original site plan could remain undisturbed. In addition, a green roof's vegetation layer improves the energy performance of a building—heating and cooling are much more efficient. So, CZM contacted IKEA company officials directly about "going green," and many other LID Working Group members wrote letters to MEPA, encouraging LID practices. These efforts were a success. This new IKEA, with its 37,000 square foot green roof, opened on November 9. For more information about LID and CZM's Coastal Smart Growth Program, got to the Coastal Smart Growth Website.
Congress Approves $500K for Herring River Restoration Project
On November 10, Representative William Delahunt and Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry announced the successful joint effort to secure $500,000 for the Herring River wetlands restoration project in Wellfleet. The money will fund a portion of a land purchase at the site that is a critical element of the overall restoration effort. CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program and other partners greatly appreciate the efforts of the Congressman and Senators to help advance this important restoration project. View the joint news release.
Bird Island Tern Restoration Project Receives Federal Funding
The Massachusetts Congressional delegation, lead by the efforts of Representative Barney Frank, were successful in securing a $100,000 earmark in the FY2006 Energy and Water Appropriations Act for the Bird Island Roseate Tern Restoration Project located in the town of Marion. The northeastern population of the Roseate Tern is listed as endangered at both the federal and state levels. Bird Island, one of only three major Roseate Tern colony sites in North America, supports approximately 25 percent of the species' population. The island has been damaged by coastal erosion over the decades, resulting in a significant loss of nesting habitat. This earmark will allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-New England District to complete the project's Feasibility Study and begin the development of Detailed Plans and Specifications over the coming year. EOEA, through CZM, and the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife have been working for several years with the Army Corps and the Town of Marion on this critically important restoration project. The efforts of Congressman Frank and all of the Massachusetts delegation in securing this funding are greatly appreciated by all the project partners.
CZM Will Be Hosting a New Coastal Fellow to Focus on Floodplain Management
CZM recently submitted a successful proposal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center for a Coastal Management Fellow to focus on floodplain management issues. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resoundingly demonstrated the vulnerability of coastal floodplains to storm damage, and the need for sound land use planning and management to minimize the potential loss of life and property, as well as the resulting environmental impacts. CZM's new Fellow, who will be selected this spring and start work this summer, will focus on this timely and important issue, while also forwarding important coastal "smart growth" concepts, such as Low Impact Development. Through a reasoned and creative approach, the Fellow will develop planning, policy, regulatory, and technical assistance tools to help ensure that the Massachusetts coastal floodplain management strategy meets the needs of a state with one of the densest coastal populations in the country. CZM looks forward to hosting our sixth Fellow through this NOAA program!
CZM Staff & People
Project Review Coordinator - Alex Strysky, CZM's Project Review Coordinator recently returned to his previous job with the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Chapter 91 Program after serving with CZM for a year. We thank Alex or all his efforts at CZM and look forward to continuing to work with him at DEP. Truman Henson, CZM's Cape Cod Regional Coordinator is taking over as Project Review Coordinator.
Invasive Species Specialist - CZM welcomes Beth Suedmeyer as the first invasive species specialist. Beth will be working on both wetland and marine invasive species issues. Specifically, she will be working with CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program to enhance purple loosestrife biological control efforts. On the marine side, Beth will be developing a marine invasive species monitoring network along the coast of Massachusetts. Beth is a former Fulbright Scholar and comes to us from Tufts University School of Veterinary medicine where she worked on the Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) program, among a variety of other duties. Beth brings a wealth of wetlands ecology and GIS experience to the office. Welcome Beth!
Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) - CZM is seeking proposals for coastal and estuarine land acquisition projects consistent with the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation (CELC) Plan, which identifies potential "project areas" that have significant ecological, conservation, recreation, historical, or aesthetic values. Proposals will undergo state review for prioritization and nomination to the national selection process administered by NOAA. To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 06 CZM 12." Proposals are due by 12:30 p.m., December 15.
Smart Growth Technical Assistance Grants - The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and NOAA are offering three technical assistance opportunities to help communities meet development-related challenges and to help create examples that can serve as models for others. To streamline the process, AIA, EPA, and NOAA are releasing their requests for applications (RFA) together, with the same deadlines. Applicants can apply to one or all three of these programs. Each program has a specific application that must be completed. All applications are due to the sponsoring organization on January 6, 2006.
Gulf of Maine Council Action Plan Grants - Through the Action Plan Grants Program, the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) is seeking applications for grants to non-governmental organizations, municipalities, and schools throughout the Gulf of Maine watershed. The purpose of the grants is to further the goals of the Council while assisting worthy applicants with programs that benefit the Gulf of Maine region. Applications are due January 13.
NOAA Open Rivers Initiative - The Open Rivers Initiative (ORI) provides funding and technical expertise for community-driven, small dam and river barrier removals, primarily in coastal states. Projects are expected to provide an economic boost for communities, enhance public safety, and improve populations of NOAA trust resources such as striped bass, Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic and Pacific salmon, American eel, American shad, blueback herring, and alewife. Proposals selected for funding will be implemented through a cooperative agreement. Proposals are due January 13, 2006.
Reminders - The following funding opportunity listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
Massachusetts Funding and Technical Assistance Documents - Two new state publications provide information on funding and technical assistance resources to promote smart growth and environmental protection, restoration, and stewardship. Grant and Loan Programs of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs provides information on a wealth of programs offered by EOEA, its four departments, several offices and divisions to support community efforts to protect, enhance, and preserve the vital environmental resources of the Commonwealth while supporting growth, economic vitality, and the high quality of life for its citizens. Capacity Building Resources for Cities and Towns in the Commonwealth provides information on technical assistance relating to smart growth offered by the Office of Commonwealth Development (OCD) and its four constituent parts: EOEA, the Division of Energy Resources (DER), the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT), and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). For printed copies of both documents, contact Jane Pfister at email@example.com or (617) 626-1194.
LID DVD - The Massachusetts Edition of the first national Low Impact Development (LID) film is now available. This DVD includes a 30 minute "Reining in the Storm" film showcasing the work of 21 LID pioneers and their projects. The Massachusetts edition also includes a 15 minute film that highlights statewide LID projects and includes a number of LID model bylaws and outreach and technical assistance materials. The Massachusetts portion of the DVD was produced by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, in partnership with CZM, with funding from an EPA/DEP §319 Grant. To obtain a copy, e-mail Andrea Cooper, the CZM/EOEA Smart Growth Coordinator.
Eelgrass Restoration Site Selection Model - Developed by Fred Short and Dave Burdick of the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, this spatial model is designed to assist in determining optimal locations for restoration of eelgrass (Zostera marina). This model is now available at no cost on CD-ROM. Distribution of the CD-ROMs is made possible by a grant from the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET). For more information, or to get a copy of the CD, e-mail Steve Bliven or call (508) 997-3826
Still Available - These CZM/EOEA products and publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
DEP Launches New Website - DEP has launched an updated website with an all new look, improving navigation and function. The new website is a gateway for Commonwealth citizens to get information about the important work DEP does to ensure clean air and water, the safe management of toxic and hazardous materials, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely clean up of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. Comments are welcome and should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out a feedback survey.
Stormwater Technology Clearinghouse - The University of Massachusetts has developed a searchable database containing validated performance data and technical information on innovative stormwater treatment technologies. The database was designed to help conservation commissioners, other local officials, state/federal regulators, site developers, consultants, and others interpret information such as site and environmental considerations and treatment efficiencies for various pollutants. It also serves as a repository for test reports and performance data from a variety of sources. The project was funded through an EPA/DEP §319 competitive grant. The clearinghouse is still being populated and refined. Comments are welcome and should be sent to Jerry Schoen at email@example.com or 413-545-5532.
Buzzards Bay Funding Opportunities Web Page - The Buzzards Bay National Estuarine Program has put together a web page detailing the number of funding opportunities available to Commonwealth municipalities.
Bacterial and Nutrient Loading Database - Concentrations of nutrients and fecal bacteria are among the most commonly cited causes of degraded water quality. Increasing coastal development causes higher levels of both pollutants to enter estuaries, often resulting in the closure of shellfish beds and beaches. This database of available fecal bacteria, and nutrient loading data can be used to quickly identify loading characteristics from different land uses (bacteria and nutrients) and animals (bacteria only).
Coastal Smart Growth Website - Stormwater runoff polluting shellfish beds and swimming areas, sprawling development shrinking habitats and displacing working waterfront businesses, and water use for expanding lawns leading to rivers running dry—these and other coastal management issues have a common link—historic and current development patterns. Recognizing the connection between land and sea, CZM's new Coastal Smart Growth Website includes planning, technical, regulatory, and outreach tools for real-world growth management that protects coastal resources.
Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Katrina - NOAA is working with other agencies in evaluating the potential environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina on living marine resources and has developed a website detailing these efforts.
Coastal Projects under CZM Review
CZM Submits DEIR for Dredged Material Disposal Site in Buzzards Bay - CZM has completed development of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) (Identification and Designation of a Buzzards Bay Disposal Site for Suitable Dredge Material) (BBDS), and submitted this document to MEPA for review. The intent of the BBDS is to provide a cost-effective, environmentally responsible dredge material disposal alternative in Buzzards Bay for clean dredge material originating from public or private projects in the area. In the early 1990s Massachusetts designated a similar disposal site for clean dredge material in Cape Cod Bay, however the distance to this disposal site makes its use cost prohibitive for many dredging projects in the Buzzards Bay area. The deadline for comments to MEPA is currently set for December 22, but it is likely that this deadline will be extended. Comments on the BBDS DEIR should be addressed to the MEPA Office as follows:
Secretary Stephen R. Pritchard
Attn: Briony Angus
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02114
For questions regarding this project or for a CD of the BBDS DEIR, contact David Janik at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 291-3625 x12.
New Bedford Harbor Restoration Projects - On behalf of the New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council, NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking comment on its proposed funding of six restoration projects for possible implementation through funding from the AVX Natural Resource Damages Trust Account. These projects are designed to restore natural resources that were injured by the release of hazardous substances and materials, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in the New Bedford Harbor environment. A draft environmental assessment is available at http://www.restorenbh.gov. Public comments will be accepted through December 7 at NBHTC@noaa.gov. For more information contact Jack Terrill at Jack.Terrill@noaa.gov or (978) 281-9136.
MMS Extends Public Comment Period on Energy Development - The U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) has extended the public comment period on the preliminary development of its 2007-2012 five-year leasing plan for energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and accompanying environmental impact statement. The deadline for public comment has been extended to January 6, 2006 to allow more time for oil and gas operators and states affected by the recent hurricanes to prepare comments. The MMS is seeking comment on the economic, social, and environmental values of all of the resources of the OCS and the potential impact of oil and gas exploration on the environment. While many planning areas currently are subject to a 1998 Presidential withdrawal or Congressional moratoria from leasing, the recently passed Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for a comprehensive inventory in all areas of the OCS. MMS is soliciting information from Governors, local officials, and other interested parties on their offshore resources to complete the inventory.
NPDES Multi-Sector General Permit - EPA has released for comment the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Industrial Activity, also referred to as the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). This proposed permit will replace the existing permit covering industrial sites that expired on October 30, 2005. EPA seeks comment on the proposed permit and on the accompanying fact sheet-available at http://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater. For further information about the Massachusetts permit, contact Thelma Murphy at email@example.com or (617) 918-1615. Comments are due January 16, 2006.
CZM Fiscal Manager - CZM is seeking a dynamic, team-oriented Fiscal Manager to oversee all fiscal aspects of federal funds received by CZM, and grants made by CZM to Massachusetts municipalities and other entities using state and federal funds. This key position at CZM will manage approximately $4 million per year from state and federal agencies and work closely with a diverse team of environmental professionals to support an array of coastal resource and development programs. The application deadline is December 6.
Cape Cod Regional Coordinator - Now that Truman Henson has taken on the role of CZM Project Review Coordinator, the position of Cape Cod Regional Coordinator is vacant. The position will soon be posted, so stay tuned to the CZM Jobs and Grants page.
WBNERR Manager - DCR is seeking a manager to oversee the budget, staff, programs, and natural and man-made resources of the 2,650 acre Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR). The application deadline is expected to be extended into mid-December. For the latest details, check out the CZM Jobs and Grants page.
Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council Meeting - The Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council will meet on Wednesday, December 7 from 4 - 6 p.m. at the Boston Children's Museum, Harcourt Teacher's Center, 5th Floor. The meeting is open to the public. For further details, contact Mary Raczko at Mary_Raczko@nps.gov or 617-223-8672 .
Ecosystem Management in New England: An Assessment of Ecosystem Governance Structures - On January 13, 2006 at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island, regional policy makers and other experts will discuss the existing ocean and coastal governance structures in New England and their effectiveness in advancing ecosystem-based management for the region.
2006 Association of State Floodplain Managers Conference - The Association of State Floodplain Managers has announced its 30th annual floodplain management conference for the week of June 11, 2006 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The call for abstracts seeks a broad range of professionals to address the issues and problems associated with reducing flood damages, making communities more sustainable, and managing floodplain and fragile coastal resources. Local and state, officials, industry leaders, consultants, and other relevant parties are encouraged to submit papers relevant to the theme, which is, "Floodplain Management Crossroads—Where Route 66 Meets the Rio Grand."
Call for Papers - Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration Conference - On December 9-13, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Restore American Estuaries is holding the 3rd National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration—Forging the National Imperative. The organizing committee is seeking proposals for conference sessions. Proposals are due February 15, 2006.
Stormwater Utility Seminar - Is your municipality struggling to find funds to implement your stormwater management program? This seminar presents current requirements for stormwater management as well as the process a municipality may go through to determine if a Stormwater Utility is an appropriate method to fund a Stormwater Management Program. The seminar is on December 8 in Westford, Massachusetts.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Study Documents Effects of Fishing on Eelgrass Beds - Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), University of New Hampshire, and Maine Department of Marine Resources documented the impacts of commercial dragging on eelgrass habitat and projected the time required for the habitat to recover. Dr. Hilary Neckles, marine ecologist from USGS in August, Maine, led the study in response to concerns from resource managers, shoreline citizens, commercial fishermen, and scientists. The study found that dragging for shellfish negatively impacted eelgrass by completely uprooting plants, and dragging can damage large areas. Recovery of the eelgrass was predicted to take 11 years under ideal conditions (optimal water quality, clear water, and discontinued dragging), and up to 22 years in less favorable conditions. In the study, the scientists recommended protecting eelgrass from commercial dragging to preserve this valuable coastal habitat.
Asian Shore Crab Spreads North - Over 1,000 volunteers, as part of the citizen science initiative known as the Marine Invasive Species Monitoring Organization (CSI: MISMO), assisted David Delaney of McGill University in Montreal in collecting invasive crabs at 61 rocky inter-tidal locations from New Jersey to Maine. The goal of this project was to model the spread of the Asian shore crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus). This crab dominated from New Jersey up to Boston Harbor, while the European green crab (Carcinus maenas) was dominant north of Boston. A summary of the initial data is available at http://massbay.MIT.edu/exoticspecies/crabs/. Delaney is now creating a video in collaboration with the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Service to raise awareness and train future citizen scientists. For more information about the monitoring project or to discuss collaboration, contact David Delaney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (514) 585-8801.
2005 Census of Nesting Piping Plovers - MassWildlife has compiled figures for Piping Plovers with data gathered through the cooperation of nearly 70 biologists and beach managers from state and federal agencies, local municipalities and private conservation groups. A total of 475 pairs of Piping Plovers nested at 109 sites on Massachusetts coastal beaches. This represents a three percent decline from last year's 490 pairs. Dr. Scott Melvin, Senior Zoologist for MassWildlife, noted that the average number of chicks fledged per pair was only 1.0 (below the minimum reproductive success needed to sustain Massachusetts breeding population). of Piping Plovers. This low reproductive success is due in part to two spring coastal storms that destroyed many nests. Beach management practices to safeguard beach-nesting birds from disturbance, mortality, and habitat degradation still remain effective conservation tools. Piping plovers are classified as "Threatened" on both the federal and state endangered species lists.
Stellwagen Bank Seeks Applicants to Advisory Council - The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) is seeking applicants for the following vacant seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council (Council): Business and Industry (Member and Alternate) and Education (Alternate). Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the Sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve two-three year terms, pursuant to the Council's Charter. Applications are due by December 15.
Cod Conservation Zone - The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has issued a reminder to all fishermen of the upcoming Cod Conservation Zone to take effect on December 1. To protect predictable aggregations of cod, a portion of Massachusetts Bay has been designated a Cod Conservation Zone. The harvest of cod by any person in the designated area is prohibited from December 1 through January 15, 2006.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Saugus River - The U.S. Coast Guard is temporarily changing the drawbridge operations for the General Edwards SR1A Bridge, at mile 1.7, across the Saugus River between Lynn and Revere. This temporary change allows the bridge to remain in the closed position from November 1 through April 30, 2006. This action is necessary to facilitate structural maintenance at the bridge.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Taunton River - The U.S. Coast Guard is temporarily changing the drawbridge operations for the Brightman Street Bridge, at mile 1.8, across the Taunton River between Fall River and Somerset. The bridge may remain closed from 9 p.m. on December 2 through 5 a.m. on December 12. The purpose of this action is to facilitate scheduled bridge repairs.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Dorchester Bay - The U.S. Coast Guard is temporarily changing the drawbridge operating regulations governing the operation of the William T. Morrisey Boulevard Bridge, across Dorchester Bay in Boston. The bridge will remain in the closed position from November 1 through May 10, 2006. This action is necessary to facilitate scheduled bridge maintenance.