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State Ocean Management Legislative Hearing - A hearing is scheduled on July 18 on two proposed bills to allow for more proactive and effective management of Massachusetts ocean resources. Both bills would authorize the Secretary of Environmental Affairs (in coordination with state agencies and stakeholders) to develop a statewide Ocean Management Plan to manage, develop, and protect natural and economic ocean resources within state waters. The hearing will be held at 1:00 p.m. in room A-1 of the State House before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. For those who cannot attend the hearing, written testimony may be sent to the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, Room 473-F, State House, Boston, MA 02133. Please reference bills H-2602 and S-529. Click here for additional information on the proposed legislation. (This page will be updated later this month.)
CZM Launches New Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative Website - The new website features improved navigation and organization, providing detailed information on the Massachusetts Ocean Management Task Force, the Task Force's Waves of Change final report and recommendations, and state ocean management legislation proposed by Governor Romney. New sections of the site include the Massachusetts Ocean Education Program with its online Ocean Education Guide, links to ocean management resources, recent news, and national highlights.
New England Hit with the Largest Red Tide Bloom on Record
Due to the spread of toxic red tide, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has taken action to prohibit the harvesting, sale, or possession of shellfish from a large portion of the Commonwealth's coastal waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service then took emergency action to close a portion of Federal waters off the coasts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. This is the largest bloom in New England history warranting a public health emergency. For the latest information about the red tide bloom in Massachusetts, go to the DMF website. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has posted a public health fact sheet about red tide; NOAA has established a New England red tide information website for the public and the media at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/redtide/; and the Small Business Administration will be issuing low-interest loans to qualified individuals. For more information, go to http://www.sba.gov/disaster.
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—in other words, something for just about everyone. In most instances, descriptions include facilities available, parking information, and, when applicable, hours of operation. There is also a section devoted to public transportation. So what are you waiting for? Get your flip flops and pop tops ready for some some some summertime fun! 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. For the online version of Coast Guide and the order form, click here.
Smart Growth Toolkit CD
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) has completed a Smart Growth Toolkit CD. The Toolkit was developed to present new methods to guide and promote sustainable and environmentally sound development and growth. Case studies are included to illustrate the broad range of smart growth techniques that transform traditional sprawl development patterns into innovative development designs that integrate housing and transportation needs with environmental protection. CDs and brochures targeted to local government officials, developers and the public, provide education about 12 smart growth techniques. In late July, EOEA will distribution the CD to all Massachusetts cities and towns. For more information about the Smart Growth Toolkit CD, brochures, and posters, contact CZM-EOEA Smart Growth Coordinator, Andrea Cooper, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Open Space Residential Design Model Adopted by North Shore Communities
The CZM Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program awarded funding to the Massachusetts Audubon Society North Shore Advocacy Office for outreach and implementation of a newly updated Open Space Residential Design (OSRD) bylaw/ordinance in three cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley region. This new OSRD model promotes low impact development (LID) land planning and site-design practices that simultaneously conserve and protect land and water resources, while reducing infrastructure costs. As a result of the project, the City of Newburyport, and the Towns of Georgetown and Salisbury adopted the new OSRD-LID model this spring. For a copy of the model bylaw/ordinance, contact Coastal NPS coordinator Julie Conroy at email@example.com or Smart Growth Coordinator Andrea Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designated Port Area Success Story
On June 7, Massport announced that a $47 million proposal has been selected for the Massport Marine Terminal in South Boston. This section of South Boston is one of 11 working waterfronts included in the Commonwealth's Designated Port Area (DPA) program—areas in developed ports and harbors where the creation or expansion of maritime industrial uses is encouraged. According to Massport, the proposal includes intermodal cargo warehousing and distribution, cold storage, bulk cargo, and seafood processing. This site has recently been used by the Central Artery Project to store excavated dirt, and was previously used for parking. For more information about DPAs, click here.
EPA Grant Gives Massachusetts $256,580 to Monitor Coastal Beaches
On June 16, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $256,580 grant to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to improve the water quality monitoring and public notification programs at state coastal beaches. EPA's New England Office made the announcement at Edgewater Beach in Quincy, one of more than 500 coastal beaches in Massachusetts sampled regularly by the state's beach monitoring program to ensure that swimming conditions are safe. The EPA funding was made available through EPA's Clean New England Beaches Initiative, which is making a total of $1.15 million available this summer to the region's five coastal states. Click here for more information about EPA's Clean New England Beaches Initiative. For information about swimming conditions at Massachusetts beaches, go to the DPH web site at http://www.mass.gov/dph.
Marion Is the 100th Municipality to Adopt Community Preservation Act
On May 31, the town of Marion became the 100th Massachusetts municipality to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) since the passage of the state law five years ago. The CPA allows cities and towns to exercise control over local planning decisions. Under the act, communities can collect funds to preserve open space and historic sites, and create affordable housing and recreational facilities. For more information about the act, click here.
CZM Funds Lawrence LID Project as Urban Model
On June 7, Groundwork Lawrence (GWL), an organization dedicated to the improvement of parks, open space and riverways in the City of Lawrence, held a kick off event for a Low Impact Development (LID) project funded through CZM's Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program. With the assistance of CZM and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, GWL will design a community garden and explore stormwater management methods at an affordable housing development site. The comprehensive plan for the site will include LID techniques designed to minimize nonpoint source pollution and maximize natural resource protection. A number of state and local dignitaries spoke at the kick off, including Senator Sue Tucker, Representative William Lantigua, Congressman Marty Meehan, Mayor Sullivan, and Assistant Secretary of Commonwealth Development Stephen Burrington. The project will serve as a model project for implementing LID in an urban setting, highlighting the importance of a collaborative planning process. Contact Julie Conroy at email@example.com, or call Kathy Gormley of GWL at 978-974-0770 for more information. For more on LID, see the EOEA LID website.
President Introduces Offshore Aquaculture Bill
On June 7, the Bush Administration submitted to Congress for consideration and action The National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2005. The bill would grant the Secretary of Commerce new authority to issue permits for offshore aquaculture in federal ocean waters, while establishing environmental safeguards to protect marine ecosystems, consider risks to natural fish stocks, and other users. Before issuing a permit, the Secretary must consult with other relevant federal agencies, coastal states, Regional Fishery Management Councils, and the public, where applicable. The President pledged to propose this bill in the 109th Congress as part of his U.S. Ocean Action Plan, which outlines near-term and longer-term actions to protect the oceans and marine resources. This legislation is consistent with Recommendation 6-1, made by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in its final report, calling for a lead federal agency to administer aquaculture activity in federal waters. For more information, click here.
Marine Protected Area Recommendations - In June, the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee delivered the first set of recommendations to the Departments of Commerce and the Interior on establishing and managing a national system of MPAs. The recommendations are available on the National MPA Center's website. Public comments on the development of the national system are welcome and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MPA Federal Advisory Committee Request for Nominations - The Department of Commerce is seeking nominations for membership on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee, which was established to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior on strategies and priorities for developing the national system of MPAs and on practical approaches to further enhance and expand protection of new and existing MPAs. Nominations are sought for highly qualified non-federal scientists, resource managers, and persons representing other interests or organizations involved with or affected by marine conservation. To view the Committee charter and its current membership go to http://mpa.gov/fac.html. Nominations should be sent to: Lauren Wenzel, Marine Protected Areas Center, NOAA, N/ORM, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Available - The U.S. Coast Guard announced the availability of the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for the rulemaking on Vessel and Facility Response Plans for Oil; 2003 Removal Equipment Requirements and Alternative Technology Revisions. The DPEIS addresses the increase of the oil removal capacity requirements for tank vessels and marine transportation-related facilities and added requirements for new response technologies. The Coast Guard is requesting public comment on the DPEIS. Click here to view a copy of the DPEIS. Comments can be submitted on or before August 1 at http://www.uscg.mil/. Use Coast Guard docket number USCG-2000-7833.
Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan - The NOAA Fisheries Service announced publication of a proposed rule to further reduce entanglements of large whales in commercial fishing gear along the U.S. East Coast. The proposed rule would revise the agency's current regulations under the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan that were established to reduce the risk of large whale entanglements in pot/trap and gillnet gear. For more information on submitting comments, contact Diane Borggaard, NOAA Fisheries Service, Northeast Regional Office, (978) 281-9300 ext. 6503, or, click here.
LNG Marine Spill Regulations - In response to a request from the public, the U.S. Coast Guard is reopening the public comment period on a petition from the City of Fall River that asks the Coast Guard to develop regulations establishing thermal and vapor dispersion exclusion zones for marine spills of liquefied natural gas (LNG), similar to U.S. Department of Transportation regulations for such spills on land. Comments can be submitted on or before August 22 at http://www.uscg.mil/. Use Coast Guard docket number USCG-2004-19615.
Request for Responses
Wetlands Restoration Program Technical Assistance RFR - CZM has issued a Request for Responses/Qualifications (RFR/Q) to pre-qualify up to seven vendors or vendor teams under a Master Service Agreement (MSA) to provide technical services that support wetlands restoration efforts. The MSA will have an initial term of one year and may be extended for up to three additional one-year terms at CZM's option. The RFR/Q does not guarantee that qualified vendors or vendor teams will be included on the MSA, nor does CZM guarantee work for any vendors or vendor teams that are placed on the MSA under the RFR/Q. The estimated value of these services is $300,000 per year. The RFR number is "ENV 05 CZM 14" and the title is "Wetland Restoration Technical Assistance." To view the RFR, visit the Comm-PASS web site at http://www.comm-pass.com/ and search using the RFR number. Responses are due by July 14.
Smart Growth Technical Assistance Grants Program - EOEA is soliciting proposals from municipalities and Regional Planning Agencies to support efforts to implement Massachusetts Sustainable Development Principles. These grants will help communities with implementation of sustainable development/smart growth practices. To view the RFR and specific criteria, visit the Comm-PASS website at http://www.comm-pass.com/ and search for document number "RFR ENV 06 POL 01." Proposals are due by August 16. For more information, contact Kurt Gaertner at email@example.com.
Self-Help, Urban Self-Help Grants - EOEA's Division of Conservation Services (DCS) announced the next round of grant funding from the Self-Help, Urban Self-Help, and federal Land and Water Conservation programs. The priority for this year's Self-Help grant round will be for the protection of coastal and estuarine property; sensitive stream, river, lake, and pond watersheds; and biological conservation (especially rare species habitats). The filing deadline is August 1. For more information about all these grant programs, go to http://www.mass.gov/envir/dcs/.
Estuary Habitat Restoration Program - Congress has appropriated limited funds to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to implement the Estuary Habitat Restoration Program. On behalf of the Estuary Habitat Restoration Council (Council), the Corps is soliciting proposals for estuary habitat restoration projects. Recommended projects must provide ecosystem benefits, have scientific merit, be technically feasible, and be cost-effective. Proposals are due July 25. For more information, including an application form, click here.
Funding Available for Research Projects Related to Northeast Fisheries - NOAA Fisheries Service Northeast Region's Cooperative Research Partners Program (CRPP) is seeking proposals that address a number of research topics related to Northeast fisheries, including ecological relationships in rebuilding stocks, commercial and recreational bycatch and discard issues, and socioeconomic data on the recreational fisheries. Approximately $1 million for proposals related to these specific topics will be available and up to twenty projects may be awarded under this announcement. For more information, contact Christopher M. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals are due July 11.
Reminders - The following funding opportunity listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available
Northeast Gateway LNG Project - The proponents of the Northeast Gateway offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) project have filed applications with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Coast Guard is the lead federal agency under the Deepwater Port Act and will have the responsibility for preparing the federal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project. FERC will participate in the Coast Guard's review process and will ultimately issue a license for the pipeline portion of the project. The Coast Guard is currently reviewing the Deepwater Port application to determine if it is complete before issuing a public notice. As more information about the proposed project becomes available, CZM will provide updates in CZ-Mail. For more information on the Coast Guard's Deepwater Port Act review process, click here.
Swansea Desalination Project - Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Ellen Roy Herzfelder, recently issued a Certificate on the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) filed by the Swansea Water District for a proposed plant that would withdraw saline water from the Palmer River for processing into drinking water. The Secretary's Certificate found that the FEIR did not adequately and properly comply with Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act review requirements, and required the proponent to file a Supplemental FEIR (SFEIR) to provide more information concerning possible alternatives to the project, due to its potential impacts and remaining questions about the mitigation of those impacts. Once the SFEIR has been filed, notice will be provided in the Environmental Monitor, commencing a 30-day public comment period.
Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist - CZM is seeking an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Specialist to implement action items outlined in the Massachusetts Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan. The AIS Specialist will work with CZM and Wetlands Restoration Program staff to recommend and implement a marine invasive species monitoring program, manage the Marine Invader Database, and manage a purple loosestrife biological control program for Massachusetts. The contractor will also assist with planning and implementation of a rapid assessment survey for invasive species scheduled for the summer of 2006. The application deadline is July 20. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website.
Natural Resources Planner - The Buzzards Bay Project, a planning unit of CZM, is seeking a Natural Resources Planner to provide assistance to local municipalities. The Planner will maintain and expand a stormwater drainage network database, help prepare atlases and maps of natural resources, conduct field evaluations and GPS surveys, and prepare grant applications, outreach, and informational materials. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website. The deadline for applications is July 19. Go to http://www.buzzardsbay.org for more information about the Buzzard's Bay Project.
Stormwater Technical Assistance Analyst - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seeking a Stormwater Technical Assistance Analyst to develop, implement and promote improvements to the built environment that reduce pollution from stormwater and increase its use as a resource. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website. The deadline for applications is July 11.
Watershed Management Outreach Planner - DEP is also seeking a Planner to create and facilitate a working group to review current wastewater and greywater practices in Massachusetts and recommend ways to promote its reuse. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website. The deadline for applications is July 11.
Training Materials on Small Docks and Piers Management - NOAA and its National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management have prepared training materials for the management of small docks and piers. Click here to view these materials, which include a guidance workbook and a number of PowerPoint presentations.
Recovery Plan Available for Endangered Western North Atlantic Right Whale - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and NOAA have announced the availability of the final revision of the recovery plan for the western North Atlantic right whale, Eubalaena glacialis, as required by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Click here to view the final plan.
Towards Conservation of Submerged Lands: The Law and Policy of Conservation Leasing and Ownership - The report, designed to inform and add to the array of tools available for marine conservation and to spur creative thinking about the role of the public in conserving the nation's vital submerged lands, is the result of research, analysis, and dialogue between marine conservation practitioners and submerged lands' legal experts, as well as proceedings from a July 2004 workshop. The 45-page report was edited by The Nature Conservancy and Rhode Island Sea Grant/Roger Williams University and is available at http://www.rwu.edu/pdf/law/sublandsrpt.pdf.
Gulf of Maine Times - The summer 2005 edition of the Gulf of Maine Times is now online. To view, go to http://www.gulfofmaine.org/times.
Proposed Strategy to Reduce Ship Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales - NOAA has released, for informational purposes, a Draft Environmental Assessment and related Economic Analysis on the Ship Strike Reduction Strategy. Click here for copies of these documents.
Coastal Mouth of River Maps - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has published the Massachusetts Mouth of Coastal River Maps. These maps identify the Mouth Of The River (MOR) for coastal rivers in order to provide a clear, consistent, and predictable means of locating all river mouths in the Commonwealth. The MOR lines represent the limit of Riverfront Area jurisdiction under the Wetlands Protection Act. View the maps online.
Marine and Freshwater Beach Testing in Massachusetts: 2004 Season - The report summarizes data provided to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on water quality testing conducted at marine and freshwater bathing beaches throughout the Commonwealth. To download the report, go to http://www.mass.gov/dph.
A Field Guide to Aquatic Phenomena - Get answers to the questions about things seen in freshwater lakes and ponds. A project of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental & Watershed Research and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the guide is available for viewing or downloading at http://www.umaine.edu/waterresearch/FieldGuide/default.htm.
Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports - The National Marine Fisheries Service has announced the availability of the 2004 final Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports. Send requests for copies of reports or revised guidelines to: Chief, Marine Mammal Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226, Attn: Stock Assessments. Copies of the Pacific Regional reports may be requested from Cathy Campbell, Southwest Regional Office, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213.
Still Available - These products and publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
NOAA Unveils 'Storm Tracker' to Follow Tropical Storms and Hurricanes - As the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season gets underway, NOAA has introduced a new way to follow specific tropical storms or hurricanes. NOAA Storm Tracker will contain live links to advisories, tracking maps, and satellite images of a particular storm that is projected to strike the United States or other nations in a storm's path. For more information, go to http://www.stormtracker.noaa.gov/.
New University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center - The Center for Stormwater Technology Evaluation and Verification (CSTEV) is a groundbreaking program that provides rigorous scientific field-testing and demonstration of stormwater treatment technologies. Funded by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), a partnership between the NOAA and the University of New Hampshire (UNH), CSTEV offers workshops in support of municipal managers, engineers, and others charged with developing and implementing stormwater management plans. The Center has installed and is testing 12 different best management practices (BMPs) at its nine-acre site at the UNH Durham campus. The multi-year project has been going on for about a year, and has generated extensive data on pollutant removal efficiencies and hydrology of conventional BMPs, Low Impact Development BMPs, and manufactured BMPs. For more information, go to http://www.unh.edu/erg/cstev/.
Massachusetts Stormwater Technology Evaluation Project - The Massachusetts Stormwater Technology Evaluation Project (MASTEP) has created this website as a source of verified technical information about stormwater BMPs and to provide information on innovative technologies to BMP users. The site includes a searchable database of performance characteristics for innovative stormwater treatment technologies. Go to http://www.mastep.net, for more information.
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.
The Boston Harbor Association Events - The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA) is hosting harbor islands visits and harbor walk tours throughout the summer. For more information, or to reserve a space, click here.
National Marina Day - National Marina Day is on August 13. The fourth annual celebration has two central themes-the important role marinas play as safe, family-friendly gateways to boating, and the invaluable service marina operators and owners perform as stewards of the environment. For more information, or to participate, go to http://www.marinaassociation.org/nmd/home.cfm.
Grants 101: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop - On July 11-13 Simmons College will hold this training-described as an intensive and detailed introduction to the process, structure, and skill of professional proposal writing. All participants will receive certification in professional grant writing from the Institute. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students can get more information at http://www.thegrantinstitute.com/, or (888) 824-4424.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Low Impact Development Working Group - CZM is coordinating a Low Impact Development (LID) Working Group comprised of 75 local, state, and federal agencies; conservation organizations; regional planning councils; watershed associations; and private development, planning, legal, and engineering consultant companies. The Working Group is a public-private partnership that promotes the acceptance and implementation of LID practices, and collaborates on projects and initiatives by pooling technical and financial resources. Member companies and agencies of the Working Group have developed a series of guidance and design manuals, technical assistance fact sheets and case studies, brochures targeted to various audiences, model bylaws, and demonstration sites. The group meets the first Wednesday of each month in Boston. If you would like to be on the group e-mail list to receive LID news and information, or to attend the regular monthly meetings, please contact CZM-EOEA Smart Growth Coordinator, Andrea Cooper at email@example.com.
Gallops Island Closed to Visitors - Gallops Island was closed in 2000 due to the presence of asbestos-containing building debris from former military uses. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has determined that the island will be closed to the public until visitors can be welcomed back safely. See http://www.bostonislands.org/, for more information about Gallops Island and the other Boston Harbor Islands.
Drawbridge Operation Regulations: Mitchell River - The U.S. Coast Guard has extended the drawbridge operation rules for the Chatham Highway Bridge, across the Mitchell River in Chatham, Massachusetts. From May 1 through October 31, a one-hour advance notice must be given for a bridge opening between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, the on-call contact person is now the Chatham Harbormaster.
Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Zone on Charles River - The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for the Boston Fourth of July Fireworks from 7:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. on July 4, with a rain date of July 5. The safety zone will temporarily prohibit entry into or movement within this portion of the Charles River. For more information contact: Chief Petty Officer Paul English at (617) 223-5750.
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, 2004. Go to http://www.gulfofmaine.org/council/opportunities/ for further information and to download the nomination forms.