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State Ocean Management Legislative Hearings - Hearings on two proposed ocean management bills will be held on July 18 at 1:00 p.m. in room A-1 of the State House before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Both bills would authorize the Secretary of Environmental Affairs (in coordination with state agencies and stakeholders) to create an ocean management plan for state waters. For those that 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.
CZM Public Opinion Survey - Abacus Associates of Hatfield, Massachusetts, has been selected by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) and CZM to develop and administer an Ocean Attitudes and Values Survey to serve as a foundation for CZM's Ocean Education Program. This survey will explore the personal connection citizens have to the ocean, their general understanding of the ocean and threats to it, the value and concern citizens have for ocean resources, and their coastal management priorities. The survey is expected to be completed by September. Get more information on the Massachusetts Ocean Education Guide.
CZM Director Speaks at MassSail Program Launch - On May 12, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) and the Ocean Classroom Foundation launched a joint marine science education program, MassSail, aboard the Spirit of Massachusetts. At the ceremony, CZM Director Susan Snow-Cotter emphasized, "Education plays a critical role, whether in a classroom or aboard a tall ship, in building ocean literacy among Massachusetts citizens. The MassSail Program is a great way to spark a lifelong interest in ocean issues." MassSail promotes public awareness and understanding of the Massachusetts marine environment and maritime heritage to students of all ages—from elementary school through college—in a diverse curriculum ranging from marine biology to maritime history, with all studies offered in overnight camps and dockside programs. Constructed in 1984 at the Charlestown Navy Shipyard, the Spirit of Massachusetts is a 125-foot long schooner modeled after the late 19th Century fishing vessel, the Fredonia. It carries a crew of nine with 22 berths available for overnight trips. For more information on these marine education programs, please contact Joanne M. Jarzobski, PCCS Marine Education Coordinator, at (508) 487-3622 x108 or visit the MassSail website.
Wellfleet Supports Herring River Restoration Project
On April 25, Wellfleet citizens approved an article at Town Meeting enabling the use of $1 million in state Land Bank funds to purchase 25 acres, consisting of floodplain and uplands, from the Chequesset Yacht and Country Club. According to Tim Smith of CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program, the approval of the purchase was the first of several critical stages of the Herring River Restoration Project—a comprehensive effort to restore normal tidal flows to a 1,100-acre estuary that has been diked, drained, diverted, and filled for over 100 years. Federal funds are currently being sought to match this state and local investment. The phased restoration project calls for the re-establishment of tidal flows through the dike across the mouth of the Herring River at Chequesset Road, and the relocation of several of the Chequesset Yacht and Country Club fairways out of the flood plain, allowing for tidal waters to flow into the 1,100 acre estuarine system, and returning the fairways to salt marsh and tidal creek habitat. Once completed, this project will be the largest salt marsh restoration in the New England region. For more information about this and other restoration projects, and the Wetlands Restoration Program, click here.
Coastal America Events June 1
The Coastal America Partnership, a collaboration of federal, state, and local governments, and private alliances to address environmental problems along our nation's coasts, will hold a number of regional events on June 1. James Connaughton, Chair of both Coastal America and the Council on Environmental Quality, will provide opening remarks at the New England Aquarium, for the Coastal America Regional Principals' discussion of coastal and ocean governance issues. Mr. Connaughton will then speak at a special lunchtime event, recognizing the success and future of the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership and the President's wetlands initiatives. Also to attend, Environmental Affairs Secretary Ellen Roy Herzfelder will address Massachusetts efforts to implement recommendations from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. In a 4:00 p.m. event, open to the public, a project dedication will be held at the West Parish Meeting House in Barnstable to recognize The Bridge Creek Salt Marsh Restoration Project. Coastal America awards will be given to the Bridge Creek Project Team as well as the Damde Meddowes Salt Marsh Restoration Team for its work at The Trustees of Reservations Worlds End park in Hingham. Finally, an evening reception will be held back at the Aquarium honoring the Gerry Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary exhibit. For those who plan to attend the Barnstable event, please RSVP to Susan Redlich at email@example.com.
Hanlon Appointed as Environmental Police Director
Secretary Herzfelder appointed James J. Hanlon as the Director of the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement (OLE) on May 9. Acting Director of OLE since July of 2004, Director Hanlon brings to his post the background, education, and experience to best protect the environmental and natural resources of the Commonwealth through the enforcement of related laws and regulations. For more information on OLE, see theOLE Websitee.
CZM Activates Coastal Storm Team for May Northeaster
CZM activated the Rapid Response Coastal Storm Team for the northeaster that hit at the end of May. A moderate coastal storm was forecast for May 25-26 that had the potential for significant coastal flooding and a likelihood of structural damage. The Storm Team members were each tasked to survey a small segment of the coastline and report the degree of flooding, storm damage and erosion to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in Framingham. The feedback from the Storm Team provided valuable information to MEMA, allowing for more coordinated and targeted emergency response, during and after the storm event. The hardest hit areas of the coast included Scituate, Marshfield, Duxbury, Hull, Winthrop, Newbury, and Salisbury.
Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan - Coastal municipalities, local and regional land conservation organizations, and other interested individuals are invited to review and comment on the draft Massachusetts Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan. The purpose of the CELC Plan is to identify broad potential "priority areas" that contain much of the Commonwealth's most valuable coastal and estuarine resources, and to make those "priority areas" eligible for protection through specific land conservation projects funded through future NOAA CELC Program grants. Two public meetings have been scheduled to provide short presentations on the CELC Plan and solicit public comment. They will be held on
Plymouth/Kingston/Duxbury Bay No Discharge Area - CZM has been working with the Towns of Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury on a federally approved boat sewage No Discharge Area (NDA) for the entire Plymouth/Kingston/Duxbury Bay. The Bay has approximately 1,600 boats, 10,000 acres of shellfish beds, and numerous recreational bathing beaches. The designation is seen as one more step in the municipalities' continuing clean water initiatives for the Bay. Public informational meetings were held at the Plymouth Public Library on May 16 and May 24 describing the need for the designation, vessel pumpout availability, and the proposed boundaries. It is anticipated that a public informational meeting will be scheduled for June in Duxbury. The towns intend to submit an application for the NDA to CZM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by this fall. The ultimate goal is to designate the Bay as an NDA by the 2006 boating season. For further information contact CZM's South Shore Regional Coordinator, Jason Burtner, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request For Responses
Clean Marina Program - CZM is seeking a contractor to conduct a survey of the Massachusetts marina and boatyard industry to provide direct feedback and recommendations on developing a Clean Marina Program. Through this project, CZM will convene a clean marina focus group comprised of marina/boatyard operators and other interested parties to offer comments and content for the survey. The contractor will also evaluate state and federal regulatory programs and make recommendations on resources to help marinas achieve regulatory compliance. Using the results of this research, the contractor will design three models for the Massachusetts program, ranging from a complete clean marina certification program to a program that simply provides technical assistance to the industry on an as needed, issue-specific basis. The results of this project will be incorporated into a final report that will present recommendations for the creation of a Clean Marina Program, along with specific steps for successfully implementing the program. To review the RFR, go to the Commonwealth's Procurement Access & Solicitation System, Comm-PASS, located at http://www.comm-pass.com/, click "Search for solicitations," and search for document number "ENV05 CZM16." The deadline for submissions is July 1. For further information, contact Stephen McKenna at email@example.com.
Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grants - CZM will soon release a request for responses (RFR) for the Coastal Pollutant Remediation (CPR) Grants Program, which funds projects that address stormwater discharges from municipal roads, highways, or parking areas or for municipal boat sewage management efforts. Cities and towns located within the boundaries of the Massachusetts coastal watershed are eligible for funding. Click here for up-to-date information on the RFR.
Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program - Due to a decrease in federal funding for the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, CZM will not be issuing a request for responses (RFR) for Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program for the 2006 Fiscal Year.
2004-2005 Fisheries & Habitat Partnership Funding for Local Projects - The Ocean Trust and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center are providing funds to support cooperative projects with America's food fishing industry to restore habitat and enhance living marine resources of the United States. They are seeking partners and invite the submission of project proposals by July 15. For more information, go to http://www.oceantrust.org/.
Urban Forestry Planning and Education Grants - The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Urban and Community Forestry Program is offering a second round of grants to support planning and education projects that "Promote Community Forest Stewardship for Watershed Health." Matching grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to successful municipalities, planning agencies, watershed associations, and other nonprofits. Proposals must be postmarked by July 15. For more information, click here.
Reminders - The following funding opportunity listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
Siasconset Shore Protection Project - The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review of the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) filed for the Siasconset Shore Protection Project on Nantucket has concluded. The proposed project is designed to protect the southeastern corner of Nantucket Island from the effects of coastal erosion, specifically by nourishing the beach with approximately 1.6-2.4 million cubic yards of sand dredged from an offshore site. The Secretary's Certifica—a written statement that details whether or not an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required for the project and, if so, what is required to be in the EIR—noted that the project highlights the importance of reconciling the equally important interests of shore protection and the protection of marine habitat and fisheries. For this reason, and consistent with the Secretary's ocean management goals, the Certificate requested that state agencies coordinate to determine the scope of resource characterization and analysis needed, and to define the range of alternative approaches to be considered. The Certificate also outlined the informational requirements of the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the project, including many of the issues identified in CZM's comment letter, such as proper design of the beach nourishment, possible impacts associated with the use of geotextile tube structures on the beach, and the effect the dredging may have on coastal geological processes in the area and living marine resources at the dredging site. After the proponent submits the DEIR, there will be a public notice in the Environmental Monitor starting a 30-day comment period.
Swansea Desalination Project - The Swansea Water District (SWD) has filed a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for a desalination facility within the tidally influenced portion of the Palmer River. The facility would withdraw up to 2.0 million gallons per day (mgd) of brackish water during low tide, producing up to 1.3 mgd of fresh water through reverse osmosis. The highly concentrated brine resulting from the process would be discharged to the Palmer River during high tide. Through the MEPA process, CZM and others have expressed concern regarding entrainment and impingement of aquatic organisms at the intake, and the possibility that the concentrated discharge will interfere with anadromous fish migration up the Palmer River. These concerns have prompted design changes by SWD, including the use of intake screens and a reduction of the intake velocity to lessen impingement and entrainment. SWD's proposal also will result in the dilution of its brine effluent to background salinities within 15 feet of the outfall. An alternative that includes having the SWD buy desalinated water from the Aquaria facility on the Taunton River, thus eliminating impacts to the Palmer River, is being explored further. The comment period for the Swansea desalination project ends on June 9. For more information, see the May 10 edition of the Environmental Monitor.
Northeast Gateway LNG Project - Secretary Herzfelder issued a Certificate for the Environmental Notification Forms submitted for the proposed Northeast Gateway offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. The proposed project would include constructing a deepwater port in the middle of Massachusetts Bay to import and regasify LNG to be delivered through a new 12- to 14-mile long, 24-inch diameter pipeline that would connect to the existing HubLine gas pipeline. Noting that the project presents a significant opportunity to advance the state's emerging ocean management objectives in light of the need to meet energy needs while protecting marine resources and uses, the Certificate included a detailed list of information and analysis that the proponents must include in their DEIR. In addition to a thorough and regionally comprehensive alternatives analysis, the Certificate required: additional characterization of marine habitat and fisheries resources and an analysis of existing uses; analysis of the impacts on marine resources and uses due to construction and operation, including impacts to ichthyoplankton (fish) resulting from intake of seawater for ship operations and ballast; a discussion of the potential conflict with existing and proposed uses in the vicinity of the proposed project; and a description of proposed mitigation for the affected resources and uses. The Certificate also anticipates the coordinated state/federal review of the project as the federal permitting authority, the U.S. Coast Guard, leads the federal review of the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A public comment period will commence once the DEIR is submitted. Notice will be provided in the Environmental Monitor. Once a Deepwater Port license application has been submitted to the Coast Guard, information on the project can be viewed at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/gm/mso/mso5.htm.
Weaver's Cove LNG Project Final EIS - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Weaver's Cove LNG Project in Fall River. 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 approximately 2.5 to 3 million cubic yards of dredging in the Taunton River to allow tankers to access the facility. The project is concurrently being reviewed by MEPA, through which the proponent has been required to submit a supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report. Click here to view more information available on the FERC website. Search for docket code "CP04-36."
Stormwater Specialist - The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) is seeking a Stormwater Specialist to provide technical and outreach assistance to municipalities within the Massachusetts Bays Program region (Salisbury to Provincetown). The primary responsibility of the position is the development of a transferable framework for the creation of stormwater utilities that support local implementation of municipal stormwater management programs. In addition, the position will assist local officials in identifying and choosing options that meet local stormwater management goals. For more information, go to the Commonwealth Employment Opportunities website. The application deadline is June 28. For more information about the MBP, go to http://www.massbays.org/.
Fisheries Habitat Restoration Specialist - NOAA's Restoration Center is seeking a Fisheries Habitat Restoration Specialist for its Northeast Team to assist in the oversight of habitat restoration projects in the Northeast/Northern New England region. The restoration specialist will be based in Gloucester, MA. To view the job posting click here.
Water Today...Water Tomorrow? Protecting Drinking Water Sources in Your Community: Tools for Municipal Officials - The New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) recently produced this 52-page manual that provides municipal officials with tools they can use to protect drinking water sources. The publication focuses on inadequate local regulations and ordinances, underground storage tanks, onsite sewage disposal systems, hazardous materials storage, and stormwater runoff. To view a copy of the manual (and five companion fact sheets), click here. NEIWPCC also has limited printed copies of these materials available. Please call Kara Sergeant at (978) 323-7929 for more on this publication and other aspects of NEIWPCC's Source Water Protection web page and activities.
Final Report of the Symposium on Shipping Noise and Marine Mammals - NOAA has released the final report of the 2004 symposium on Shipping Noise and Marine Mammals. Click here to download copies of the report. The next symposium is scheduled for 2006—dates and times to be announced. If you have questions or comments regarding the symposium or the report, please contact the event sponsors, Dr. Brandon Southall (Brandon.Southall@noaa.gov) or Dr. Roger Gentry (Roger.Gentry@noaa.gov). For all other inquiries, please contact the event coordinator Praveen Kala (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Gulf Of Maine Summit Proceedings - The Gulf of Maine Summit Committing to Change was held in October 2004 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The Summit brought together coastal experts, concerned citizens, fisheries and aquaculture representatives, businesses, and leaders from around the Gulf of Maine to assess current environmental conditions, share knowledge, and develop plans for future actions needed to continue improving the environmental quality of the Gulf. The Summit Proceedings are available at http://www.gulfofmainesummit.org/report.html. Hard copies and CDs of the report are available from CZM at email@example.com.
NOAA Economic Statistics Booklet Available - NOAA released the fourth edition of its Economic Statistics for NOAA booklet that serves as a common reference to the latest economic benefits NOAA products and services provide to the nation's Gross Domestic Product and the environment. New for this edition are statistics on the economic effects of hurricanes, as well as many new statistics for lightning fatalities, snow costs and benefits, catastrophe bonds, fisheries, aquaculture, travel and tourism, remote sensing satellites, coastal ocean observing systems, electric utilities, and agriculture. For more information, click here.
Still Available - These products and publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
Dynamic Atlas of the Gulf of Maine - This website is the data and mapping portal of the Gulf of Maine Biogeographic Information System (GMBIS), which allows the user to explore, download, and map biological and biogeographical data from multiple sources. The goal of this site is to enhance the understanding of biological patterns in the Gulf of Maine, across space and time. This first version of the website primarily offers datasets from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, plus additional features to help visualize the data in meaningful ways. In the coming months, the website will include more datasets, enhanced mapping capabilities, improved search features, and educational tools for students and teachers. The website address is http://gmbis.iris.usm.maine.edu/.
Pre-Approval Requirements for Dispersant Use on Oil Spills - The U.S. Coast Guard announces the availability of a website that provides information on dispersant pre-approval requirements throughout the United States and its territories. The website contains information of interest to owners and operators of oil tankers and facilities required to have an oil spill response plan. For questions regarding the dispersant pre-approval requirements or accessing the website, call the Office of Response, LCDR Mark Cunningham, telephone (202) 267-2877. The website, which consists of a chart and map with informational pop-ups, is available at http://www.uscg.mil/vrp/maps/dispmap.shtml.
MPA Center Launches Online Regional Information Centers - The National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center is launching a series of web-based regional information centers designed to provide comprehensive information about ongoing federal, state, and tribal MPA planning processes. Users can search the information centers by region or state. Click here to visit the website.
NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program Launches New Education Website - The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program unveiled a new education website as part of a continuing NOAA effort to enhance public awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the marine environment. The new site is designed to assist the general public in learning about America's 13 NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries and the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, as well as to provide resources for teachers to support ocean literacy in America's classrooms. For more information, click here.
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 collect. This information is then used to help reduce future marine debris problems. Cleanups will be scheduled throughout September and October. To get involved, go to the COASTSWEEP website at www.coastsweep.umb.edu.
World Ocean Day - June 8 is World Ocean Day! Created in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Ocean Day is an opportunity each year to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. The Ocean Project helps each year to coordinate events and activities worldwide with aquariums, zoos, and museums. Click here for more information.
Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2005 - To coincide with World Oceans Day, Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW) will take place from June 7-9 in Washington, DC. This annual event provides a forum to discuss important ocean and coastal issues on Capitol Hill, and has become an opportunity for education and the exchange of ideas. This year's event will include a three-day symposium featuring topics, such as natural disaster prediction and preparation, wetlands restoration, aquaculture, oceans and human health, and marine transportation. Panel speakers will include Members of Congress, as well as representatives of the federal and state government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations. An Ocean Exhibit Fair will take place on June 8, featuring exhibits on a wide range of marine uses. For more information, click here.
June Is River's Month - Events in and around the rivers of the Commonwealth through July 4 are listed on the Rivers Month Calendar, prepared by the Massachusetts Riverways Program.
Massachusetts Biodiversity Days - Massachusetts residents are invited to get up close and personal with their wild neighbors during the annual Massachusetts Biodiversity Days, June 4-12. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions in partnership with EOEA, Biodiversity Days are a challenge to citizens to familiarize themselves with the wealth of animal and plant species found in backyards, schoolyards, conservation land, and other open space. Participants will find, record, and learn about the varied species of flora and fauna in their communities. The results from Biodiversity Days will be useful in continued efforts to build public awareness and support for biodiversity conservation. Adults and children of all ages are invited to participate.
International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Conference - The IAIA will hold its annual conference, entitled "Ethics & Quality" at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge from May 31 to June 3. Session themes include Sustainability Ethic, Transparency in Decision-Making in Impact Assessment, Impact Assessment of Oil and Gas Pipelines, Biodiversity, and Public Participation. CZM is participating by leading a South Shore Coastal Hazards Field Trip for conference attendees. Registration is available onsite. For more information, see IAIA's web site at www.iaia.org.
Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission Meeting - The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. on June 20, 2005 in the meeting room at Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters, Marconi Station, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The meeting is open to the public and interested persons may make oral/written presentations to the Commission.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Team CZM Zephyr paddles in Run of Charles Canoe Race - CZM's Team Zephyr (which included some CZM significant others and an alum) turned out to race in the Run of the Charles on Sunday April 24, despite the rain. The annual event, sponsored by the Charles River Watershed Association, has been a vehicle for increasing recreation on the Charles River and advocating for its cleanup over the last 23 years. Team Zephyr lived up to its reputation and paddled like the wind, finishing the 24-mile course in 4 hours and 48 minutes, a respectable 28th out of 82 teams and 4th in the Government Division. Cheers to the whole team on this year's finish! Click here for more information.
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. Click here for further information and to download the nomination forms.
Brightman Street Bridge Summer Operation Change - The U.S. Coast Guard has changed the drawbridge operation of the Brightman Street Bridge, across the Taunton River between Fall River and Somerset. The bridge will remain closed to pleasure craft traffic from 7-9:30 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, from June 1 through August 31. The drawbridge will open for commercial vessels.
Cruiseport Boston Opens for the New Season - The 2005 cruise season began in May at the Massachusetts Port Authority's (Massport) Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in South Boston and 2005 itineraries include new destinations and larger vessels. One-hundred vessels including old favorites and new additions will carry more than 225,000 passengers through Boston this year. The cruise season goes from May through November. Fifteen cruise lines will serve Boston, providing a mix of New England/Canada cruises, Bermuda cruises, and Caribbean cruises. Massport's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is located in South Boston's lively seaport district and only minutes away from downtown Boston's world famous historic sites, shops, and restaurants. For more information, click here.