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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. Additional information about CZM's programs, publications, and other coastal topics can be found on the CZM website. If you have suggestions for CZ-Mail, 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.
State Ocean Management Legislative Hearing
A hearing on the proposed ocean management bill will be held on June 13 at 1:00 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium of the State House before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture. The bill would authorize the Secretary of Energy and 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 & Agriculture, Room 473-F, State House, Boston, MA 02133.
Secretary Bowles Appoints Two Agency Commissioners
Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles has appointed Mary Griffin as Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and Richard Sullivan as the Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Griffin is an experienced administrator and environmental attorney who has served at multiple state agencies, most recently as Acting Deputy Commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). She also served as CZM's Boston Harbor Regional Coordinator and General Counsel to the Secretary of Environmental Affairs. Sullivan has been Mayor of Westfield since 1994. He is also a past president of the Massachusetts Mayors Association, chairman of the Turnpike Advisory Board, and member of the Governor's Local Advisory Committee. For details, see the Griffin press release (PDF) or the Sullivan press release (PDF).
Patriots Day Northeaster Declared a Federal Disaster-Funds Available
On May 16, President Bush issued a major disaster declaration in Massachusetts for the areas struck by severe storms from April 15-25. This action makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms and inland and coastal flooding in Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Plymouth Counties. The Small Business Administration has also approved a disaster declaration for some of the affected areas. Long-term, low-interest loans are available for homeowners and businesses. For more information see the MEMA website.
Governor Updates Sustainable Development Principles
On May 16, Governor Patrick announced changes to the state's Sustainable Development Principles. For the first time, these principles now include promoting clean energy, in the form of energy efficiency and renewable power generation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consumption of fossil fuels. Other changes encourage the creation of "pedestrian-friendly" districts and neighborhoods that mix commercial, civic, cultural, educational, and recreational activities with parks and homes. In housing, the principles call for building homes "near jobs, transit, and where services, including water supply, are available."
NOAA Announces FY 2007 Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Projects
NOAA has announced the list of Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 projects funded under the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP), marking the first year that NOAA awarded CELCP funding based on the results of a nationwide competitive program. In late 2005, CZM solicited coastal communities for potential CELCP projects. CZM then nominated the top three projects in the Commonwealth to NOAA's national ranking process-then, hopefully on to Congress for funding consideration. Out of 17 projects that were funded nationwide, the Center Hill Beach Project in Plymouth ranked second and is expected to receive $2,250,000 in CELCP funding. The land for this project has already been purchased, so the CELCP funds will be used to reimburse much of the previous local and state expenditures. Special thanks to the entire Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, especially Congressman Delahunt, for their support and assistance with the CELCP funding. CZM is planning to send a notice to Massachusetts coastal communities later this summer soliciting potential CELCP projects for consideration for FY 2009 nomination and funding. For more information, see the CZM's CELCP website.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins
The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season began on June 1 and once again an active season is predicted. Updated predictions and the latest hurricane information are available on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Hurricane Center website. To help prepare, see the CZM Hurricane Preparedness Kit. Also, see CZM's 2002 Coastlines magazine for more information on Massachusetts hurricanes and their potential impacts, articles on how to build and rebuild to withstand a storm, and information on a wide range of tools available for reducing risks in hurricane-prone areas.
It's Getting Hot Out There—Check Out Coast Guide Now!
With summer approaching, the Massachusetts Coast Guide to Boston and the North Shore can help you get to nearly 400 shoreline public access sites (from Salisbury to Hingham). Available online, Coast Guide provides maps and descriptions of not only the spectacular beaches found on major road maps, but smaller, little-known coastal treasures too. For ideas about where to go along the entire Massachusetts coastline, CZM has also launched the Online Locator of Coastal Public Access Sites. Developed in conjunction with the MassGIS, this searchable inventory displays maps and printable descriptions of coastal properties owned by government agencies or major nonprofit land conservation organizations and open to the public.
Great Marsh Celebration Held at Crane Estate
On May 30, more than 100 federal, state, and local partners gathered to celebrate aquatic habitat restoration efforts in the Great Marsh and across the Commonwealth. This Wetlands Month Event was held in the middle of the beautiful Great Marsh at The Trustees of Reservations Crane Estate in Ipswich. Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, and representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NOAA, CZM's Wetlands Restoration Program (WRP), The Trustees of Reservations, and the city of Gloucester spoke about the many recent restoration successes and emphasized future needs and opportunities for aquatic habitat restoration throughout Massachusetts. Restoration accomplishments within the 25,000-acre Great Marsh region on Massachusetts North Shore were highlighted, along with more than 100 potential salt marsh restoration opportunities identified in the Great Marsh Coastal Wetlands Restoration Plan. EPA New England, WRP, and the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership sponsored the event. See the EPA press release for more information.
Delaney Named Director of Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Former CZM Director, Richard Delaney, has been named as the new Executive Director of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS)—-a nonprofit organization that focuses on scientific research, stewardship, and education with an emphasis on marine mammals and coastal and marine habitats and resources of the Gulf of Maine. Rich previously served as Executive Vice President for the Horsley Witten Group, and was the founding director of the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston. An Orleans resident, he also serves on the Cape Cod National Seashore advisory board. Rich takes over on July 1 and will succeed Peter Borrelli, who is retiring after 12 years.
CZM Visioning Meeting Held in Boston
The first in a series of nationwide meetings designed to solicit innovative ideas that will shape reauthorization proposals for the federal Coastal Zone Management Act and other policy changes was held on May 8 in Boston. Diverse stakeholders including alternative energy interests, home builders, conservation groups, and state government met at the one-day meeting to learn more about the reauthorization initiative and to discuss needed changes and innovative ideas in the following areas: land use, water quality, habitat, hazards and climate change, public access, energy development, and intergovernmental coordination. This event was the first in a series of meetings to be held around the nation as part of the Coastal States Organization and NOAA initiative, Envisioning the Future of Coastal Management.
Drinking Water Supply Protection Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the 2008 Drinking Water Supply Protection Grant Program, which provides funding to public water systems and municipalities for land acquisitions that protect public drinking water supplies and drinking water quality. The maximum grant award for a single project is $500,000. On June 14 from 1-3 p.m., MassDEP will hold an informational workshop at its Boston office. To view the Request for Responses (RFR), go to the Comm-Pass website and search for document number "BRP 2007-03." Proposals are due by September 5.
Smart Growth Streets and Emergency Response Grants - EPA is seeking proposals for smart growth solutions that meet the needs of emergency responders. The program's goal is to create a solution or set of solutions that have the endorsement of emergency responders, local officials, transportation experts, and developers and will be applicable nationally or in significant regions of the country. For more information, see the EPA website. Proposals are due by June 15.
Reminders - These funding opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Massachusetts Bays Window - The spring 2007 edition of the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) quarterly eNewsletter—Massachusetts Bays Window—is now available, highlighting the latest news on the MBP, its partners, and Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. To subscribe, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stormwater Financing Report - The Charles River Watershed Association, with support from CZM's Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Grant Program, has completed a report that details the experiences of New England communities that have created mechanisms to fund stormwater management programs. The Assessment of Stormwater Financing Mechanisms in New England (PDF, 2 MB) examines the development and implementation process for stormwater financing mechanisms for three communities that have recently implemented stormwater utilities—Reading and Newton, Massachusetts, and Burlington, Vermont. The report also details the political processes and public education efforts for each community. This assessment can serve as an excellent resource for any community investigating funding mechanisms to support stormwater management.
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Handbook - The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), together with numerous partners including NOAA, has produced A Handbook for Measuring the Progress and Outcomes of Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management (PDF, 6.4 MB). The handbook was developed to promote sustainable development of coastal and marine areas by promoting a more outcome-oriented, accountable, and adaptive approach to coastal and ocean management.
Waterfront Access Report - Fishermen forced off the docks in Alabama … waiting lists for moorings in Massachusetts … public paths to the beach blocked in California—these scenes are not featured on postcards, but are happening all along the U.S. coastline, according to a report by Maine Sea Grant. Access to the Waterfront: Issues and Solutions Across the Nation (PDF, 5.6 MB) contains the results of a survey of more than 140 coastal managers and details access issues across the country.
New Seafloor Maps - The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has mapped the seafloor of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and western Massachusetts Bay, offshore of Boston, Massachusetts. The new maps are now available online.
Reminders - These CZM publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
New Improved Water Quality Modeling Tool - EPA has released a new version of its acclaimed watershed management program, Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources (BASINS)—a multipurpose system that integrates environmental data, analytical tools, and modeling programs to help regions, states, and local agencies develop cost-effective approaches to watershed management and environmental protection. BASINS 4.0 now runs on free geographic information system (GIS) software.
Watershed Planning Tool - EPA has released the Watershed Plan Builder, an interactive, web-based tool to improve local and state water resource protection and restoration efforts through integrated watershed plans.
Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox - EPA has released the Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox, a comprehensive set of web-based resources designed to help communities conduct locally effective watershed education and outreach activities. The Toolbox includes a searchable catalog of nearly 800 print, radio, and TV ads and outreach materials to target many categories of nonpoint pollution. The Toolbox also provides EPA's publication Getting in Step—A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns; a comprehensive collection of surveys and evaluations of outreach programs from around the country; and a collection of logos, slogans, and mascots to help unify a community's campaign.
Green Infrastructure Resource Center - EPA has created an online Green Infrastructure Resource Center to help communities adopt these cost-effective and environmentally friendly efforts to reduce stormwater. The site gives specific information on handling combined sewer overflow and municipal stormwater permit compliance issues, and details common green infrastructure approaches and provides links to other resources that communities can use to tackle stormwater issues.
Marine Biology Website - MarineBio.org is a nonprofit, volunteer organization of marine biologists, students, professors, and conservation advocates working to share the wonders of the ocean realm. The website includes links to the marine biology news, research, species information, photo galleries, and much more.
Draft EPA Report on the Environment - EPA is seeking public comment for EPA's 2007 Report on the Environment: Science Report. This draft report compiles the "latest and most reliable" indicators to help understand current trends in the environment and human health. Additionally, the report identifies key limitations of these indicators and gaps where reliable indicators do not yet exist. Submit comments by June 25 at http://www.regulations.gov.
The Great Park Pursuit - This spring, as part of a national No Child Life Inside initiative, DCR is challenging children and their families to reconnect with nature and help promote a healthy lifestyle through active outdoor recreation in our state parks. The Great Park Pursuit is a team challenge adventure activity that will bring families to state parks on six consecutive Saturdays, from May 19 to June 23. Participants will enjoy a variety of recreational and nature-based learning activities—hiking, fishing, canoeing, learning about birds of prey, and more. Similar to some outdoor adventure, "reality-TV" programs, teams will receive weekly clues about where the next event will be held, and will participate in outdoor recreation challenges, as well as enjoy skill-building and nature-based learning activities. Register, get game rules, and learn more at www.greatparkpursuit.org.
Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2007 - The seventh Capitol Hill Ocean Week will take place from June 5-7 in Washington, DC. This annual event provides a forum to discuss important ocean and coastal issues on Capitol Hill, providing an opportunity for education and the exchange of ideas. Panel speakers will include Members of Congress, as well as representatives of federal and state government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations.
Partners in Parks - On June 9 at the Worcester Technical High School, EOEEA and DCR will sponsor Partners in Parks—a one-day statewide conference focused on creating stewards and raising awareness for the Commonwealth's forests and parks. Join park advocates, state agency personnel, and dozens of supporting organizations to celebrate and further invest in Massachusetts public lands in a statewide working session. For more information, see the conference website. Partners in Parks is sponsored by EOEEA, DCR, state legislative leaders, and dozens of nongovernmental organizations.
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.
Rain Garden Workshop - On June 14, The Trustees of Reservations and the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition will host a free rain garden workshop at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster from 5-7 p.m. Speakers will be Rachel Calabro of the Massachusetts Riverways Program and Mike Clark of Weston Sampson Engineers. They will discuss the design and benefits of rain gardens—landscaping features that attract birds and butterflies and retain stormwater so that it can seep into the ground, recharging the groundwater while removing pollutants. For more information, email the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition at email@example.com or call (978) 534-0379.
Coastal Engineering Manual in Practice—Call for Abstracts - On October 11-12 the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Sea Grant will hold the conference—Coastal Engineering Manual in Practice. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum to present and discuss practical applications and lessons learned regarding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Coastal Engineering Manual. For details, contact Brian Caulfield at firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts are due by June 29.
Antique & Classic Boat Festival - On August 25-26, Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 25th Antique and Classic Boat Festival that will include exhibits, artists, crafts, and entertainment.
Biodiversity Conference—Call for Papers - The Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative will hold the second bi-annual Biodiversity Conference on September 22 in Nantucket. For more information, contact Ernie Steinauer at email@example.com or Emily Molden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Green Neighborhood Project Receives Award - The National Association of Home Builders has awarded C.P. Berry Homes the national award for "Best Overall Community—Active Adult Housing" for Caldwell Farm, an Open Space Residential Design (OSRD) development in Newbury. Caldwell Farm is a 66-unit housing project developed under Newbury's OSRD bylaw. The results are that 100 of the 125 acres are maintained as open space, including fields, forest, freshwater, and saltwater wetlands adjacent to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge—an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The Caldwell Farm development is an excellent example of how the often competing interests of developers, realtors, and local officials can be brought together to create a development that satisfies everyone's interests. The OSRD model bylaw was drafted in 2001 by the Green Neighborhoods Alliance, co-founded by CZM, and composed of municipal planners, conservation organizations, realtors, developers, and state and local agencies. Newbury was the first of 41 communities to adopt the OSRD model and Caldwell Farm was the first OSRD project in Massachusetts. See CZM's Coastal Smart Growth Publications/Bylaws web page for links to model bylaws. For additional information, contact Andrea Cooper, CZM Smart Growth Coordinator, at email@example.com.
COASTSWEEP 2007 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston, will kick off its 20th year on September 15. 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.
Regional Ocean Council Meeting - On May 24, more than 60 individuals representing regional organizations, state and federal agencies, and environmental groups convened at the University of New Hampshire for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council's (NROC) Ocean Congress. Alice Chamberlin, representing Governor John Lynch of New Hampshire, and Mike Warren of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Newfoundland and Labrador provided opening remarks. Attendees discussed potential regional responses to the following NROC core focus areas: ocean and coastal ecosystem health, ocean energy planning and management, maritime security, and coastal hazards response and resiliency. Recommendations that included short- and long-term activities as well as potential partnerships will be provided to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers in June.
Ocean Currents Podcast - Ocean Currents, with host Jennifer Stock of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, dives into the depths and reveals the amazing science and mysteries that marine biologists are discovering in the oceans, especially within national marine sanctuaries. Subscribe to the podcast.
Clean Water Act Recognition Award Nominations - EPA is seeking nominations for the 2007 National Clean Water Act Recognition Awards. The awards recognize municipalities and industries for outstanding and innovative technological achievements in wastewater treatment and pollution abatement programs. For more information, see the Recognition Awards web page. Nominations are due by June 29.
Children's Book Signing at the New England Aquarium - On June 9 at 11 a.m., meet award-winning children's authors/illustrators Nancy Elizabeth Wallace (Shells! Shells! Shells!), Kathleen Kudlinski (The Seaside Switch), and Karen Romano Young (Across the Wide Ocean: The Why, How, and Where of Navigation for Humans and Animals at Sea), learn fascinating facts, and enjoy hands-on experiences during a full hour of family fun. Books will be available for purchase and signing by the authors. This free event will take place in the aquarium's Harborside Learning Lab. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.