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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.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Susan Snow-Cotter
On April 18, Susan Snow-Cotter was posthumously presented a Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "Our Environmental Merit Awards are among the highest honors EPA can bestow to recognize environmental accomplishments," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "I offer my gratitude to these citizens for their extraordinary contributions in protecting our shared environment. Their work reflects the best attributes of New Englanders, working to find solutions to tough environmental issues." Specifically, Susan was honored as a born leader whose life's work will continue to be felt for future generations. For more than a dozen years in state government, Susan cut a path where she rose to Director of CZM, the office that creates policy to balance environmental protection with the human use of the ocean along the Massachusetts Coast. Her untimely death at age 45 does not diminish her impact, and she is honored for all of her hard work protecting the beautiful coast of New England, and for all of the love, leadership, and devotion she showed to her family and friends throughout her life. For more on these awards, see the EPA press release.
CZM Activates Coastal Storm Team for Patriots Day Northeaster
CZM activated the Rapid Response Coastal Storm Damage Assessment Team for the northeaster that hit in mid-April. A moderate coastal storm was forecast for April 15-18 with 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 Salisbury, Newbury, Newburyport, Scituate, Marshfield, and Nantucket. Based on the water elevations recorded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tide gauges, the flood elevations from the storm represent a 13-year return period event for Boston, and an 8-year return period event for Woods Hole and Nantucket. The storm was a bit unusual, as it affected south-facing coastlines as well as north- and northeast-facing coasts.
Low Impact Development Conference
On April 5, more than 300 developers, town planners, engineers, and consultants gathered in Framingham for the First Annual Low Impact Development (LID) Conference and Vendor Fair for the Development and Real Estate Industry—organized and co-sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and CZM. Speakers discussed several commercial and residential projects that demonstrate how cost-effective LID techniques preserve the integrity of ecological and biological resources, protect water quality, and recharge groundwater supplies. More than 30 vendor booths were available that showcased effective LID technical guidance, cost analysis and outreach products, and integrated and cost-effective LID technologies. Other co-sponsors included the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, EPA New England, Environmental Business Council of New England (EBCNE), Home Builders Association of Massachusetts, Boston Society of Architects/American Institute of Architects, the Green Roundtable/Nexus, and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. Also, the conference was generously supported by Weston & Sampson Engineers, the Bioengineering Group, Geosyntec Consultants, and the Massachusetts Association of Realtors. All conference presentations can be viewed on the EBCNE website.
Environmental Education Awards
On April 27, EOEEA Secretary Ian Bowles presented the 13th Annual Secretary's Awards for Excellence in Environmental Education to students and teachers from schools around the Commonwealth. Twenty-six schools received citations and cash awards for innovative classroom programs and projects that advance environmental literacy beyond the regular science curriculum. In addition, three nonprofit educational programs also received Certificates of Excellence. Coastal community schools and groups honored at the awards ceremony included: Boston (2), Harwich, Barnstable, Nantucket, Newburyport (2), Plymouth (2), Provincetown, and Quincy. For details, see the EOEEA press release (PDF, 100 KB).
2007 Buzzards Bay Municipal Grants - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (NEP) has allocated $123,000 in federal grants to assist Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities in implementing recommendations contained in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. Proposals are sought that will assist eligible Buzzards Bay watershed municipalities in the protection of open space, rare and endangered species habitat, and freshwater and saltwater wetlands; help restore tidally restricted salt marshes; develop designs and remediate stormwater discharges threatening water quality; provide support for mapping stormwater drainage networks; construct pumpout facilities; update town parcel data; digitize wetland boundaries approved in permits; assist in the monitoring of water quality to prioritize stormwater remediation; address problems in migratory fish passage; and implement other recommendations contained in the watershed management plan for Buzzards Bay. For more information, see the Buzzards Bay NEP website. Applications are due by May 10.
Self-Help, Urban Self-Help, and Land Conservation Grants - EOEEA's Division of Conservation Services (DCS) is seeking applications for Self-Help, Urban Self-Help, and federal Land and Water Conservation grants. 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). On May 30, from 10:00 a.m.-noon, DCS will hold a workshop in Boston to assist with application preparation. Please RSVP to Nicole.Sicard@state.ma.us. For more grant program information, see the DCS website. The application deadline is July 31.
Seafarer's Environmental Education Fund - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is seeking proposals from nonprofits and higher-education institutions to provide environmental education to seafarers visiting or sailing from Massachusetts ports. Specifically, the fund will support training to reduce the number and severity of violations related to illegal discharges from ships into the coastal or marine environment. For more information, see the NFWF website. Pre-proposals are due by August 1.
Reminders - These funding opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts Report - The U.S. National Research Council has released the report Mitigating Shore Erosion Along Sheltered Coasts, which details a regional management approach that considers the environmental impacts that could accumulate if hard structures are permitted on a site-by-site basis. The report also recommends changing the current permitting system to encourage the use of more ecologically beneficial erosion-control methods, such as planting of marshes.
Report on Coastal Barrier Resources System Development - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled Coastal Barrier Resources System: Status of Development that Has Occurred and Financial Assistance Provided by Federal Agencies (PDF, 4.7 MB). The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) designates 585 units of undeveloped coastal lands and aquatic habitat as the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS). CBRA prohibits most federal expenditures and assistance within the system that could encourage development, but it allows federal agencies to provide some types of assistance and issue certain regulatory permits. In 1992, GAO reported that development was occurring in the CBRS despite restrictions on federal assistance. This report updates the 1992 report and reviews the extent to which (1) development has occurred in CBRS units since their inclusion in the system and (2) federal financial assistance and permits have been provided to entities in CBRS units. See the highlights of the report (PDF, 60 KB).
National Coordination of Ocean and Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Report - NOAA has released a new report addressing the need for a national water quality monitoring network. Linking Elements of the Integrated Ocean Observing System with the Planned National Water Quality Monitoring Network (PDF, 2.8 MB) is a summary of a Rutgers University workshop that brought together key government agencies, academic institutions, and scientific organizations to discuss the monitoring network. See the NOAA press release.
Massachusetts Invasive Plant Species Guide - The new Guide to Invasive Plant Species in Massachusetts identifies 66 invasive plant species currently regulated by the Commonwealth—10 of which are aquatic species. These invasive plants are non-native species that spread aggressively and have been determined to pose a threat to Massachusetts native plants and habitats. To obtain a copy of the guide contact Kim Ausmus at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also available for pickup at MassWildlife District Offices.
Coastal Management Newsletter - The April edition of the NOAA Coastal Programs Division's National Coastal Management Program News features innovative projects and success stories from state and territory coastal management programs.
Riverways Annual Report - The Massachusetts Riverways Program has released the Riverways' 2006 Annual Report (PDF, 4.4 MB), which highlights the program's achievements, projects, and technical assistance efforts.
MassDEP eNewsletter - The Spring 2007 eNewsletter from MassDEP features pieces on the Transition to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Governor Patrick's initiative to streamline the permitting process, and other recent MassDEP efforts, achievements, news, and updates.
Still Available - These CZM publications, listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
Online Aquatic Invasive Species Reporting - CZM recently developed an online Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Sighting Submission Form with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Sea Grant Program to report new non-indigenous species sightings in Massachusetts. It is the single stop for citizens, field monitors, fishermen, or anyone else who would like to report an unfamiliar species. The form reports freshwater and marine plant and animal species by sending an email to the Massachusetts AIS Reporting Network. Rapid reporting is key to promoting a rapid response to new species' introductions. After providing your contact information and the location and date of your sighting, you can upload a photo. For more information, see CZM's AIS website, or contact Jay Baker at email@example.com.
Watershed Outreach Training Web Module - EPA's Watershed Academy has posted an updated online training module—Getting In Step: A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns. This module offers a tested step-by-step system to help local governments, watershed organizations and others maximize the effectiveness of public outreach campaigns to help solve nonpoint source pollution problems and protect local waterways. EPA also has 50 other online Watershed Academy training modules.
Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling Tool - The Northeast Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) has released a watershed-scale model that uses hydrology, land cover, soils, topography, weather, pollutant discharges, and other critical environmental characteristics to model sediment and nutrient transport within a watershed. AVGWLF (Generalized Watershed Loading Function with an ArcView [AV] geographic information systems [GIS] interface) is a powerful nonpoint source pollution modeling tool that provides its users with various means to evaluate different strategies to mitigate water quality impairments. For more information about the Northeast AVGWLF and to download the model, please visit NEIWPCC's website. Please note that ArcView 3x and Spatial Analyst is necessary to run the model.
Proposed Stormwater Standards Public Hearings - On May 1, 2, and 3, MassDEP will hold five public hearings on the proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards. These standards have been revised to encourage stormwater recharge, increased use of low impact development techniques, improve operation and maintenance of stormwater best management practices, and remove illicit connections from stormwater management systems. For more information, see MassDEP's Proposed Regulations web page.
Reminders - The following public comment opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still open:
Invasive Species Coordinator - CZM is seeking an Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator to administer CZM's Aquatic Invasive Species Program. The Program Coordinator will work with an interagency team to develop an annual work plan and oversee projects related to aquatic invasive species management. In particular, the Program Coordinator will lead an interagency effort to develop and implement early detection and rapid response protocols for aquatic invasive species in Massachusetts and will work with CZM, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR), Salem Sound Coastwatch, and other partners to implement a marine invasive species monitoring program. Applications are due by May 24.
Mudflat Training - On May 10, 17, and 24, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a Mudflat Mania Training Course from 9:30 a.m. - noon. Join friends and volunteers in leadership training for this popular and fun family program. Claudia Kren, long-time volunteer and former professor in the history of science, will conduct the training sessions of this ever-popular course. Come and learn all there is to know about the Cape mudflats from an expert on invertebrates. There is no charge for those who take the three sessions and who commit to guiding Museum Mudflat Mania programs. For details contact Julie O'Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smart Growth Citizen's Toolkit - On May 9, from 7-9 p.m., the Appalachian Mountain Club, will present Smart Growth: A Citizen's Tool Kit. This forum will feature four experts in the field of sustainable development with an emphasis on practical, "how-to" information that the ordinary citizen can take home and put right to work.
Massachusetts Park Serve Day - On May 12, Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, EOEEA Secretary Ian Bowles, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Acting Commissioner Priscilla Geigis, and the Governor's Public Liaison Office invite you to lend a hand on Massachusetts Park Serve Day—a statewide effort to clean up our parks and beaches. For more information, including a list of participating parks, see the Park Serve Day website.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
Barbara Warren Receives EPA Merit Award - Barbara Warren, Executive Director of Salem Sound Coastwatch and Salem Sound Regional Coordinator for the Massachusetts Bays Program, was presented with an EPA Environmental Merit award on April 18 at a ceremony in Boston. The award recognizes "outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant contributions toward preserving and protecting our natural resources." Barbara has been instrumental to EPA New England's Clean Beaches and Streams Program by monitoring culverts and pipes that discharge to the many beaches and coastal waters in Salem Sound. Barbara regularly publishes the results of her monitoring online for the public. Additionally, she recently spearheaded an initiative to survey boaters with the ultimate goal of designating Salem Sound a "no discharge area." For more on these awards, see the EPA press release.
Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Review - From May 8-10, NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management will conduct its regular review of WBNERR. The evaluation team will examine the extent to which Massachusetts implements the Reserve's approved management plan, conducts research and monitoring consistent with the management plan and Estuarine Reserves Division guidance, provides opportunities for education and interpretation, and protects reserve resources. On May 8, at 6:00 p.m., a public meeting will be held at the WBNERR Visitors Center. The meeting will feature a brief presentation about WBNERR's current programs, followed by a public comment period.
Greenscapes North Shore - The Greenscapes North Shore Coalition will bring this environmentally friendly landscaping program to the communities on the North Shore this spring. The multi-partner outreach initiative will include special materials for homeowners, workshops, demonstration sites, email newsletters, and promotions. To participate, contact email@example.com.
Sea Level Rise on the North Shore - While the North Shore of Massachusetts might conjure images of rocky shorelines seemingly immune to sea level rise, the beaches, barriers, and estuaries of the Merrimack River are experiencing seasonal and long-term shifts associated with rising sea level, storm frequency, and human development. Peter Phippen of the Eight Towns and the Bay Committee has begun to visit the municipalities and environmental organizations of the upper North Shore armed with a presentation about the possible effects of sea level rise on the region. For details, contact Peter Phippen at PPhippen@mvpc.org.
Summer Marine Science Courses - This summer, the Shoals Marine Laboratory will offer more than two dozen college-credit courses on Appledore Island, Maine. For details, see the online listing.
Summer Sea, Science, and Sailing Programs - This summer, the Sea Education Association (SEA) will offer several three-week programs for high school students interested in the sea, science, and sailing. Modeled after SEA's college program, SEA Semester, the high school summer seminars consist of both shore and sea components. Time on shore is spent studying coastal ecology, general oceanography, navigation, and maritime history. The sea component is spent aboard one of SEA's 134-foot brigantine sailing vessels in either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. Students are immersed in all operations of a modern sailing research vessel: collecting scientific data, setting and striking sails, operating the ship's diesel engine, and helping in the ship's galley. For more information, check out the SEA website.
WhaleSail Scholarships - The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies invites Cape and Islands students to WhaleSail aboard Spirit of Massachusetts, a 125-foot schooner. The WhaleSail program is open to students aged 13-17 who are interested in studying marine science for a week in July. Twelve $450 scholarships (50% of tuition) are currently available for the program through the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies' educational endowment. For more information, see the Center for Coastal Studies website. Applications including a 500-word essay on the marine environment, and a scholastic letter of recommendation, are due May 15.
Marine Art Contest - Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary is partnering with the Massachusetts Marine Educators and the New England Aquarium to sponsor a marine art contest for grades K-12. For details, see the Stellwagen website. Entries are due by May 15.