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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.
Governor Patrick Signs Oceans Act
On May 28, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Oceans Act of 2008, legislation that will require Massachusetts to develop a first-in-the-nation comprehensive plan to manage development in state waters (see the Governor's Press Release). The new ocean management plan, which must be completed by December 31, 2009, will be developed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) in consultation with a 17-member ocean advisory commission, staffed by CZM, and an ocean science advisory council. The bill was the result of three years of negotiation and collaboration between the lead Senate sponsors (Senate President Therese Murray, Senator Robert O'Leary, and Senator Bruce Tarr), environmental groups, fishing organizations, and other ocean users, becoming law this year with the support of the Patrick Administration. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for continuing updates on plan development. For more information on CZM's ocean management efforts, see the Massachusetts Ocean Management Initiative website.
CZM Director Represents CSO to Fisheries Managers
Regional governance is a concept called for in the 2004 Final Report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and is embodied in Oceans 21—federal legislation currently moving through Congress that implements many of the Commission's recommendations. Massachusetts is a member of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, which was created by the New England Governors' Association and is one example of such a state-federal regional partnership. In general, fisheries managers, either through Regional Fisheries Management Councils or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), have not participated in these regional ocean partnerships. On May 5, CZM Director Leslie-Ann McGee represented the Coastal States Organization (CSO) before the nation's fishery management leadership meeting in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to encourage the Councils and NMFS to begin a dialogue regarding participation in regional ocean initiatives, and to consider how these partnerships can assist fisheries managers in implementing ecosystem-based management.
CZM Assistant Director Carlisle Testifies at U.S. Senate Hearing on Climate Change
On May 8, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation held a hearing to discuss the state of U.S. climate modeling for decision makers and other end users. Climate models allow scientists to understand the current climate system and aid in the prediction of climate changes. The hearing examined the current computing capacity to process models at the regional and local scales, as well as what science and support is needed to develop the next generation of climate models to assist future decision makers. Senators John Kerry (Massachusetts) and Ted Stevens (Alaska) questioned a broad panel of speakers on what is needed to best prepare for the climate change impacts the states are facing. CZM Assistant Director Bruce Carlisle provided testimony that covered climate change issues in the coastal zone, focusing on the priority modeling and information needs as conveyed by coastal zone managers around the country and highlighting the work being done in Massachusetts to build effective coastal floodplain management strategies from the ground up. In his testimony, Carlisle described CZM's new StormSmart Coasts Program, which is designed to support local efforts to protect people and property in coastal floodplains from erosion and storm damage citing it as an example of how state coastal programs are well positioned to synthesize current information and provide high-quality products, services, and hands-on assistance to communities.
South Shore NDA Approved by EPA
On May 22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the state's proposal to designate the coastal waters of Cohasset, Scituate, and Marshfield as a vessel No Discharge Area (NDA). The ban on discharge of all boat sewage would also apply in the North and South Rivers and adjacent coastal waters. The designation is in response to the EEA nomination for NDA status, prepared by CZM, who worked closely with the communities involved. For details, see the Federal Register Notice. An announcement event is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on June 3 at the Scituate Harbormaster's Office. For more on NDA activities along the coast, see CZM's NDA website.
Boston and Cape NDA Applications Submitted to EPA
EEA, through CZM, has recommended that EPA approve designation of two new vessel No Discharge Areas. The proposed bans on discharge of all boat sewage would apply to the coastal waters of Boston Harbor (from Winthrop to Hull) and Cape Cod Bay (from Provincetown to Marshfield). "Boston Harbor is cleaner now than it has been for generations, thanks to decades of work by federal, state, and local authorities, and clean water advocates. Protecting the many public beaches and other resources throughout this stretch of urban coastline is a top priority of the Patrick Administration," said EEA Secretary Ian Bowles. Regarding the Cape Cod Bay NDA, CZM Director Leslie-Ann McGee said, "In addition to helping the communities apply for this NDA, CZM's Coastal Pollutant Remediation Grant Program is funding two new pumpouts in Dennis and Provincetown. These unique facilities are capable of serving both recreational and commercial vessels, and will be instrumental in making this NDA a success." These would be the Commonwealth's 11th and 12th NDAs, with an ultimate goal of all state waters designated as no discharge. See EEA's Boston Harbor (PDF, 43 KB) and Cape Cod Bay (PDF, 43 KB) press releases. For additional details about NDAs, see CZM's NDA website.
Mass Bays Selected as a Climate Ready Estuary
The Massachusetts Bays Program is one of six National Estuary Programs from around the country to be selected to pilot the EPA's "Climate Ready Estuaries" program. This new program is designed to help coastal communities better prepare for the anticipated impacts of climate change, and will include a vulnerability assessment for the region. The Massachusetts Bays Program, with its extensive network of partners within the 50 communities that border both Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, is responsible for implementing a bays-wide management plan addressing issues such as habitat restoration, marine monitoring, stormwater management, sea level rise and many others. The Climate Ready Estuaries program will be a valuable new tool to implement this plan, and will complement CZM's recently launched StormSmart Coasts Program.
CZM Kicks-Off the Marine Invasive Species Monitoring Network
On April 29, CZM's Aquatic Invasive Species Program and the Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel hosted a workshop on monitoring for marine invasive species at the New England Aquarium. Attended by more than 60 program coordinators and volunteers from throughout New England, the workshop provided participants with an overview of monitoring methods, training in the identification of marine invaders, and a look at the latest mapping technologies being applied to invasive species monitoring. CZM will be providing in-depth trainings to five organizations and, with the help of dedicated volunteers, expects to monitor more than 30 sites for marine invasive species this summer and fall. To get involved in marine invasive species monitoring, please contact Adrienne Pappal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Tide Blooms in Massachusetts Waters
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 portions of the Commonwealth's coastal waters. The historic bloom of 2005 resulted in an estimated direct impact of $18 million to the Massachusetts commercial shellfishing industry. For the latest information about the red tide bloom in Massachusetts, go to the DMF website. For additional information, see the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Red Tide Fact Sheet; the NOAA New England Red Tide Information Center; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Red Tide Information web page.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins
The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season began on June 1 and an above average 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.
CZM Staff & People
Peter Hanlon Leaves Mass Bays - On May 23, Peter Hanlon left the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program. After five years as Policy and Outreach Coordinator, Peter is moving to New York City to support his wife's acting career and will be working for a nonprofit promoting alternative energy. During his time with Mass Bays, Peter worked on improving the program website and developing outreach materials for both the Think Blue (stormwater information for the public) and Greenscapes (environmental landscaping) campaigns. We wish Peter all the best in the Big Apple!
Water Conservation Grants - The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is seeking proposals for the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) Water Conservation Grant Program, which awards matching funds to public water systems to encourage local drinking water conservation efforts. To view the Request for Responses (RFR), see the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "BRP 2008-03." Up to $800,000 is expected to be awarded during this funding round. For more information, see MassDEP's website. Proposals will be due by July 11.
Ocean Protection Grants - The Ocean Fund, a program of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, is seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations for ocean conservation, research, and education grants. Letters of intent are due by June 30.
Reminders - These funding opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail, are still available:
Massachusetts Bays Window - The Spring 2008 issue of Massachusetts Bays Window, the quarterly eNewsletter from the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), is now online. This special No Discharge Area edition discusses Massachusetts Bays Program efforts on the pending NDA proposals. To receive future issues, send a blank email to email@example.com.
Runoff Reduction Method Technical Guidance - The Center for Watershed Protection has partnered the Chesapeake Stormwater Network to develop the Runoff Reduction Method Technical Memo, which outlines an innovative system for stormwater design that focuses on the ability for best management practices to reduce the overall volume of runoff, in addition to pollutant removal.
CICEET Project Progress Reports - The Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET) has posted spring 2008 progress reports for its environmental technology development projects. These projects are dedicated to developing tools that help coastal communities be more resilient in the face of increasing development and climate change. The focus areas include improved tools for land use planning, habitat restoration and protection, and water quality monitoring.
Climate Change Report - The U.S. Climate Change Science Program has released The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity in the United States, which provides an extensive examination of climate impacts on U.S. ecosystems.
EPA Report on the Environment - EPA recently released EPA's 2008 Report on the Environment compiles the most reliable indicators available to help understand important trends in the environment and human health.
Watershed Handbook - EPA has released the Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters, an online guidance for communities, watershed organizations, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies who need to develop and implement plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resources.
Reminders - The following CZM publications listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
StormSmart Coasts Program - In May, CZM launched its new StormSmart Coasts program to support local efforts to protect people and property in coastal floodplains from erosion and storm damage. The program features an extensive StormSmart Coasts website that includes regulatory tools, case studies, planning strategies, and other technical assistance materials. StormSmart Coasts targets municipal officials, including staff and members of Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Zoning Boards of Appeals, Departments of Public Works, Building/Engineering Departments, Boards of Health, and emergency management planners.
No Discharge Area Website - CZM recently updated its No Discharge Area website to provide convenient access to information about NDAs in Massachusetts. The website also includes location and contact information for more than 100 boat pumpout facilities all along the Commonwealth's coast.
Coastal Conservation Commission Training - The Woods Hole Sea Grant program, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC), has developed a new web-based training module entitled Coastal Conservation Commission Training: Making Decisions Based on Law and Science. This training module, developed with funding from the National Sea Grant Law Center, expands the standard training that Conservation Commission members receive. Provided as PowerPoint presentations with accompanying audio, the coastal module presents details about the law, the science, and the regulations-all specifically tailored toward coastal geology, coastal processes, and application of the state Wetland Protection Regulations for coastal resource areas. Also included is a discussion of who's who in the Massachusetts coastal community, featuring CZM's Cape Cod Regional Coordinator, Steve McKenna. Check it out on the MACC website.
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products - MassDEP has launched a Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products web page that features frequently asked questions about pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and endocrine-disrupting compounds in the environment.
Ocean and Coastal Leasing Toolkit - The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with the Coastal States Organization, NOAA's Coastal Services Center, and several other environmental organizations and states agencies, has developed an online Leasing and Ownership within Ocean and Coastal Waters—A Conservation Practitioner's Toolkit. The toolkit can help conservation organizations determine: what conservation leasing and ownership is; when leasing and ownership can help abate threats to ocean and coastal species, habitats, and ecosystems; and how to plan and proceed with leasing and ownership projects.
No Discharge Areas - EPA is seeking comments on two Massachusetts requests to designate the coastal waters of the North Shore (from Manchester-by-the-Sea to Marblehead) and Cape Cod Bay (from Provincetown to Marshfield) as vessel No Discharge Areas. Within the NDA, the dumping of all boat sewage, both treated and untreated, will be prohibited. For details about each NDA request, including commenting instructions, see the North Shore and Cape Cod Bay Federal Register Notices. Comments are due by June 16 for the North Shore and June 23 for Cape Cod Bay.
Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan - NOAA is seeking public comments on the Draft Management Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. In addition, a series of public meetings will be held this month throughout New England to solicit comment. For details, see the Stellwagen website. Comments are due by August 4.
NOAA Climate Change Document - NOAA is seeking public comments on the draft climate change publication U.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.4—Abrupt Climate Change. Instructions for commenting are provided on the publication's web page. Comments are due by June 16.
Reminder - The following comment opportunity listed in the last CZ-Mail is still open:
Ocean Management Analyst - CZM is seeking applications for an Ocean Management Analyst to provide staff support to Ocean Management and Planning efforts led by CZM, including work plan and budget development, project scoping and management for data gathering projects, development of public support materials and other briefings on ocean planning, and representation of CZM in regional groups. Applications are due by June 9.
Mass Bays Outreach and Policy Analyst - The Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program is seeking applications for an Outreach and Policy Analyst to plan and direct the program's general outreach efforts and assist with program management and policy coordination. Applications are due by June 25.
Sustainable Fisheries Initiative Positions - The New England Aquarium is seeking applications for a Conservation Scientist, two Conservation Associates, and an Administrative Assistant to support its Sustainable Fisheries Initiative. See the full job postings and application instructions on the Aquarium's current positions web page.
Reminders - The following internship opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still open:
Low Impact Development Conference and Vendor Exhibit - On June 23, the 2nd Annual Massachusetts Low Impact Development (LID) Conference and Vendor Exhibit—Where Are We Today and Are We Ready for Tomorrow?—will be held at the Burlington Marriott. This year's conference will provide the latest information on innovative LID residential and commercial "big box" projects, Best Management Practice (BMP) performance analysis, and revisions to state and local permitting requirements. The conference will also discuss the future of LID in Massachusetts, including the LID role in climate change adaptation, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and LEED Neighborhood Design (ND), and green solutions (green design and green buildings). To register, see the Environmental Business Council New England website. For questions, contact Andrea Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Coastal Caucus - On June 20 at 8:30 a.m., the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research will hold a Student Coastal Caucus at the Cohasset Lightkeepers Residence on Cohasset Harbor. The Caucus will highlight case studies that feature collaborative research partnerships involving students, government agencies, schools, and towns. Each of the case studies will show the tangible results that benefit municipalities, emphasize the role that students play throughout the management cycle, and demonstrate how this collaboration yields vital information about the coastal ecosystems, management needs, and options. CZM Director, Leslie Ann-McGee, will be the keynote speaker for this event. For more information, contact Jack Buckley at email@example.com or call (781) 383-0129.
Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council Meeting - On June 4, the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council will meet from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium at the Massachusetts State House. The agenda will include a discussion of a proposal for a learning center, next steps for the council, and a report from the Superintendent. The meeting is open to the public. For details, contact Superintendent Bruce Jacobson at (617) 223-8667.
Wastewater Treatment Workshop Series - From June to December, the Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will hold a series of free workshops on comprehensive wastewater management planning targeted at municipal officials (Wastewater Committees, Planning Boards, Health Boards, Conservation Commissions, and Public Works) and consultants. As towns embark on developing plans to help meet nitrogen limits and restore coastal water quality, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. A number of technology and treatment options exist that communities could employ—spanning decentralized and centralized management approaches. The first workshop, Innovative and Alternative Onsite Septic Systems and the Nitrex Reactive Barrier, will be held on June 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the reserve. Registration is required.
EPA New England Climate Change Forum - On June 19, EPA New England will hold a Climate Change Forum at the University of New Hampshire's Dimond Library. Working Together to Respond to Climate Change: Researchers, Regulators, and Resource Managers will convene EPA scientists, experts from academia, and regional, state, and municipal officials to examine the latest scientific research on the natural resource impacts of climate change, and the scientific tools under development or needed to help government plan for expected impacts. The registration deadline is June 12.
Coastal Conference - On June 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Northeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association will hold a Coastal Conference at the University of Rhode Island's Coastal Institute in Kingston, Rhode Island. The conference will feature a number of morning presentations followed by an afternoon field tour of four shoreline management approaches. For more information, see the Northeast Chapter's website.
StormCon Conference - The 7th annual StormCon, the world's largest conference on stormwater pollution prevention, will be held August 3-7 in Orlando, Florida. For details, see the StormCon website.
June Is River's Month - Events in and around the rivers of the Commonwealth through July 6 are listed on the Rivers Month Calendar, prepared by the Massachusetts Riverways Program to provide opportunities to participate in events in, on, and along the rivers of Massachusetts.
Summer Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of summer walks. All walks are free and open to the public. See the Trust's website.
Online Science Seminars - The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) offers several online courses this summer for K-12 educators, including the Ocean System, the Diversity of Fishes, and Sharks and Rays. Each six-week course is led by an experienced classroom teacher and a research scientist. In-depth readings and assignments are paired with web-based discussions. Graduate credit is available and each participant receives a CD of course resources suitable for classroom use. See the AMNH Seminars on Science website for details.
Reminders - The following calendar items, posted in the last CZ-Mail, are still to come:
CICEET Awards $2.8 Million to Improve Coastal Planning - To help address the challenges of development, CICEET has awarded $2.8 million in grants to project teams that are building and demonstrating tools for effective planning and sustainable growth in coastal states from Maine to Oregon. CICEET's Living Coasts Program was created to provide coastal areas with more effective tools to grow in a way that preserves water quality, protects natural areas, and improves community resilience. For details, see the Living Coasts website.
National Boating Safety Advisory Council Vacancies - The USCG is seeking applications for membership on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC). The 21-member NBSAC advises the Coast Guard on matters related to recreational boating safety. The application deadline is June 27.