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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. Please feel free to share CZ-Mail with colleagues and friends—and 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.
Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan Available for Review
On July 1, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles released the draft comprehensive ocean management plan for public review and comment. The draft plan was developed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and CZM, with broad support from the Departments of Fish and Game and Environmental Protection. Mandated by the Oceans Act of 2008, the draft plan was developed in the context of an extensive and ongoing public participation process. The Act sets a deadline of December 31, 2009, for final promulgation of a plan that balances protection of marine resources with uses such as renewable energy development. "Throughout our history, Massachusetts state waters have supported an array of uses along with vital habitat for a wide variety of species," said Governor Deval Patrick. "The draft ocean plan combines the best available science with extensive stakeholder input to present a new standard of protection and sustainable use for our oceans."
"The Commonwealth's waters today are facing an ever expanding universe of potential uses. This draft plan allows us to address these opportunities and challenges in a proactive, not reactive, fashion," said Secretary Bowles. "We now move into the next round of public review and input and look forward to hearing the public's view of the stewardship this draft plan establishes for these shared natural resources." The draft plan is now available for public review and comment, with formal public hearings anticipated in early September. "The management areas and standards established by the ocean plan will guide resource users and managers and the public in the protection and wise use of our marine waters," said Deerin Babb-Brott, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and CZM Director. "And, going forward, the Commonwealth will refine the ocean plan as we continue to develop and incorporate new knowledge, ensuring that it is an adaptive, living document."
For links to the two-volume draft plan and all maps and figures, see the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website. To receive periodic ocean plan updates, send an email to email@example.com.
CZM Director Testifies to U.S. Senate about Blue Economy
On June 9, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and CZM Director Deerin Babb-Brott provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in a subcommittee hearing on The Blue Economy: The Role of the Oceans in Our Nation's Economic Future. Director Babb-Brott used the Massachusetts ocean planning process as a timely, real-world example for the need for more proactive planning and management of our estuarine and marine resources.
Climate Change Advisory Committee Work Underway
On June 4, EEA launched the Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee. Formed under the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Advisory Committee has been charged by the state Legislature with evaluating strategies for adapting to the predicted effects of climate change. These effects include increased sea levels, warming temperatures, and increased incidences of floods and droughts. The Advisory Committee is made up of experts from business, academia, and nonprofit organizations who will prepare a report for Secretary Bowles and the state Legislature with their recommendations by December 31. CZM is leading the Coastal Zone and Ocean Subcommittee, chaired by Assistant Director Bruce Carlisle, and has representatives on the five other subcommittees. The Coastal Zone and Ocean Subcommittee met on June 16 and July 8 and will continue its work through the summer. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for future details.
Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources Receives National Park Service Grant
The Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources has been awarded a 2009 National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program Grant for the 1775 Battle of Chelsea Creek. Overshadowed by the battles at Concord/Lexington and Bunker Hill, the Battle of Chelsea Creek (or Noddles Island) was the first naval engagement of the Revolutionary War—and an American victory. The objective of this grant is to precisely locate British and American military operations and their associated archaeological resources, including the remains of the HMS Diana, through archival research and field documentation to assist in the identification, delineation, and interpretation of the battlefield. The $48,300 grant will be used for interns to undertake the research and to provide outreach to Chelsea, Revere, and East Boston.
National StormSmart Coasts Network Launches Pilot Websites
Building on the successful Massachusetts StormSmart Coasts initiative, the StormSmart Coasts Network-a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Storms Program, NOAA RiskWise Partnership, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resilience Team, and others—has launched the new national StormSmart Coasts Network website. Massachusetts and Mississippi are the first pilot states on the site, which is dedicated to helping coastal decision makers address the challenges of storms, flooding, sea level rise, and climate change. This network of state and local websites serves as a definitive place to find and share the best resources and tools available on these topics. Each state site includes six main sections: Before the Storm, During the Storm, After the Storm, Funding, Your Community, and an interactive forum. Websites for the remaining New England and Gulf of Mexico states will follow later this summer.
U.S. House Introduces Working Waterfronts Bill that Will Amend the CZMA
U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (Maine) has introduced the Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2009 (H.R. 2548), which would amend the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to create a grants program for any coastal state to develop, revise, or implement a plan to preserve and expand access to coastal waters for commercial fishing, recreational fishing, aquaculture, boatbuilding, or other water-dependent, coastal-related business. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grants - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are inviting communities to submit applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. These competitive grants are available to assist communities with hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of hazard mitigation projects prior to a disaster. The program goals are to reduce overall risks to the population and structures, and reduce the reliance on taxpayer-funded federal assistance for disaster recovery. FEMA mitigation grants cannot be used for maintenance, repair, or projects already in progress. For details, see the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs website. Pre-applications are requested by July 27 and full applications are due by October 30.
Water Conservation Grants - MassDEP is seeking proposals for the FY2010 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 2009-06." Up to $400,000 will be awarded during this funding round. For more information, see MassDEP's website. Proposals are due by August 19.
Massachusetts Bays Window - The Spring 2009 issue of Massachusetts Bays Window, the eNewsletter from the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), includes updates on program staff as well as features related to stormwater financing, various assessment and monitoring efforts, rain gardens, and other news from MBP's four active regions.
Climate Change Adaptation Report - NOAA's Coastal Services Center has released Good Morning, America! The Explosive U.S. Awakening to the Need for Adaptation (PDF, 567 KB), which provides an overview of the public, political, and scientific concern with adaptation to the effects of climate change in the United States. The report also identifies barriers to adaptation planning and policy development, and provides suggestions to enable effective adaptation while avoiding the dangers of insufficient preparation.
Climate Change Report - The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has released the report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, which summarizes the science of climate change and the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. According to the report, climate change is already having a direct and negative effect on the American people, impacting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and health all across the nation.
Low Impact Development Fact Sheet—Updated - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the fact sheet Incorporating Environmentally Sensitive Development into Municipal Stormwater Programs (PDF, 495 KB), which details low impact development practices to help meet municipal stormwater goals.
Right Whale News - The May 2009 issue of Right Whale News (PDF, 275 KB) is now available online. Right Whale News is a quarterly newsletter distributed electronically to participants in conservation and recovery of the North Atlantic right whale and its habitats.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The June 2009 issue of MPA News features articles on an Australian conservation zone in the Coral Sea, plans for a marine protected area (MPA) in South Africa, and other MPA news and notes.
Coastal Connections - The June/July 2009 issue of NOAA's Coastal Connections focuses on mapping coastal inundation and includes other coastal news and notes.
Reminder - The following CZM publications listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Online Water Quality Standards Academy "TMDL" Module - The Water Quality Standards Academy has developed the online course, Listing Impaired Waters and Developing TMDLs, to help identify and prioritize impaired or threatened waters and develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) with a focus on meeting water quality standards.
Water Quality Data Tool - Colorado State University has developed a Water Quality Interpretation Tool that helps people evaluate the quality of water for drinking, irrigation, or livestock use by comparing water quality data provided by a certified laboratory with Colorado-specific and federal water quality standards. Although designed for use in Colorado, the tool presents valuable information about the suitability of water quality for particular uses and has wider applicability.
Ocean Research Priority Plan - The Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) is seeking comments on the planned update of Charting the Course for Ocean Science in the United States for the Next Decade: An Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (Charting the Course). First published in January 2007, Charting the Course has provided a basis for coordinated ocean science and technology investments. In view of scientific advancements and recognition of new ocean management challenges, JSOST has started an effort to update and refresh Charting the Course. Submit comments by July 17 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of summer walks-all free and open to the public. See the Trust's website.
Antique & Classic Boat Festival - On August 22-23, Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem will host the 27th Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival that will include exhibits, artists, crafts, and entertainment.
Marine Bioinvasions Conference - On August 24-27, the Sixth International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions, Marine Bioinvaders: Agents of Change in a Changing World, will be held in Portland, Oregon.
Northeast Beaches Conference - The 2009 Northeast Beaches Conference will be held in Woods Hole on September 21-23. The theme for 2009 is local efforts in shoreline management and protection.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
COASTSWEEP 2009 - COASTSWEEP, the state-wide beach cleanup sponsored by CZM and the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston, will kick off its 22nd year on September 19. 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 what they find. 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.
Massachusetts Bays Program Selects Regional Service Providers - The Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP) is pleased to announce its selection of four organizations to serve as Regional Coordinators for the program. Regional Coordinators will work with MBP central staff and their host organization to develop and support local environmental initiatives that protect and restore water quality and habitats of Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays. The following selected contractors have all served as Regional Coordinators in the past.
National Boating Safety Advisory Council Vacancies - The U.S. Coast Guard 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 July 23.
Invasive Species Advisory Committee - The U.S. Department of the Interior, on behalf of the interdepartmental National Invasive Species Council (NISC), is seeking nominations for new members to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). Committee members provide advice to the NISC on a broad array of issues including preventing the introduction of invasive species, providing for their control, and minimizing the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species cause. For details, contact Kelsey Brantley at Kelsey_Brantley@ios.doi.gov. Nominations are due by July 23.