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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.
Ocean Planning Process Continues
In May, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) continued work toward meeting the June 30, 2009, deadline for submittal of a draft ocean management plan to the Massachusetts Legislature. Continuing the public participation process, EEA hosted two well-attended Ocean Advisory Commission (OAC) public workshops on May 2 in Wood's Hole and May 6 in Boston. At these workshops, EEA presented preliminary spatial analysis results and conceptual management measures for implementing the ocean management plan. The OAC also met on May 28 to review a further-refined set of management measures, building on the discussion at the earlier May workshops. The Science Advisory Council met on May 26 to discuss proposed scientific and research priorities for ocean management in Massachusetts in the future. For more on the ocean planning process, see EEA's Massachusetts Ocean Plan website. To receive periodic ocean plan updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EEA Launches Climate Change Advisory Committee
In response to the Global Warming Global Warming Solutions Act, EEA Secretary Ian Bowles has appointed a Climate Change Advisory Committee, which will begin work on June 4 to analyze strategies for adapting to the predicted impacts of climate change in Massachusetts. The committee includes representatives with expertise in: transportation and built infrastructure; commercial, industrial, and manufacturing activities; low-income consumers; energy generation and distribution; land conservation; water supply and quality; recreation; ecosystems dynamics; coastal zone and oceans; rivers and wetlands; and local government. Five subcommittees are being assembled on: Local Economy, Natural Resources and Habitat, Human Health and Welfare, Key Infrastructure, and Coastal Zone and Ocean. CZM Director Deerin Babb-Brott with serve on the Steering Committee for the effort and CZM will be leading the Coastal Zone and Ocean Subcommittee, chaired by Assistant Director Bruce Carlisle. CZM staff will also provide support and expertise to the other subcommittees. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for future details.
Straits Pond Restoration Project Cleared for Construction
Construction will begin in September on the Straits Pond wetland restoration project to reconstruct and enlarge a deteriorating culvert under Route 228 at the borders of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham (at the spot known locally as West Corner). A priority project of CZM's Wetland Restoration Program (WRP), this project will restore 94 acres of tidal pond habitat and improve tidal flow to a critically impaired estuary, which is part of the Weir River Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). In addition to repairing this deficient transportation infrastructure, the project will also eliminate seasonal infestations of midges, which can inhabit such degraded systems. This project poses many unique challenges. Three towns all share part ownership of the structure (which is also classified as a dam) and many of the utilities that service Hull run through the culvert and need to be maintained during construction. Project partners include WRP, the Department of Conservation and Recreation's (DCR) ACEC Program, the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), the Massachusetts Highway Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Conservation Law Foundation/Restore America's Estuaries program, and the towns of Hull, Cohasset, and Hingham. U.S. Congressman William Delahunt, State Senator Robert Hedlund, and State Representative Garrett Bradley were instrumental in securing federal and state construction funds. Project monitoring will be provided by the Cohasset Center for Student Coastal Research and MBP. Construction is expected to begin after Labor Day and take approximately 12 months.
It's Getting Hot Out There—Get Your Free 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 in print and 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 also provides the Online Locator of Coastal Public Access Sites. Developed in conjunction with 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.
Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins
The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season began on June 1 and an average season is predicted. The latest hurricane information is available on NOAA's 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.
Buzzards Bay Watershed Municipal Minigrant Program - The Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program (BBNEP) is seeking proposals from eligible Buzzards Bay watershed communities or projects that help meet the BBNEP's goals to protect and restore water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. To view the Request for Responses (RFR), visit the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "ENV 09 CZM 11." Proposals are due by June 24.
Climate Funding - In July, NOAA's Climate Program Office will announce funding opportunities from several NOAA climate programs. NOAA is accepting letters of intent from applicants seeking proposal feedback. For more information, see the NOAA Climate Office website. Letters of intent are due by June 12.
Reminder - These opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Marine Mammal Reports - The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released the final 2008 Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports. See the NMFS website.
Land Development Trends in Massachusetts - Mass Audubon has released the fourth edition of its Losing Ground series. Losing Ground: Beyond the Footprint investigates land development trends throughout Massachusetts and identifies priority conservation sites. The report indicates that Massachusetts is currently protecting twice as much land as it is developing, but that new houses are bigger and more energy-intensive and sprawl continues to threaten more rural areas.
Coastal Services Magazine - The May/June 2009 issue of Coastal Services, a NOAA Coastal Services Center magazine features articles about creating climate ready estuaries, green infrastructure, and habitat restoration in Oregon.
Watershed News - The May 2009 issue of Watershed News is now available online. Watershed News is produced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds to provide a wide array of timely information to groups working at the watershed level.
Marine Protected Area Newsletter - The May 2009 issue of MPA News features articles on communications with stakeholders and communities about marine protected areas (MPA), compensation for MPA-affected fishers in Hawaii , funding MPAs in Fiji, and other MPA news and notes.
Aquatic Invasive Species Risk Assessment - The Commission for Environmental Cooperation, an international organization created by Canada, Mexico, and the United States established to address regional environmental concerns, has released the Trinational Risk Assessment Guidelines for Aquatic Alien Invasive Species. The Guidelines provide a framework for organizing scientific, technical, and other relevant information for use by managers and decision makers. This includes a standardized process for evaluating the biodiversity risk of introduced aquatic non-indigenous organisms in a new environment.
Coastal Management Journal Seeking Abstracts - The Coastal Society is seeking papers for a special edition of its Coastal Management journal. Building on the Coastal Society's 21st International Conference held in 2008, this special edition will focus on the different types of leadership that have led to innovations in policy and practice in coastal management. For more information, contact Betsi Beem at email@example.com or Paul Ticco at firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts are due by July 15.
Reminder - The following CZM publication listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
June Is River's Month - Events through July 5 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.
Stormwater Financing Presentations - Presentations from the April 30 municipal stormwater funding workshop held in Danvers are now available online. Sponsored by MBP, Salem Sound Coastwatch, the Eight Towns and the Bay Committee, CZM, and the Horsley Witten Group, this workshop featured presentations and case studies on stormwater utilities and the Phase II requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. For details, see the Salem Sound Coastwatch website.
Climate Change Preparation Workshop Presentations - Presentations from the April 8 Plan to Protect workshop hosted by the Waquoit Bay Reserve Coastal Training Program (CTP) are now available online. This workshop provided guidance to decision-makers on how to prepare for climate change, including sessions on anticipated climate impacts, why adaptation is needed, and case studies with different approaches to adaptation planning from municipal, regional, and state perspectives. For details, see the CTP website. Scroll down to "Climate Change and Energy."
Coastal Area Workshop Report - The Workshop Report from the U.S. National Coastal Area Workshop held in February in Washington, DC, is now available online. This workshop reviewed the benefits and challenges of developing a single definition of "coastal area" and determining necessary parameters for a single definition.
EPA Watershed Website - EPA has launched Watershed Central, a website designed to help organizations find environmental data, watershed models, local organizations, guidance documents, and other information. The site contains links to watershed technical resources, funding sources, mapping applications, and information specific to individual watersheds.
Marine Debris to Energy Project - The New Hampshire Marine Debris to Energy Project has launched an effort to study marine debris at sea and on the shore, while incorporating waste-to-energy and recycling as part of marine debris cleanup efforts.
Coastal Climate Adaptation Website - NOAA's Coastal Services Center has released the Coastal Climate Adaptation website, which focuses on adaptation-related resources, such as local and state plans, new policies, case studies, risk and vulnerability assessments, and decision-support tools. The one-stop website was designed for states and communities that seek information about what others are doing to address climate change. The site also provides access to basic climate science resources and has a forum where users can suggest new resources, engage in dialogue on the issues, and submit comments and questions.
WhaleNet - WhaleNet is an interactive educational website, hosted by Wheelock College, which focuses on whales and marine research. Resources feature real-time and archived satellite tracking data of marine mammals and turtles, including 11 years of North Atlantic Right Whale sighting data.
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.
World Oceans Day - On June 6-7, the New England Aquarium will hold a World Oceans Day celebration that will include several beach clean ups around Boston Harbor and a festival at the aquarium. Bring the family and help clean up local beaches and raise awareness about ocean conservation. For more information, see the World Oceans Day website.
A Sea Change - On June 7 at 10:00 a.m., Salem Sound Coastwatch will present the Massachusetts premiere of A Sea Change: Imagine a World without Fish. This free screening will be at CinemaSalem in Salem. This film uses spectacular photography to bring attention to the problem of ocean acidification and its connection to climate change. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
LID Project Tour - On June 9, EPA, DCR, and the Ipswich River Watershed Association will hold a full-day bus tour of four Low Impact Development (LID) demonstration projects in the Ipswich River Watershed. These demonstration projects, implemented by DCR with funding from EPA, include a green roof, an LID subdivision, a pervious parking lot with four types of permeable paving and bioretention landscaping, and an LID neighborhood retrofit that includes 12 pocket rain gardens and a permeable paving right-of-way strip. The tour is free, but space is limited. Please register online.
Capitol Hill Ocean Week - On June 9-11, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will hold Capitol Hill Ocean Week in Washington, D.C. 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. This year's theme, The Blue Economy: Understanding the Ocean's Role in Our Nation's Financial Future, highlights the link between the ocean and the economy, and will discuss tangible ways that ocean policies might impact improvements in our economy. Free registration is required. Please email Nathan Constable at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (301) 608-3040 x5.
Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission Meeting - The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. on June 19 in the meeting room at Cape Cod National Seashore Headquarters, Marconi Station, Wellfleet. The meeting is open to the public and interested parties may make oral/written presentations to the Commission.
Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound - On July 25, Salem Sound Coastwatch will hold the 4th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound at Forest River Park in Salem. The event will feature open water swim races and inner harbor paddle races for kayaks, canoes, outrigger canoes, and surfskis. There will be cash prizes, food, music, and giveaways.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
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 July 23.
Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee Nominations - NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is seeking qualified nominees to the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee, which advises the Secretary of Commerce on all matters concerning living marine resources that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. Send nominations to Mark Holliday at Mark.Holliday@noaa.gov by June 5.
Rachel Carson Contest - EPA is calling for submissions to the third annual Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder Contest. Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her landmark book, Silent Spring. Entries will be accepted in four categories—poetry, essay, dance, and photography. For more information, see the EPA contest website. Submissions are due by June 10.