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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—Hearings, Public Review, and Comment
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has scheduled five public hearings on the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan—September 14 in Boston, September 15 in New Bedford, September 16 in Barnstable, September 17 in Gloucester, and September 23 in Tisbury (Vineyard Haven). For details, see CZM's Calendar page. Mandated by the Oceans Act of 2008, the draft ocean management plan was developed by EEA and CZM, with broad support from the Departments of Fish and Game and Environmental Protection. The draft plan was released in July for public review and comment. See the Draft Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan website for links to the two-volume draft plan and all maps and figures. To receive periodic ocean plan updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Oceans 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. Also pursuant to the Act, public comments on the draft plan must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 23. To provide online comments, see the Ocean Plan Public Input Portal comments page. Submit written comments to:
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
Re: Draft Ocean Management Plan
251 Causeway Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114
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 at Nantasket Beach in Hull. Thousands of volunteers throughout Massachusetts turn out 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 eastern Massachusetts in September and October. To participate or organize a cleanup, go to the COASTSWEEP website.
Climate Change Advisory Committee Work Continues
The state's Climate Change Adaptation Advisory Committee (CCAAC) continues its work on developing recommendations to the legislature on potential strategies to better prepare for the impacts of a changing climate. Each of the five subcommittees (Coastal Zone and Ocean, Natural Resources and Habitat, Local Economy, Human Health and Welfare, and Key Infrastructure) has prepared draft reports to the full Committee which will meet to review and discuss on October 20. Stay tuned to CZ-Mail for future details.
Marine Invader Collaborative Volunteers Hard at Work in 2009
This summer, volunteers from CZM's Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC) continued to collect important data about the distribution of marine invasive species in New England waters. Established in 2006, MIMIC seeks to understand distributional patterns of marine invasive species, enable timely data collection to inform managers and rapid response efforts, and provide education on marine invasive species and how to control their spread. In 2009, nearly 100 volunteers from 12 partner groups were trained to monitor for priority marine invasive species at 65 sites in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. For more information about the program see the MIMIC web page or contact Adrienne Pappal at email@example.com.
North Shore Seafloor Mapping Report Published—Data Collection Continues
CZM and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have published the third in a series of seafloor mapping reports. High-Resolution Geologic Mapping of the Inner Continental Shelf: Cape Ann to Salisbury Beach, Massachusetts contains geographic information system (GIS) data, maps, and technical explanations of data collection, processing, and a discussion of the seafloor geology and topography from Cape Ann to Salisbury. The two previous reports, Nahant to Gloucester and Boston Harbor, were in released in 2006 and data from two additional areas—Hull to Duxbury and Northern Cape Cod Bay—are currently in the publication process. Data collection continued this summer for additional areas of the Massachusetts coast. In July, CZM and USGS completed a cruise aboard the R/V Megan Miller in Buzzards Bay, which enabled them to collect more than 350 square kilometers of geophysical (swath bathymetry, sidescan sonar backscatter, and seismic reflection) data from the seafloor. Additional surveys are planned for fall 2009 and summer 2010. Since 2003, this CZM/USGS cooperative program has mapped 1,700 square kilometers (650 square miles) of the Commonwealth's coastal ocean. For more information, see CZM's Seafloor Mapping Program website, the USGS project website, or contact Dan Sampson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buzzards Bay Project Minigrant Awards
In August, CZM and EEA announced the award of ten environmental grants totaling $167,000 to eight Buzzards Bay watershed towns. The grants will assist the towns in protecting and restoring water quality and living resources in Buzzards Bay and its surrounding watershed. Administered by CZM's Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program, the grants will specifically be used to protect and restore wetlands habitat and open space, design treatment solutions for stormwater discharges, and restore herring runs. The grants were awarded to the towns of Rochester (Leonards Pond Anadromous Fishway Improvement Project, $20,000, and Wolf Island Road Land Preservation Project, $5,000); Fairhaven (Nasketucket Woods Land Acquisition - Bridge Street, $35,000); Westport (Phase II: Stormwater Solutions, $20,000); Marion (Grassi Bog Wetland Restoration Permitting, $7,500, and Open Space Protection of Holmes Woods, $5,500); Mattapoisett (Salt Marsh Restoration at Pico Beach Road, $9,900); Bourne (Fishway improvements at Dykes Creek, $15,000); Wareham (Marks Cove Wildlife Corridor Project, $35,000); and Dartmouth (Dike Creek Hughes Conservation Project $16,000).
Environmental Trust Grants - The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) is seeking proposals for its Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 General Grants, which provide funding to support programs, research, and other activities that promote the responsible stewardship of the Commonwealth's water resources. Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, schools and institutions for higher education, and cities and towns. To view the Request for Responses, see the Comm-PASS website and search for document number "EEA 10 MET 01." Letters of Inquiry are due by October 16.
Watershed Education and Training Grants - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program is seeking proposals for K-12 education projects that promote locally relevant, experiential learning. Projects should provide meaningful watershed educational experiences for students, related professional development for teachers, and support regional education and environmental priorities in New England. For more information, contact Kathi Rodrigues at email@example.com. Proposals are due by October 2.
Sea Grant Law Center Grants - The National Sea Grant Law Center is seeking proposals for its 2010 grant competition, which will fund one-year legal research and outreach projects of relevance to the Sea Grant network. See the Request for Proposals (PDF, 142 KB). Letters of Intent are due by October 2.
NOAA Restoration Center Funding - The NOAA Restoration Center is seeking applications for three habitat restoration funding opportunities through its Community-based Restoration Program. Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration National and Regional Partnerships fund multi-year national and regional habitat restoration partnerships that implement a wide-range of habitat restoration projects. Applications are due by September 30. Marine Debris Removal Grants fund locally driven marine debris prevention and removal projects. Applications are due by October 31. The Open Rivers Initiative provides funding and technical expertise for community-driven, small dam and river barrier removals, primarily in coastal states. Applications are due by November 16.
NOAA Coastal Ocean Research Funding - NOAA's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) is seeking proposals for three competitive grant programs—the Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Program, Coastal Hypoxia Research Program (CHRP), and Sea level Rise Program. CSCOR leads the development of predictive, multi-disciplinary, regional ecosystem scale research to support sound coastal management decisions. Coastal management agencies are encouraged to apply as part of multi-disciplinary teams. For more information, see the NOAA website. Proposals are due by October 14.
Reminder - These opportunities listed in the last CZ-Mail are still available:
Massachusetts Bays Window - The Summer 2009 issue of Massachusetts Bays Window, the e-newsletter of the Massachusetts Bays Program (MBP), highlights recent program fundraising successes, summer volunteer monitoring activities, staff research in Cohasset, and invasive species eradication efforts.
NRDC Water Quality Report - The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released its 19th annual beach water quality report, which provides a compilation of water quality data on U.S. beaches. Testing the Waters 2009 identifies the best and worst beaches for protecting beachgoers from contaminated water. Pollution at the nation's ocean, lake, and bay beaches resulted in more than 20,000 closing or swimming advisory days in 2008—the fourth worst year since NRDC began tracking these data. The NRDC concluded that coastal beaches continue to be affected by contamination from stormwater runoff, sewage spills, and others sources of pollution, which are further amplified by heavy rainfalls and aging and poorly designed sewage systems.
NERRS Climate Change Workshop Materials - The National Estuarine Research Reserve System's (NERRS) Coastal Training Program has published a customizable workshop for planners and other coastal decision-makers. Planning for Climate Change focuses on actions that can be taken to prepare and adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change. The materials include evaluation results, lessons learned, PowerPoint presentations, and streaming video of the training sessions.
Coastal Management Newsletter - The July 2009 edition of NOAA's Coastal Program Division's Coastal Management News features articles about hurricane resistant buildings in Hawaii, ecosystem based management in New York, a Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guide developed for Louisiana, and more.
Reminder - The following CZM publication listed in the last CZ-Mail is still available:
Live Blue Initiative - The New England Aquarium has developed two new online programs—the Live Blue Initiative and the Blue Impact tour. Through the Live Blue Initiative, users can claim a piece of the ocean and make a pledge to help protect the environment. As more and more people select cubes from crucial conservation areas across the globe, the live blue pledges will appear on the interactive map and scroll across the screen for everyone to see. The Blue Impact tour is a series of videos that reveal climate change through the eyes of ocean life. Aquarium visitors can download the tour to an iPod or MP3 player. Topics include rising sea levels, endangered whales, and deteriorating coral reefs. See how organizations such as the Aquarium work to prevent the effects human activities have on the oceans, and how you can help.
NPDES Overview Course - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published segments of the NPDES Permit Writers' Course online. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program is authorized under the Clean Water Act to control the discharge of pollutants from industrial and municipal point sources to waters of the United States. The NPDES Permit Writers' Course is a five-day training course covering the key elements of NPDES permit development. The online presentations are not intended to replace the live course, but should be useful for those who wish to become familiar with important concepts of the NPDES permit program. Check out the first installment, Establishing Water Quality-based Effluent Limitations in NPDES Permits, on the EPA website.
Ocean Facts - NOAA's National Ocean Service offers an ever-growing Ocean Facts website. Questions are arranged under several categories, such as ocean life, ocean observations, and ocean geology.
Harmful Algae Digital Library - The National Sea Grant Library has developed a Harmful Algae Digital Library, which contains a collection of downloadable Sea Grant research documents arranged by these subject areas: red tide/paralytic shellfish poisoning, brown tide, ciguatera, killer algae, and Pfiesteria.
World Database on Marine Protected Areas - The United Nations Environment Programme and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature have developed the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The WDPA is a comprehensive list of global marine and terrestrial protected areas developed to allow users to view and download information on marine protected areas.
OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program - MMS is seeking comments on the Draft Proposed 5-Year OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015. This proposed program will succeed the current 5-year program that expires on June 30, 2012. Comments are due by September 21.
Repetitive Damage Disaster Assistance - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on a proposed rule that will implement aspects of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The proposed rule would apply only to public and eligible private nonprofit facilities that have been damaged three times by the same type of event within a ten year period. The rule proposes to reduce the federal cost share of public assistance to 25 percent if a facility has not received appropriate mitigation measures prior to that third event. Traditionally, the federal cost share for eligible repairs to disaster-damaged facilities is no less than 75 percent federal funding. For details, including see the Federal Register Notice. Submit comments by October 13 to FEMA-RULES@dhs.gov. Include Docket ID FEMA-2008-0006 in the subject line of the message.
National Aquatic Animal Health Plan - The National Aquatic Animal Health Plan for the United States (PDF, 185 KB) is now available for public review and comment. The Plan was developed by a task force led by the U.S. Department Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. It is anticipated that this plan will provide a framework to develop programs for diseases that affect the health of aquatic animals. For more information, see the Federal Register Notice. Comments are due by October 20.
Proposed Flood Elevation Determinations for Cape Cod - FEMA is seeking comments on the proposed Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) for the following communities on Cape Cod: Barnstable, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth. The BFEs are the basis for the floodplain management measures that a community must adopt to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. The preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) for the proposed BFEs are available at each community's town hall. Submit comments by November 2 to William R. Blanton Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nomination of MPAs to National System - The National Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Center is seeking nominations from existing MPAs for inclusion in the national system. This system and the nomination process are described in the Framework for the National System of Marine Protected Areas of the United States published in 2008. For details, see the Marine Protected Areas of the United States website. Nominations are due by November 6.
Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water - The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking comments on proposed amendments to regulations on ballast water management. These amendments will establish standards for the allowable concentration of living organisms in ships' ballast water discharged in U.S. waters and an approval process for ballast water management systems. These new regulations would help control the introduction and spread of non-native species from ships. The Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for this rulemaking, entitled Standards for Living Organisms in Ships' Ballast Water, provides an assessment of the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed establishment of ballast water discharge standards. To submit comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for docket number USCG-2001-10486. Comments are due by November 27.
Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force - In June, President Obama issued a memorandum that established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes. It will also recommend a framework for improved stewardship, and effective coastal and marine spatial planning. The Task Force is seeking public input on its work. For more information, see the Task Force website.
Fall Walks in Harwich - The Harwich Conservation Trust has posted its schedule of fall walks-all free and open to the public. See the Trust's website.
Wednesday Walks - On Wednesdays in September and October, the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will hold a series of walks with naturalist Connie Boyce. For details about each walk, see the museum calendar.
Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound - On September 11 at 7:00 p.m., the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History will present Theresa Barbo, noted local author of historical non-fiction She speak about her novel Cape Cod Bay: A History of Salt & Sea and her current scholarly work Nantucket Sound: A Maritime History. For details, see the museum's website.
Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission Meeting - The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. on September 14 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.
Shellfish Restoration Conference - On September 15-18, the 12th International Conference on Shellfish Restoration will be held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The conference provides an opportunity for resource managers, shellfish farmers, community activists, historians, and anthropologists to exchange ideas and information on shellfish restoration, water quality improvement, and estuarine and coastal ecosystem health.
Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council Meeting - On September 16, the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council will meet from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the New England Aquarium. The agenda will include a messaging project update, a discussion of how to stimulate public participation in park planning and other management efforts, a park update, and public comment. The meeting is open to the public. For details, contact Superintendent Bruce Jacobson at (617) 223-8667.
North Shore Climate Change Workshop - On September 17, CZM, the Massachusetts Bays Program, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will hold the North Shore Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise Workshop II: Preparing for Impacts-Mapping Hazard Areas. Staff from CZM and Department of Conservation and Recreation will provide detailed information on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and the new mapping effort, Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) Maps. This workshop, to be held from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, is targeted at municipal officials and staff. For more information, contact MAPC Senior Regional Planner, Sam Cleaves, at email@example.com.
Ocean Energy for New England - On September 17 from 8:00 a.m.to 1:30 p.m., the 2nd Annual Ocean Energy for New England Conference will take place at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis. The conference topics will include ocean energy technologies; initiatives for ocean renewable energy; planning and policy process for ocean energy systems; grid integration, community benefit, and jobs; and environmental and public interest group input.
Trails and Sails 2009 - On September 18-20 and 25-27, the Essex National Heritage Area will host the eighth annual Trails & Sails—Two Weekends of Walks and Water. The 2009 event features more than 100 free events throughout the Essex National Heritage Area.
Nutrient Control at Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants - On September 22-23, EPA's Office of Research and Development will conduct a free technology transfer seminar to provide updated, state-of-the-technology design guidance on nitrogen and phosphorus control at municipal wastewater treatment plants. The seminar will be held in Marlborough.
Watershed Institute - On September 22-25, the Center for Watershed Protection will hold the 2009 Watershed Institute in Columbia, South Carolina. The 2009 Watershed Institute provides an intensive and interactive four-day learning experience designed to help public and private sector watershed professionals develop watershed management plans, learn watershed assessment techniques, and other key aspects of watershed protection.
Gulf of Maine Symposium - On October 4-9, the Gulf of Maine Symposium, Advancing Ecosystem Research for the Future of the Gulf, will be held in New Brunswick, Canada. Join fellow researchers, managers, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the region to discuss current scientific advances and ecosystem approaches to management in the Gulf of Maine at the Gulf of Maine Symposium: Advancing Ecosystem Research for the Future of the Gulf.
National Coastal Conference - On October 14-16, the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association will hold its National Coastal Conference: Integrating Coastal Science and Policy in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The three-day conference will feature discussions on coastal science, policy, technology, and politics.
Environmentally Preferable Products Vendor Fair - On October 27, the Environmentally Preferable Products Vendor Fair and Conference will be held at the DCU Center in Worcester. This event will feature exhibits on innovative and cost-saving technologies and products and include an exciting slate of practical and informative workshops. Registration, meals, and parking are free for personnel from the public sector, higher education, and related nonprofits.
2009 Estuarine Research Conference - On November 1-5, the 2009 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Conference, Coasts and Estuaries in a Changing World, will be held in Portland, Oregon.
Ecology of Marine Windfarms Symposium - On November 2-4, the 8th annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium, The Ecology of Marine Windfarms: Regional Perspectives on Impact Mitigation, Siting, and Future Uses, will be held in Newport, Rhode Island. This symposium will bring together international experts in wind energy, biotechnologies, seafood, fisheries, aquaculture, and leading legal and policy experts to discuss innovative methods for the integration of these future uses into wind-farm marine areas.
Water Resources Conference - On November 10, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) will hold A Water Resources Conference: Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Massachusetts Environmental Trust in Worcester. This conference is targeted to practitioners that protect and restore water quality and the continuity of aquatic systems.
Reminders - The following calendar items posted in the last CZ-Mail are still to come:
Adopt a Drifter Buoy - The NOAA Adopt a Drifter Program provides teachers with the opportunity to infuse ocean observing system data into their curriculum. A drifter is a floating ocean buoy equipped with meteorological and oceanographic sensing instruments that transmit observed data to collecting centers. Get involved.
LNG Port Navigation, Security, and Safety Zones - On July 31, the U.S. Coast Guard established a two temporary safety zones extending 500 meters in all directions from each of the two submerged turret-loading buoys and accompanying systems that are part of the Neptune Deepwater Port located in Massachusetts Bay off of Boston. All vessels, with the exception of deepwater port support vessels, are prohibited from entering into, remaining, or moving within either of the safety zones. This rule is effective from July 31 through February 16, 2010. For details about these restrictions, see the Federal Register Notice.